The Cracked Reflection: A Short Story
Sara’s eyes opened for the seventh time that night. She hadn’t slept properly in over two weeks. Could it be because of too much homework? Excess phone time? No, she was stuck in her head again. Sara got frequent migraines, but this was different. She couldn’t stop thinking. As she lay awake, she thought about the life she has. She doesn’t live the dramatic life she watches on TV, she doesn’t go on adventures like in the books she reads. In fact the only place she’s ever been was Boston, which was only to visit her sister in MIT. Sara always compared herself to her sister, a genius attending her dream college, but Sara? She sits around at home, waiting for her sister to come back. Sara felt she had no purpose.
Half an hour after Sara had woken up, the klaxon sound of her alarm filled the room. She peered out her window looking at the black sky, spattered with stars. She hauled herself out of bed and kicked around her dirty clothes strewn around the floor, straightening the green screen she had draped over the full length mirror in her room. She held her phone outstretched as she threw on her wool hat quickly adjusting her hair and snapping a picture. She looked at it sadly from the wooden chair at her desk on her tattered pillow. There she was in that picture, living it up. She was standing outside in the snow, as the sky began to turn orange with the arrival of the sun. But that wasn’t really Sara. That was @pixel_88. @pixel_88 has done so much with her life. Sara sighed heavily and got ready for school.
School was the same as it always was. Sara was passing to her last class, happy for a few moments. She couldn’t wait for winter break which started in less than 45 minutes! She thought about all she could do, the places she would see, the people she would meet. Then she realized, that wasn’t who she was. That was @pixel_88. Sara would most likely be sitting at home, writing the stories that no one would ever read. Her friend had always encouraged her to publish them, but Sara had always been too scared. She didn’t know what others would think, and she didn’t want to.
After the eternity Sara spent in her last period class, she was thrilled to be rid of assignments for a week, joyously reading books, where she may be able to craft @pixel_88’s new adventures. But she noticed something off as she walked home. Several people laughed at her as she walked by them. She quickly glanced at her phone. Several comments- no several thousand comments- on her sunrise picture filled the screen. They know. They’ve figured out her lies. She looked over the post before miserably hiding her head in her hands. The green screen was folded, revealing the company tag on the back.
Sara didn’t know why she did this, causing herself more misery, but she read through all the gibes and taunts. There were tears in her eyes by the time she reached home.
“Oh, you’re back! How was—”
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” cried Sara as she ran past her mother, slamming her room door shut behind her. Sara paced around the room, tears gushing from her eyes. She violently swung her phone at the mirror where her green screen was half torn down. She didn’t know if she was relieved, angry, confused, upset? For better or for worse, she didn’t have to live that lie anymore. She sunk against her bedroom wall next to the shards of glass, gingerly picking one up. The floor was being sprinkled with the blood of Sara’s feet as she walked across the shards to pick up her phone. She stared into it’s cracked face, almost, her tears entering the cracks. As she looked at it, she thought, This isn’t the real me, before she looked for her old story, breathed in, and hit publish.