Reflecting on the Future

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My grandparents had a mirror in their bathroom, opposite another mirror on parallel walls. I could see myself in a hundred rooms in a hundred rooms.

Sometimes I walk where memory shadows still linger: a former neighborhood sidewalk, a street route I drove when I first earned my driver’s license, that base of a tree where I sat with my love in that park.

I see me in the past and even remember the thoughts and feelings of those moments. I think how I will walk there again in the future, and wonder what I will feel then.

 

unsplash-logoAlessio Lin

Wilhelmina Winters: Thirty-Seven

Rob and Jakob pushed open the door in their usual chatty silence to find a truly noisy scene in their living room. Wil and her mother were trying to stop laughing, which also meant Cynthia was coughing in-between chuckles.

They both looked up and noticed the solemn men about the same time. Wil suppressed a rising giggle, her eyes still sparkling and her cheeks flushed. Cynthia finally calmed her breathing, but her happy features looked ready to burst in coughing chortles again.

Rob and Jakob looked between Wil and her mother. Their wintry seriousness melted into relaxed smiles. Happiness had not dawned in the Winters household for a long time.

“So?” Jakob asked, dropping his backpack on his chair. “What’s so funny?” He looked at them in his usual slumped stance, with raised eyebrows.

Rob clumped over to set his things down and wash his hands before coming to the couch.

“Well,” Cynthia began, as she sat up to make room for her husband to sit, “Wil was just telling me about her day.” She was good at keeping secrets, and caught Wil’s eye to be certain Wil wasn’t bothered by what she was saying.

Wil smiled gratefully at her mother. She didn’t mind them knowing, but guessed they wouldn’t be as amused as she and Cynthia had been.

“I got a secret note to solve, and we were trying all kinds of ideas to break the puzzle,” Wil said. She watched their expressions. Her mother looked at her encouragingly, her father looked mildly surprised, and Jakob kept his questioning face.

Wil smiled, then giggled a bit. “We realized the text was just backwards! Mom figured it out, then we read it in her makeup mirror.”

The men didn’t laugh.

“You see,” Cynthia explained, “We thought it was so much harder, then the solution was so simple!” She looked at Rob, who couldn’t help returning her beautiful smile.

He forced a believable chuckle. “Oh,” he said. “That is funny.” He looked over the couch at Jakob.

Jakob rolled his eyes, gave Wil a look and a sigh, then walked down the hall to his room.

Rob cleared his throat. “So,” he said. Wil and his wife turned to look at him. He cleared his throat again. “So, what did the note say?”

“Oh.” Wil said. She looked around her, located and grabbed the note and mirror, then gave them to her father.

“Special invitation to join our secret society,” he slowly read. He looked up at Wil, noting her excited expression. He sighed and smiled slightly at his favorite daughter’s moods, then continued reading, “If you accept, meet at the blue table at lunchtime tomorrow.”

 

Continued from Thirty-Six.
Keep reading to Thirty-Eight.

Self-reflection

“Do you love me?”

She doesn’t answer; won’t look me in the eye.

“I’ve tried! I want to do better, but I often don’t feel like it!”

She glances over, back again.

“I fed you. We went to the gym together. Remember that movie we watched?”

Nothing.

“I remember. You were laughing as much as I was. I saw you.”

The ceiling now holds her gaze, as she heaves a heavy sigh. I catch a few tears in my peripheral vision.

“Okay,” I relent. I reach over; our fingers touch.

Finally, I meet her deep, hopeful gaze.

“I’m sorry,” we say, then smile.

Meop Rorrim

noisserpxe yoc sti ,ecaf ruoy ees I
.nwo ym ot sdrawkcab yltcaxE
;keehc a nrut uoy ,worb a esiar uoY
.ecnad gnimim ym ni wollof I

I see your face, its coy expression
Exactly backwards to my own.
You raise a brow, you turn a cheek;
I follow in my miming dance.

gnivruc depahssim rieht ,srae ruoy ees I
yrtemmys neve gnitpmettA
gnilggig ;gnivom ,gnilggiw ecitcarp uoY
.dnuos a tuohtiw gnola hgual I

I see your ears, their misshaped curving
Attempting even symmetry.
You practice wiggling, moving; giggling.
I laugh along without a sound.

ni sdia ti kniht uoy ;lwocs uoy ees I
.neddih eb tonnac tahw gnidiH
,uoy ees em ees seye gniborp ruoy hguohT
.lla ruoy stcelfer weiv eye-ssalg yM

I see you scowl; you think it aids in
Hiding what cannot be hidden.
Though your probing eyes see me see you,
My glass-eye view reflects your all.