72 shares, 142 points

I paced back and forth in the long hallway. My breath quickened and heart raced with each stride. There seemed to be an endless path as far as the eye could see, there was no end to be seen. I was so focused on finding my way out that I did not notice the huge mirrors placed at either side of the walls. I peered at my reflection.  I did not recognize the person staring back at me. Instead of my regular everyday clothes, I wore a blue coloured knee-length dress that showed the curves of my body. My hair was styled in a pretty bun. I also had slight makeup on. Her lips were plumper and skin was smoother. She looked like everything I’ve always wanted to look like. But there was something about the girl staring back at me that I couldn’t quite figure out. I always smiled. I always had a joyous expression on my face. But she stared back at me with a grim expression and sad eyes. 

I mustered up the courage and asked: “What happened? Why do you look so sad?”

“Don’t you know?” She replied, in a voice as soft as a sad song. 

“No” I looked down at my feet, feeling slightly disheartened.

After a few minutes of silence, she finally spoke “I am you, Eman. I am the real you.”

I looked at her straight in the eyes and said “But you’re pretty. I am not. I can never look this attractive and confident. You are just an illusion. This is nothing but a stupid dream!”

My reflection looked slightly hurt by the words I’ve just said. She sighed.

“Silly girl. You always believed the words they told you. Your classmates, your colleagues, your friends, your family, and your teachers. They said you were ugly. They said you were a failure. They said you weren’t good enough. And you believed them. That is why you are never able to change the way you are. You’re too scared of what other people think of you not really knowing what you want. You let their words control your actions. You are afraid of expressing who you truly are..”

“Okay, so tell me. What am I supposed to do?” I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.

“You should’ve believed in yourself. You should’ve believed in me.”

“I did believe in you. I did the best I could!”

“Wrong! You and I both know what kind of a person you really are. You always write about finding true love, believing in yourself and chasing your dreams, But you don’t believe in love, do you? You have seen your dreams shatter in front of your own eyes and you couldn’t do anything about it. We are powerless against the decisions the universe makes about us. After you’ve been hurt and betrayed by the only person you cared about, you stopped believing in soulmates. You despise love songs and love poems. Deep down, you know there’s no such thing as a happy ending. You’ve built the walls around your heart so high that nothing and no one can break it.”

She removed the shirt from the right side of her arms. There was my heart in full exposure beating right in front of me. But instead of being red and healthy, it had cuts, bruises, and bandages all over it. It was the colour of the stone. My heart looked weak and timid. Just like how I’d been feeling for the past couple of days.

“The scars inflicted on my soul are from the ones I trusted the most.” I looked down at my feet not knowing what to say because the things she said about me were brutally true. 

Her eyes softened as she looked at me. She said, “I pity you.”

“Why is that?”

“Because you fake a smile every day.”

“You know nothing about me.” She knew everything about me.

“Did you forget? I am the real you. From the inside, you are just as beautiful as you are on the outside. But you have low self-esteem. You are never happy. You wear a mask of a pretty smile showing everyone that you’re okay. But you’re not.”

I stiffened.

She leaned forward and narrowed her eyes at me. “Want me to give you a piece of advice before I go?”

I nodded.

“Don’t be afraid to express your true feelings. Don’t be afraid to express who you truly are.”

I woke up with a jolt on my bed with sweat dripping down my forehead. I peered at the clock and it was 8 a.m. Almost time for my morning classes. As I stepped into the cold shower, I thought about the dream I had.

“Don’t be afraid to express your true feelings. Don’t be afraid to express who you truly are.”  

These words echoed in my head. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget them any time soon. 

But it was just a dream, right? 

It was just a dream. A stupid, stupid dream.

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