I awake refreshed. Different. Smog filled thoughts and ideas flushed away. The mirrored image reflected as I dress for work increases my angst to stay in bed. Wrinkly, spotty, shadowy lines have been replaced with taut, smooth, even skin. An old face replaced with something youthful. Is that possible? Confidence replaces doubt. The usual dread of interacting with work acquaintances gone. I tell myself as I walk out the door, the woman I saw reflected back, the one I envied, the one I was jealous of, is me.
I briskly stride into the brick and mortar that pays my bills. Arms sway at my sides as I make eye contact with workmates. I flash a broad smile that is rarely seen. They respond to my positive energy and are drawn to me like a beam of light.
“Hi everyone,” I say, smile radiant.
I turn my attention to the quiet, tall handsome guy in our department.
“Good morning Waaizh.” I call him by his given name, not Wally, the made up one everybody found easier to say.
“Good morning,” he says, eyebrows raised, a smile directed at me. “How are you today?” he asks with genuine interest.
“I’m that girl,” I say wondering how he views my appearance.
“Taking work home trying to catch up with smart guys like you,” I hear myself flirt. “Need a change though. You guys still go out after work on Wednesdays?”
He seems taken aback that I inquired, but in a good way. I’m surprised too since I usually feigned interest in him for fear of rejection.
“We’ll be going out tonight after five. Would you like to come with us?” He asks me like it was his idea all along. I allow him to think so.
I check my makeup in the ladies room. My reflection snaps back pictures of youth, fearlessness, happiness, and a desire to be with people. I’m Cinderella. This is my day, and tonight will be my night.
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