By Lahari Kanadamuru

“It hurts. Please help me.”

The girl looking at her reflection in the mirror seems broken. She is in her most vulnerable state now, having no one to talk to. None comes to her mind. All she could focus on is the reflection.

It didn’t feel like her. She felt as if she is looking at a stranger. Hair all over the place and forehead so perfectly proportioned. Thick eyebrows. Vulnerable, clear and sharp eyes searching. A sharp nose. Soft lips. Everything fit well in an oval-shaped face.

Despite many catchy features her gaze went back to her eyes. Deep, soulful, beautiful eyes. She never could understand if the eye colour is dark brown or black. But it isn’t why she kept going back to them. She could see the eyes reaching out to her to make the pain go away. They are calling to her for help.

And a silent tear escaped the corner of her eyes as she looked away in defeat, unable to help. It was a bad day for her for no particular reason. Everything outside the door felt so overwhelming she needed a moment to herself. She hid in a washroom.

What started as a tear has now become a full-grown sob and her legs gave up. She crumbled to the floor, covering her mouth with her hands trying to rein in the sound. So many things were running through her mind. Her face is wet from tears pooled in her hands. They felt warm and she welcomed it. It was comforting and she couldn’t help but wonder how she can cry that much.

She was hoping someone would come knock on the door and ask, “How long are you gonna be?” Or something like that so she can say something lame and let them know she isn’t feeling well. What may have been three minutes felt like three hours. It took a lot to calm her racing heart and thoughts creeping up in her mind.

Thoughts she don’t want to encourage. Thoughts that had made her go through hell.

Holding the wall, she lifted herself up to face the reflection again. She didn’t know how to describe the person looking at her in the mirror. Lifeless? It stunned her to see what she described as soulful a while ago turning lifeless.

Reaching out for the cleanser, she wiped her face and managed to make it presentable enough. Yet if someone looks closely they will be able to say she cried. Her blood-shot eyes were further proof of that. She gathered energy that’s left of her, looked straight into the eyes of the reflection and said, “You are a fighter. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it. You are the strongest, fiercest person I ever know. You will be more than alright.”

She unbolted the door, turned off the lights, locked it from the outside and let out a breath. As if she is preparing for a battle. Entering the other room and the laughing crowd, she felt the same uneasy feeling creeping in. Damn, she thought. With a fake smile on her lip, she rejoined the conversation. It hurt her that nobody even realised she was gone. That feeling invoked a deep shudder in her body.

Loneliness, anxiety and depression – one point, me – zero, was what’s on her mind as she picked up the knife.

About the Author: Lahari is a writer currently based in Bengaluru, India. A philomath by nature, she is particularly interested in the domain of mental health. She can be reached at

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