K. woke up the next morning and found herself curled up into a tight ball. Her body hurt from being crunched for better part of the night and sleeping on the cold floor for hours. Gingerly she stretched her legs and her feet touched the cold floor beneath.
The late morning sun peeped gently into her balcony, softly warming her aching body and soul. She sat up and looked out at the city that she could now see clearly. There were buildings, row houses, commercial buildings, little streets cutting across and dotted with tiny cars going about their daily routine. Life went on around her.
As she basked in the warm golden sun, slowly her mind sorted through the painful memories of the previous evening, her heartache, the pain, and yes, the voice in the mirror. She smiled at the memory of her argument with the voice in the mirror. The night out in the open had brought in perspective to her situation. She felt lighter and, strangely, freer. She leaned into the still dark bedroom and smiled at the mirror. ‘Thank you for last night,’ she murmured.
She turned her attention back to the city, looking at it over the edges of her outstretched legs and toes. As she watched the world live out its daily life, she noticed the nail of her left big toe had chipped and become sharp. Pulling up her foot towards to her, she examined it closely. Hmm, need to cut it before I hurt myself or someone else with it.
She stood up, stretched her full self to golden rays of the comforting sun, threw her head back and just enjoyed feeling the pull in her spine. There was something powerful about the rays of the sun. She had always felt healed by the sun, when the world around her left her torn and battered inside. Eyes shut, she turned on her toes, arms stretched out welcoming the healing rays. Her long black hair fell back as she turned and somewhere deep inside her, she felt laughter rising. Like little bubbles rising in a glass of spring water, they rushed to the surface of her very being, and reached her lips. She laughed, a soft sweet laughter of girl, memories of her running home from school on the last day of the term flooded her being. Yellow flowers on the wayside, fresh green grass, the happy roads, the warm breeze in her wild hair… and the sound of her twinkling laughter rang in her ears. She was happy, and free. With a smile on her lips, she opened her eyes to find a butterfly flitting around the pink flowers of her ledge.
‘Butterfly,’ she thought to herself, ‘time for transformation!’ She stood and watched the pretty yellow creature dart around between the leaves, flowers, rise up to the sun beam and fly away. In this moment, she felt happy, complete and ready to step into the world again. Sure, the incident had left her hurt, and definitely scarred, but she was a strong girl. She knew how to pick up the pieces and get on with her life again. That is what she aimed to do now.
She stepped into her bedroom, walked up to her mirror, ran her fingers through her hair, and smiled at the face that looked back at her. ‘Good morning, K. You are looking better this morning! Are you ready for what the world has to offer you today? Good, get ready and get with it!’
~ Bharti Athray