I intently stare at my tear streamed face in the mirror and as though in a trance, transport myself to fifteen years ago; standing at this exact spot.
I feel nostalgic as I stand behind my younger self, longingly gazing at my optimistic and enthusiastic 11 year old persona: “I can’t wait to be in my 20’s.. and be independent.. and live happily with my other half” my fresh baby face would utter daily in affirmation, whilst excitedly gazing at herself in the mirror and twiddling with her hair. Dancing in excitement.. each passing day, the prospect of getting closer to adulthood screamed and welcomed ‘freedom’.
Her dreams and aspirations just a distance away. She couldn’t wait to be in control of her life once and for all; more than anything she couldn’t wait to meet ‘The One‘ and live happily ever after. Just like the happy endings in all the romantic books she indulged herself in daily. That is the one thing she had craved, fantasized and longed for since she began reading teen novels.
I stare at my now lifeless cloudy eyes, harbored by my perfectly arched brows. My lips firmed together in a forced smile and the flaring of my nostrils getting rapidly faster with each passing thought penetrating my mind.
“Where did it all go wrong?” I ask myself as I pick up my nude lip liner and apply it with precision across the perimeter of my lips. “Not bad” I think, as I scan the contents of my makeup bag in search for the perfect lipstick to match. Gazing at my reflection I see a young lady. Although debatable, at 27 some might consider me to be a full blown adult; I have a thriving career and have the luxury of owning my own business.
However, even with all these ‘achievements’ or what some might deem as ‘successes’, I still can’t help but feel empty. unfulfilled. bored. disengaged. Most of my childhood dreams had come true. Unfortunately the one I cherished the most has landed me in a series of emotional rollercoasters; undergoing manipulation, deceit, emotional abuse and constant attacks at my self esteem.
I wipe away the tears, pick up my concealer and conceal the eye bags beneath my eyes. “It’s Monday today, I have a series of meetings to attend and I cannot allow the outside world to see this vulnerable side of me” I think to myself. I powder my face and apply some mascara to accentuate and plump up my eyelashes.
I look at my reflection in the mirror and smile. Happy at the pretentious face I had managed to create for myself: “Thank God we don’t look like what we’ve been through” I tell myself, in the hopes that my brain would pick up on this affirmation and stop the constant negative train of thoughts.
Packing my collection of cosmetics, I cautiously glimpse at my watch. In horror, realising that my recollection of the past has led me to be late, I grab my handbag and sprint out of my house: “I cannot be late for this meeting!” I mutter severely whilst running towards my car.
• PART 1
© 2017 Victoria Olamide