With disgust, Nneka stares at the mirror. She stares at her almost black oily face that is overwhelmed by huge irritating pimples. Her eyes run through her boring scanty thin figure. She then recalls the incident of the previous day at the party. How she had overheard her so called friends talking to the photographer to quickly take them a picture before she would arrive and get its beauty spoilt with her unbearable ugliness, how sarcastic they had sounded, and how the photographer had laughed. Her face contorts into a strong frown. She detests herself. “I am ugly, I’m horrible”, she says to herself, and tears begin to stroll down her cheeks.
She is startled when her hands jerk at her face in frustration and her reflection doesn’t do the same. She looks at it with surprise, it maintains burning piercing stare at her. She blinks hard several times but nothing is changing.
“What do you call beautiful? Having perky breasts hanging out of your shirt? Having a well rounded butt hanging out of your skirt? Having the hour-glass kind of shape? Not having acne? Is that what you call beautiful?”
She stares at it, speechless.
“Before you are precious diamonds, but all you see are rocks. Before you is a butterfly, but all you can see is a caterpillar. You stand before the mirror, and all you can see are flaws!! Just when will you understand that this mirror lies? When?”
Nneka’s face is expressionless, she is clueless of what to do.
“You remember Angela? The so called most beautiful girl on campus who died a few weeks back. You remember? If only you could see how horrifying her so called ‘wonder body’ has become, how zillions of maggots now replace what you called ‘silky caramel skin’, if only you could perceive how horrible her smell has become, then you would know that this flesh has no better description than worthless! You are only blinded by earthly desires, you’ve been fogged by desires for fake and temporary pleasures, and for this reason, you have made life miserable for me, making me frown and cry all my life. My eyebrows never cease from being knotted in strong frowns, I never get to smile and laugh like my fellows do, as for once you’ve never admired me” Tears roll down its eyes as it breaks into sobs, Nneka joins her.
“Your true beauty is the content of character, and not the content of your figure. You are made by the ambitions that drive you, and not by the worthless looks you crave for. The words that you speak, and thoughts that you think, they all define your true beauty. They’d live for ages, even after the death of this flesh! Your personality, and not your looks, speaks for you”
Nneka nods slowly, and begins wiping her eyes.
“You are beautiful, you are very beautiful! You have an amazing personality, you’re smart and brilliant and bright with great dreams and aspirations, you are truly really beautiful. But this myopic world judges the book by the cover, and so cannot see its actual worth. So stop being this way, you deserve a lot better. Stay happy, smile, make me smile”
Nneka wakes up. She realizes she has been dreaming. It’s eight o’clock in the morning. She mumbles a few prayers, and stands up. She goes to the mirror, there stands her reflection, staring at her, her adorable reflection. She smiles, it smiles, she smiles wider, it does the same. And soon they are laughing at each other.