Looking in the mirror, she was no longer a child. The jade eyes staring back her held no innocence or naivety. Instead, they held secrets, whispered tales of love, bemoaned stories of pain, and shone with promise of life.
She gazed at the young woman in the reflective glass. Ebony hair fell in twisting locks down against her bare shoulders. A few strands slipped over onto her chest and contrasted against her snowy skin. Turning slightly, she could see the rest cascaded down her back. The skin it adorned was pale and soft to the touch. The tips of her fingers reached and gently graced her left cheek. Then they glided down to her scarlet lips curled in a reticent smile. Continuing, her cool fingers tickled the flesh of her neck, the hollow of her collar bone, the top of her breasts till she met the frame of her deep pink dress.
Her fingers trailed down the edged fabric, around the flowers traced in sequins and rhinestones. Both hands grasped at the material flaring from her hips and reached out. She began to spin and spin and spin. Her laughter rang out and bounded from mirror to mirror as she stared at the ceiling in ecstasy. Soon, she fell with her knees tucked under and head resting upon her arm.
In an instant, she began to sob. Tears sprang from her eyes like rain from an angry sky. She shut them tight against the world. Her shoulders shook and coiled herself into a ball. Years of memories washed over her.
With hair in dog ears, waddling in the red dirt after her older brothers. The day she tied her shoes all on her own. That first day of school, more scared than looking in the closet at night. Running into her mother’s loving arms because little children didn’t understand how much words can hurt. Butterflies when the cutest boy in middle school looked at her. When she learned danced carefree, no matter who was watching. The echo of her footsteps down the hallway of a new school. Her first wonderfully amazingly magical kiss. The tears from losing of her first love. The morning she woke up and realized life goes on. The first time she stepped onto a stage, into the spotlight. How her favorite teacher praised such a silly girl. Taking a horrible picture at the DMV for her learner’s permit. The moment her fingers closed around the steering wheel. Fear rushing into her heart when the car hit the tree. Crying to sleep in her mother’s arms. Crashing her scantily clad body into a pool of crisp water because she didn’t want her friends to think she was scared. Winning first place again and again and again. The disappointment of winning second place again and again and again. Kissing for the first time in the rain. Flirting with a cute boy whose name she didn’t know. The first moment she thought of herself as beautiful. Surprise and joy as she ripped open her acceptance letter. Playing hide and seek in the grocery store. Sneaking into R rated movies because her friends forgot ID. The rush of arguing with her professor. Breaking his heart. Noticing how many friends she truly had. How hard she worked on a Saturday morning at school. A secret crush that everyone knew. Filling out her form for graduation and ordering her cap and gown.
Her life collided together in that one moment and she could no longer control the sadness of growing up. For so long, she dreamed of the day she could run away, the day she would escape. Now the days were rushing faster and faster. She screamed inside her head for everything to slow down and give her one more day as a child. But the seconds ticking away on the clock and they grow louder in her ears. Slowly, her eyes began to open.
Looking in the mirror, she was no longer a child.