I opened my eyes on a cold, rainy Monday morning. I sighed. Another day working at Burger King, flipping hamburgers, and asking "Would you like fries with that?" I rolled over and glanced at the clock. 7:11 a.m. I had to be ready and out the house by nine. That meant I had less than two hours to get up, feed the baby, clean the baby, pack the baby's things to go over the babysitter's house, and get myself ready.oh, it was too much!

I rolled back over. Ouch! I had accidentally rolled over on my liquor bottle. Ever since I had my baby, I had been drinking alcohol and crying myself to sleep. I was so depressed.

I was finally able to get my lazy behind up. I quickly made my bed. Shoot, like anyone was going to see it anyway. I walked over to the mirror and stared at my reflection. I often stared at that hideous thing glaring back at me. Everyday I observed all my imperfections.

Today let's see.umm.oh, I have to new pimples on my face. They're nice and red and probably full of pus. Oh, look! The hair on my upper lip is growing back! Time to shave again even though I'm a woman! Then there's always been that black, ugly scar on my neck from that time when my ex- boyfriend burnt me with his cigarette lighter, the huge gap in the front of my teeth, and my dark, black skin! One day this little boy, he couldn't have been older than seven or eight, came up to me and said, "Look at how black that lady is, Mommy!"

It wasn't like he was a little, ignorant white boy. He was black too, and as a matter of fact he wasn't that much lighter than me. His mother didn't say a word. All his light-skin mother did was stare at me, nod slightly, grab the little boy's hand, and walk away. The boy must have gotten his dark complexion from his daddy.

Even though he was only a child, his words hurt. They hurt a lot.

I left my bedroom to attend to my crying baby.

~~~

After I fed, bathed, and clothed my baby girl, I placed her in her baby swing and sat down to eat my Eggo waffles. By the time I was done, she had fallen asleep. Good. Now I could take a shower.

I got out the shower and stood in front of the full-length mirror, nude, staring at my reflection as usual. I stared at my tiny, miniature breasts. I had no shape or hips what so ever and definitely no meat on that behind. All I had on my butt was pimples. My fourteen-year-old niece had a better figure than me, and she was eleven years younger than me. Yep, I was twenty-five years old. A twenty-five year old worthless, pathetic, piece of trash. Yep, that was I.

I took off my shower cap and let a loose my ponytail. I had my hair in micro-braids. I walk over to the medicine cabinet. I opened it to get the shaving cream to shave my upper lip. I noticed my pills - my pills for my depression. The doctor discovered I was depressed shortly after I had my baby. Since there were a handful of women who had killed themselves after they had their babies. Post-partum depression they called it.

But who wouldn't be depressed when you first told your boyfriend you were pregnant, he was thrilled. Then when you're five months along, he ups and leaves you for this light-skin, eighteen year old heifer, the same heifer you brought into your home when she was seventeen and was having problems with her mama and step-daddy. Your boyfriend was thirty by the way and y'all had been together four and a half long years. Then one month birth before you are about to give birth, your mother, one of the only people you still love and trust in the whole wide world, is killed in a robbery because some sixteen year old crackhead wanted the money in her purse so he could buy some more crack and get high. She gave up her purse without a fight, but oh no! That wasn't enough. He had to kill her too.

The teenaged heifer who took my man name was Crystal, Crystal Burns. She went to my church, and her mother and my mother were very good friends. Crystal was one of those fast, trouble-making, wear-too-short-and-tight- clothes, take-your-man-cause-I-can types of girls. She was out of control. Her mother didn't know what to do. She even threatened to send Crystal to boot camp if she didn't straighten up. I offered to let the heifer stay with me. She calmed down a bit and stole my man. Then Crystal turned eighteen, and she and my man Robert moved out. I hoped they both would burn in hell. That was over a year ago. Since Crystal ran off with Robert, she didn't come to church anymore, probably because she knew if I saw her, she'd get her little butt kicked.

Long before I got pregnant, even before I met Robert, I believed I suffered through depression. Even through my teenaged years I seemed very depressed probably because my siblings and I used to watch our father beat the crap out of our mother. Many times I thought about harming myself or even killing myself. I was conflicted with killing myself. I wanted to end all the pain so bad, but if I weren't there, who would take care of Kayla Michelle Williams - my six-month-old baby?

I took my pills and shaved my upper lip. I burst the two new pimples on my face and some on my butt. Then I got ready to smell the aroma of French fries for the day.

~~~

"Vanessa, are we still going to meet for lunch today?"

"Yeah," I mumbled.

