She looked into her own eyes through her sunglasses. She was looking at her reflection, the reflection of herself that she so often stared at, and slowly drifted into a haze of her thoughts as the lunch table buzzed with mindless chitchat. People around her were talking but she paid no mind, to her, it was just noise.
She focused on her reflection. She often did this, usually when alarmed by the simple fact of being in her own skin. She saw an image of what she looked like, but felt that it would be so difficult to see who she was, what she was, just by looking at her.
What she saw was a pretty girl. Perhaps even a beautiful girl. But she seldom felt the way she looked. Growing up, she had always wanted to look the way she did. But now… how problematic could people think her life could be just by looking at her? Not that that was the problem, of course. But when things happen to you, awful things, dreadful things, how could people possibly take you seriously looking the way she did?
Did they believe the things she said? Probably. However, she thought, as she fell deeper and deeper into this self-induced trance, they probably believed that what she said was an extrapolation of the truth. Fiction, based on facts, but fiction nonetheless.
It wasn’t that she purposely wanted all the ugliness of her life reflected on her skin, that seemingly unscathed suit of flesh. But she couldn’t help but wonder how her appearance could reflect so little of what she felt.
Of course she knew that changing her appearance wouldn’t change anything. Because perhaps being ugly wouldn’t make people understand her, perhaps it would only make them look away.
The truth is that one only sees what one wants to see. What ones chooses to see. What one is prepared to take in. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But is ugliness as well?