Sitting on the edge of the bed, toes grazing bare floorboards. Shoulders slumped, she stares at her reflection in the cracked second-hand mirror. A stranger gazes back at her; red-rimmed eyes and bed-crumpled hair, dishevelled, shell shocked and alien to her. Every inch of her skin prickles with forced indignation, each bone and muscle aching with weary disbelief. It hurts her to even take in gulps of air, lungs stinging each time she does so.
So many tangled thoughts spinning around in her mind, twisting confusion eating away at what was once a bright, vibrant character, all optimism now vanished. Soul in tatters, unravelling like a threadbare garment. Bleary eyes blink to gain some focus and again the stranger swirls into view.
“Who have I become?” she murmurs out loud, “Where did all this go wrong?…” The stranger’s lips move in sync with her own, no answers are returned.
Her face is wet, long trails of tears flow freely over her cheeks, nose and lips. Each tear contains undiluted sorrow and what little remains of her self belief and sanity. Her fingers knotted tightly together, wringing her hands as she begs for someone, anyone to hear her prayers and pleas for mercy.
She watches as her tears make their tracks over her pale skin, burning as they go, slithering down her neck. She has no energy to even wipe them away, just lets them drip like acid rain from her eyes; their corrosion and destruction devouring her.
Her reflection watches also, intently seeing all she sees. Finally her eyes flicker downwards and watch as her spilled tears soak into the over-sized T-shirt she is wearing. The one which she put on the night before, to comfort her with the scent of him, as if the garment could hold her, the way his arms and his love used to.
The tears reach the end of their journey, like rivers and streams as they meet the ocean. All that’s left are the tell-tale salt water stains that seep into and settle on the fabric.
Maybe one day, when time has passed and the hurt has diminished, in a different time or place, he may take this very garment that adorns her broken body, take it from it’s drawer or hanger and wear it himself, but the secret of the tear stains will only ever be her own…..