"The Light in the Mirror," 2nd Prize Winner of the Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition
We are publishing "The Light in the Mirror" by AUBG student Irida Shyti, the second-prize winner in the prose category of the second annual Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition.
My mind started playing new tricks. I am not sure if they are tricks at this point, it might as well be the reality that I have been trying to dismiss for so long. I was looking at myself in the mirror the other day and suddenly I noticed a small blinking light. It was changing colors from every angle and I was struggling to explain this with a single word. I got so angry at myself, I started cursing and yelling and went to the living room to find a dictionary. I could not allow myself not to find the word for this phenomenon, otherwise the night would go by fighting with myself and not sleeping again.
I did not know where to start looking, which letter would represent this sudden change of color in my mirror. So, I thought of the first letter to start with. The letter ‘D’ floated up on my mind. It was so easy to think of D, since in the cover of the dictionary it was quite noticeable. But why did the author decide to make this letter so noticeable? Did he really want to emphasize this exact letter? Silly me, still getting caught at some details and forgetting about my mission, to find the word for the light in that mirror.
Now I must think where to focus. So many pages with words that start with ‘D’. All I can think of in my brain is a melody of the letter ‘D’. In the beginning, the melody is quite calm, reminding me of the beautiful calm days I have had. Then, suddenly, it gets intense, breathtaking and it fights to occupy every other space in my brain. I should calm down, otherwise this search will go forever. Maybe I should eat something and wait for the food to do its trick and calm me down. But, now that I think about it, it is not the food that does the trick, but it is the medications. Breathing intensifies and all I can think of now is eating. Eat, eat, and - eat. Wait. I found it, the second letter must be ‘E’. My mom would be so proud of me. She always thinks I have hard time making decisions, but here I am deciding what should go after ‘D’.
I start going through the pages and I caught some words there. The first word is ‘Dandelion’. It is such a funny word.. it sounds so funny in my head. Dandelion, dandelion, dandelion-this all I can think of now. When I was little, I was a true admirer of dandelions and would fight with my brother who always wanted to cut them. The funny thing is that as I grew up, I did not care about them anymore. Not only I let my brother cut them, but I even helped him to do it. It is strange how once we grow up, we destroy what we swore to protect. Maybe the dandelion hates me now, but I should not be concerned about that. Who cares if a flower loves or hates you. Who will she tell? The other flowers? And what will they do, unite against their true enemy? Damn it! I just spent this whole day thinking about this and not finding the word I am truly looking for. Stupid dandelions!-they are complotting against me and ruining my day. Now I must search the whole night for the word to describe those lights in the mirror. But did I actually see them? I mean, the mirror is in the end of the hallway, or in the entrance depending how you see it. In order to see a light reflected on it, there needs to be a source of a bigger light.
I closed my door, so the sunshine could not enter the hallway. My entrance door was also closed, because who leaves their entrance door open nowadays?! Now the question is- did I turn on the light in the hallway or did someone else do it? It is difficult for someone else to do it, since I am the only one living here, so the answer is me. Again, me who creates problems and situations and has to deal with them. Maybe dandelions are right to hate me. Maybe my parents are right to say I destroy everything. But is light really destroying things? I mean if you think about it, light is a necessity. Without light there would be no life, many will argue. But what if the light is so shinny that it blinds everyone? Is it still the lights’ fault or is it people’s fault who came too close to see it?
Alright, I really need to stop thinking about all of this and focus on finding my word. That is my mission and I am failing myself. I will turn the page and move from this dandelion madness. Oh, I noticed another word, ‘Depression’. Why did I even notice this word? As if depression has any connection with the light. I believe that this is something we can all agree, depression is the opposite of light. Who would even have the courage to say they are the same? This is getting on my nerves now, because I am finding all these stupid words that have nothing to do with the beautiful shiny light that changes colors in my mirror.
I must keep searching and be focused. But... Why do I need to keep searching? I just spent my whole day looking at this dictionary. I don’t even know if I am any close to finding this word and I have no clue if it actually starts with ‘De’. Now that I think about it, words were invented by someone, so I am currently looking in a book for a word that is supposed to define a phenomenon that I am seeing. I will invent my own word, I just need to come up with a good one. Hm.. Let me think of the letter it should start with. Probably.. Maybe with the letter ‘D’ and then should be followed up by ‘E’. I just need to decide what the other letters will be.