Mirror

At the top of the stairs we have a long mirror.

It’s a full length mirror. If you stand back you can see the whole of your reflection.

The mirror has had several homes, been past around the family.

It’s not old, not an antique. Not a family air loom.

The frame is non distinctive.

It’s just a mirror.

It was in one of their bedrooms when it first came.

We hadn’t realised, but it was awesome for Hide and Seek.

You could hide in the wardrobe, and see people coming in the reflection.

To be fair, you would hear them before you could see them.

The mirror saw the hours of sweat and toil trying to create a costume for world book day.

Then it would see your defeat when you bought a costume from the shops.

The mirror would see their clothes shrink as they outgrew them, trousers half mast.

The mirror moved to the top of the stair, under the light.

Allowing them to parade and pose, before the school party and graduation.

Family and friends weddings were “suited and booted”.

Sometimes the mirror needed cleaning after the smog cloud of deodorant spray application.

When we moved house the mirror was bubble wrapped, in the hope it would survive the journey.

By a fluke, or luck. It did. Back it went up. At the top of the stairs.

Part of lives. Reflecting us as we looked at it.

One night something happened. Something triggered one of them.

Snapped him back to his past.

Into an experience. Into a time he had no control over.

He saw his reflection. He stared at himself. Then he punched.

Full on, right hook.

On to his face.

His fist went straight through the mirror. Shattered pieces fell to the floor.

A crack traveled down, stopping at the frame. Slicing the mirror in two.

Broken pieces lay on the floor, reflecting him punching again, catching the drops of blood.

The next day. He understood what he had done. He was hitting himself.

He hated seeing himself. He hated being scared of himself.

He was able to reflect on what and why.

We cleaned and vacuumed the shattered pieces. Splintered reflections.

We put the broken mirror in the bin.

I watched as the truck came to empty the bin. Away to leave on landfill.

No one knowing what to do with it.

Leaving it.

Forgetting about it.

Still there, forever. Pieces of light, fragments of reflection.

Every so often, catching the sun. Shining brightly, calling out, but no one sees, no one hears.

We have a new mirror. Waiting to go up. To cover the damaged wall , where once our mirror was.

Am not ready to put it up yet. It is still wrapped. Protected. Waiting.

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