"I think I can make it. I have a few shoots to do. Let's meet at the Chinese restaurant about two?"

"Two is fine."

"Alright, see you then."

"Okay," I said and hung up my cell phone that I wouldn't have much longer since I hadn't paid the phone bill for like five months.

That was my best friend Denise who I was talking to. We had been best friends since we meet in junior high school way back in seventh grade. She was also twenty-five, and we were complete opposites. She was tall, about five feet ten, five feet eleven. She was pretty, had a Caramel complexion, and had beautiful, long brown hair. She had gorgeous hazel-colored eyes and perfect, pearly white teeth. She was a smart, popular, straight A student all through school.

I was only five feet three. I had short, nappy black hair, and I was dark-skin. I had plain, old brown eyes and of course a big gap in between my top, front teeth. I wasn't popular in school, and I got horrible grades.

We even went to the same college together, but she dropped out in the middle of her sophomore year to pursue a model career. She still was a model to that day. I also dropped out of college because I listened to Robert's stupid behind. Now look at us. She was a model, living in a nice condo, engaged to a twenty-nine year old wealthy doctor, and no kids.yet. She even got breast implants to make her boobs bigger. To me they were big enough. I was working at Burger King, living in a one-bedroom apartment, no husband, no boyfriend, and most of all I had a six month old baby.

Denise was the one who paid for my micro-braids, to get my nails done, and even a facial. She said I needed it since I had been so stressed out, and you know what, she wasn't lying. I had let myself go after I had Kayla. I didn't comb my hair anymore. I just brush it back into a ponytail and called it a day. I didn't get my nails done like I used to, and I still hadn't lost the weight I had gain from my pregnancy.

I dropped my baby over my ex's mother's house, Kayla's grandmother. She was nice enough to watch Kayla during the day. Robert didn't do anything for our - I should say my baby. He had only came to see her once since she had been born and he hadn't given me a dime for her either. I was glad someone else beside I cared about Kayla also.

After I dropped Kayla off, I didn't go to work like I normally did. I kept driving and driving. I drove around the busy city of New York for more than two hours. Finally I pulled over on a side street. I looked in the rear-view mirror. I hated what I saw in that mirror - the ugliness, the misery, and the pain all in the reflection of that stupid mirror! I hated that mirror, I hated that reflection, and most of all I hated myself.

I took my depression pills out of my purse. I read the label that had my name and address on it. Then I read where it said "Take two pills every six hours." I took the pills. Not one, not two, but the whole bottle. It had to be at least twenty pills in there. The last thing I remembered was staring at my reflection with tears flowing down my face.

I was lucky. I was parked in front of someone's driveway. When the man came home, he got out his car to see whose car was parked in front of his driveway. He saw me on the floor of my car, unconscious and immediately called the paramedics. I almost didn't make it. They had to pump all twenty pills out of my stomach. When Denise heard what happened to me, she instantaneously rushed to the hospital where I was held. She cried her heart out. I cried too. I didn't realize how many people I would hurt if I killed myself. Even Robert and his mother came to the hospital. Even his black self had a few tears coming down his face.

I was one of the fortunate ones. I survived my suicide attempt. After they had released my out of the hospital, I went into therapy. I began talking to my family and friends a lot more. Robert even became much more involved in Baby Kayla's life. He finally came to his senses and dumped that teenaged slut. He begged me to take him back, but oh, no! I wasn't talking his black behind back! Just as long as he took responsibility in raising Kayla was all that matter.

That was three years ago. Now I'm a lot happier and more self- confident. Three-year-old Kayla is doing fine. Her father is active and involved in her life even though he and I are not together. I'm engaged to the most wonderful man on Earth - twenty-eight year old Vincent Miller. I'm the Godmother of Denise and her husband William's three-month-old daughter Lyric Asia Johnson. Denise and I are currently in school to earn our Master's Degree.

Now when I look in the mirror I love the twenty-eight year old black, young women that I see smiling back at me, and I didn't have to cry and drink myself to sleep. I had Vincent for that. I didn't shave my upper lip or burst pimples anymore. I waited until the pimples eventually went away and so what if I had a little hair on my lip. I take good care of my hair and nails and weigh a lean one hundred and fifteen pounds. Vincent even said if I felt that insure about my breasts or any other part of my body, that he'd pay for the surgery to enlarge them or whatever. I told him that was sweet, but my breasts and the rest of my body were just fine. I realize that nobody's perfect and everyone has imperfections. Even though Vincent offered to pay for a surgery, he likes me the way I am and that all the matters. I can honestly say that I love the person that I see in my reflection.