The morning was unusually cool. Irene could already feel a spring in her steps as he stepped off the bed. Maybe it was a dream she had; she couldn’t remember. A smile lit her face as she made her way to the bathroom to pee. She walked past the mirror and that’s when it started again.
She couldn’t look and she wouldn’t look. She had never gotten over her dad’s words when she was only five. She buried her head in her hands as she relieved herself. After cleaning up, she stood, walking past the mirror again. This time she stopped and faced it. And the words that haunted her everyday of her life came tumbling back and every good feeling she had when she woke was all gone.
As she looked in the mirror she remembered how she had run to the mirror that day. It was a dark night. Her dad came home drunk and saw Irene sitting on the settee, with only her pant on. He came in and just stared at her. She was already afraid because she had seen him beat her mum when in his drunken state but what he said next was unexpected and she never recovered from it.
See her! See how she’s dressed! She wants to seduce me like her mother did. Pointing at her, he added. Who told you to could ever attract a man; you’re so ugly! He said that and wobbled to his room.
Irene’s five year old heart was torn. She raced to the bathroom, put on the light and looked in the mirror. What she saw there was beautiful; only with tears streaming down. She convinced herself that dad didn’t mean what he said. Irene convinced herself that her dad would apologise in the morning like she usually saw him do with her mum when he was sober. With that hope she had slept.
She had woken up the next morning only to see her dad and mum fighting. When she greeted him, he looked at her, sober now, and said, ‘Like mother like daughter. Ugly little whore!’ Irene was speechless for the second time in less than twelve hours. Her dad walked out on them that day and that was the last time she saw him. He moved away and re-married.
Now eighteen, and in her third year in a private university, Irene had not outgrown the verbal abuse. She hated mirrors. She grew up avoiding them. Her roommate in school once asked her why she didn’t have or use mirrors and she laughed it anyway. But the truth was she hated to look at herself because every time she did, like at the moment, all she saw was the ugly little whore that no man would ever love.
Irene started sobbing all over again. She had lived thirteen miserable years ever since that day and she wondered when it would ever end. She had noticed that over the years, she felt rather elated, yet doubtful when guys or girls said she was pretty. That was the singular reason why she had given in to different boys that wanted sex; she just wanted to feel wanted. She had even done girls once, when a girl told her she was in love with her.
Irene knew she wasn’t happy. All those who professed love had hurt her and she was even more confused and she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t even know what to think or believe about herself. Irene walked into the room, lay back on the bed, and sobbed all morning. And she knew that was just the beginning of her sobs that day.
Ever been in Irene’s shoes or have some words for her? Please comment. Thanks!