She studied her face in the mirror and saw every imperfection no one else could see. Every clogged pore, every crease. But more than that, she saw her past. She could see tear stains from cries long ago like they were yesterday. She could see the mascara running down her face even though she wasn’t wearing any. She could feel the tears pooling around her lips and taste the salty reminders. You couldn’t see it, but she could.
After staring at herself for too long, her eyes started to burn. Closing them tightly she imagined her reflection from the back of her dry eyelids. She saw what she wanted to see, who she wanted to be. She saw straight teeth through a perfect smile and eyes shining bright with content, not tears. Every stain began to lift and evaporate like they never existed, like she never cried as hard as she did. You couldn’t imagine it, but she could.
Opening her eyes again she saw what everybody else saw, nobody.