The Boy in the Mirror

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Nothing is truly as it seems. Some become good at faking their reality.

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It was a typical Friday morning for him. He woke up around 4 am, checked his phone in hopes someone missed him, dawned his natural frown when he saw no messages, and slumped to the bathroom.

He was different. He was a kid of average height, rarely talked, and as a result never really made any friends. The ones he did make were never really friends, they used him, and he knew this but it was the only friends he had, so he let them use him solely in fear of losing them.

He came out of the bathroom as fresh as can be, yet his face was still decorated in a frown. As custom he adourned his regular attire, his favourite jeans, his white t-shirt and hoody and stripped high tops. Before heading down stairs he went to the mirror and plastered on his best fake smile.

He had practised it ever since he was a kid. He grew up in a household where his parents encouraged him to be the strongest he could be, they even went as far as belittling him everytime he showed even the tiniest portion of weakness. As the years went on he began to be able to hide it and improve his fake smile. It was today that his fake smile was nearly perfect as he glanced in the mirror before packing his things and heading off to school.

The usual unfolded, bullies targeted him, fake friends glittered the hall like fractured diamonds, and teachers... the teachers... they were...

He got home and as custom ran upstairs, but things were different this time. He reached the top of the stairs where his room was, opened it up, and finally he was able to be himself. After hours of YouTube he got an unexpected message from one of his teachers. The message read as follows: "Dear Mr... I noticed you seemed a bit off in my class today. A few other teachers have noticed you've been acting strangely as well. As your class teacher I was hoping to reach out to try and see if everything is okay and ask if there is anything you want to discuss, personal or school related."

He jumped up from his bed. Impossible he thought to himself. He ran to his mirror, through on his fake smile and... everything seemed perfect. The smile, the shape of the cheeks, the chin position... but when he looked at his eyes in the mirror, they were red, tears slowly streaming out. His smile soon changed, and as he looked into the mirror he saw the very thing he feared the most, a vulnerable boy who was showing weakness. He tried to redo his smile but it would not come back no matter how hard he tried. Eventually he was tired. Tired of fake friends, tired of fake emotions, and tired of a fake him.

He walked over to his phone and message his teacher saying, "Thanks for your concern, I have been struggling a lot with mental issues due to everything that has been happening. I would really appreciate it if I could discuss them with you."

After a minute later, she replied with a thumbs up.

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