The Mirror's Gaze

Steam and cold air swirled around Mia, enveloping her in its embrace like an opaque towel, as she pushed open the transparent door leading out of the shower. She winced as her tiny foot stepped on the cool white tile. The cold bathroom floor would eventually be the cause of a flu so she made a mental note to buy a rug for the bathroom the next time she passed by Big Lots. Tiny droplets rolled off Mia's bare back like a desiccating river, forming small puddles where she stood. She tilted her head skyward to look at the faded green towel slung over the shower door. She made a motion to grab it but then remembered she had to weigh herself today, so she left it hanging there, unwanted and sad. Normally, she would have cleaned the mirror but not today. Today, she wanted nothing to do with her reflection. That taunting, jeering reflection that told her she was unacceptable, imperfect, flawed.

Instead, Mia marched straight for the old grey scale strategically placed at the edge of her bathroom. Her mother had placed it there so she could see it. Her mother wanted to make sure that whenever Mia went to brush her teeth or empty her bladder, she would see it and remember her goal.

"5 pounds," she told herself. "All I have to lose is five pounds."

She stood face to face with her arch nemesis; the only creature held the power to thrill and disappoint her. She stood and waited, questioning its intentions. Did she really want to know? She decided she did and hopped on the scale. The numbers whirled around like a speedometer at a NASCAR race. She waited quietly as the scale came to a slow stop. As the arrow see-sawed between two numbers, her heart sank. She hadn't lost any weight. On the contrary, she gained some!

"Fuck!" She cursed at herself.

Now she would have to work twice as hard to reach her target weight before her sweet sixteen's. Her eyes wandered over to the mirror. The fog had dried out a little and she was able to make out her distorted face. It did exactly what she knew it would. The eyes in the mirror were taunting her. They whispered accusingly at Mia.

"Couldn't lose any weight could ya? Of course not, just look at you. You're a two-ton cow. You'll never be thin, NEVER!"

Mia looked away from the mirror and walked over to the towel, wrapping herself up as quickly as she could. She didn't want the eyes in the mirror to look at her body. She couldn't bare their jeering remarks. She couldn't bare the disappointment. She patted her body just dry enough not to splatter water as she quickly ran away from her reflection, her taunting, jeering reflection that told her she was unacceptable, imperfect, flawed.