I thought I am gifted in all ways and am empathetic, smart, genius, loving. I believed I have superfluous traits and striking beauty. The mirror showed me black hairs with soft curls falling below my waist, glowing hazel brown skin and large eyes with curled lashes. My dimpled smile makes me appear more beautiful.
I had a lot of complaints with everyone. These complaints never left me. I sat with Tooba and Maham and discussed how the world is going nuts. I felt depressed on seeing people doing wrong and communicated my thoughts about others openly. I discussed the weird dressing, diminishing morals and hypocrisy.
I couldn’t tolerate wrong, whenever I saw someone in need, I extended my help graciously. On 23rd November, I confronted Saba and Sara who had a fight. I brought them together in front of a bunch of kids and told them what a shame it was to behave like this. I frequently complained about my teachers to the principal when they were a bit laid back. I wouldn’t tolerate the misdoings of my siblings.
This made people avoid me, but I was happy as I did well and was just a perfect kid. There were only two people I liked, Tooba and Maham. They were my only friends. They agreed with whatever I said and seconded me in my social improvement cause.
Every day I told many people about their misdoings and how to seed goodness in themselves. I gave them my examples.
That evening it was raining, I called my two groupies and got ready. My mom said it’s not okay to go in the rain in the evening.”
I replied, “Mom I can take better care of myself, and you know how cautious I am, you need not worry.”
I went out to enjoy the rain. On my way, I commented on people on moving bizarrely; I said, “Look how arrogant people are, they do not cherish the creators blessing.”
I taunted on their clothes and even commented on the ways people enjoyed themselves in the rain. We reached the opening of a vast forest, and we decided to hang over in there so that we may distance ourselves from the foolishness of people around us.
The beauty seemed perfect. The greenish colors looked bright and vibrant. The chirps sounded beautiful. The flowers appeared dressed up for the party. I laughed and said, “Today the forest looks glorious like me.”
Both my groupies eyed me, and I saw the admiration in their eyes. I giggled, and we played.
We rested, and then my eyes caught a weird thing, which I never encountered in the forest before. It read ‘shadow valley.’ Mystified, I asked my groupies to explain to me what this thing was. They saw the tunnel like opening with awe. I sensed the fright in them and felt the same, yet I acted like a brave soul.
I walked towards the opening. On the door following words were engraved:
Fulfill the wish of seeing your true beauty and real worth. Since ancient times man desire to know their real worth and beauty but very few have the chance of entering the shadow valley. It has a fantastic invisible mirror that reflects your true self. Enter in it and bewilder yourself.
I smiled and thought, I am perfect, and I may be among the most beautiful and worthy creatures on mother earth. I stepped in confidently and saw my groupies shaking unwilling to move. They were indecisive, but I voiced, “Don’t be stubborn, let’s see the real beauty.”
Inside it was dark and damp. I walked and heard the thudding sound of my shoes. A sharp blue light replaced the darkness making us unable to see.
When we were able to see, I saw an opening with the dancing alphabet ‘Shadows of reflection.’
I entered and saw nothing. I laughed saying, “No mirrors. Who will show us our true self?”
Just then I heard an ugly sound saying, “me.”
I turned to face the sound and stood motionless. I saw three dark shadowed creatures. They looked horrible, reshaped and ugly with a striking resemblance to my friends and me. They had our height, our features yet their dark color and tightly shut lips and coldness in eyes made them look so evil.
I shouted gathering my courage, “who are you?”
The shadows replied in harsh sound “We are your inner self, don’t you think we are perfect and beautiful, ready to help everyone.”
“No, I am not as ugly as you,” I backed tangling in my friends who always stood behind me. I stood up and ran and heard a lot of footsteps behind me. I turned back and saw my friends and the shadows running and saying, “We will become your face, we will become your face.”
I woke up shouting. I jumped from my bed and saw my features in the mirror. They stood the same, beautiful and mesmerizing. Behind them, I could sense the arrogance and superiority complex. I went back to my bed as I knew my true beauty.
I cried for many days, with the shadows not leaving my mind.
That day, I saw my cousin coming in. She stood beside me saying, “Amina you look glorious in any form.” I went to her and touching her puffed cheeks said, “You look adorable as well.”
She eyed me surprised as I always told her how her slightly increased weight is spoiling her beauty. She voiced, “Are you sure, do I look beautiful?”
I smiled and answered, “You look adorable.”
She smiled sweetly at me, and I knew how I could get rid of the vision of shadow that wasn’t leaving me.