The man in the mirror.

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A lone figure sits in a window watching the first rain of the season wash away the long winter.

To all appearances the figure is a girl. She is wear a new pink dress. Her makeup is perfect. Her soft almond shaped eyes telling of her varied ancestry. The soft purple eyeshadow on her lids gives way to soft natural earth tones of brown and beige.

Her black eyeliner is only on the outside corner of her eyes while her black mascara makes her curled eyelashes look long and thick.

Her dress hugs her figure tightly displaying to the world all of her natural curves. She has never needed any padding to help her fill out any of her many outfits.

She has sat at the window watching and waiting for any of her family to show up. For you see today is her birthday. March 30 2010. Thirty years ago today she and her adoptive twin sister were born. Her sister is long gone off to Alberta somewhere leaving her alone in Manitoba since they were both eighteen.

It really was just coincidence that she and her adoptive sister were born to separate mothers, also long time best friends, on the same day. Her sister was born a week late while she herself was born two weeks early. Jaundiced and in need of an incubator she had struggled to live those first weeks as she was small at barley four pounds.

Every year of her young life she and her sister had celebrated their birthdays together, thick as thieves was used more than once for the two of them. As young children they had often spent many a time playing dressup, much to the amusement of their separate parents.

From a young age she was told that a birthday that was on the same day as her age is called a champagne birthday and something to celebrate.

Indeed her older sister and brother had had fancy birthdays for theirs. She remembered those birthdays fondly as it was large family gatherings where most of the uncles would get drunk and her fathers garage, normally quite filty and cluttered, was cleaned out and used to host the actual celebration.

The family farm had been sold years before long after the sudden death of her mother. There would be no more family gatherings at the old place. Many a morning she had woken to see one of her uncles or aunts in the kitchen cooking breakfast with her mother. She had tried to help a few times, always quite eager, but had been turned away.

Being turned away from helping other women and girls with their duties was nothing new. She had grown up used it. She went and played with her toys or watched cartoons and was quite happy.

As she grew older she still went every year to celebrate with her sister the birthdays but the days of dressup were long gone as it was considered too childish. She was still happy to spend time with her though.

She waited patiently, dreaming of her long awaited year for her champagne birthday. Planning and envisioning it as best she could. So many dreams for one such as her. It was always some new outfit, dressy of course, that she wore and was the center of attention beaming at how proud she was to get that long awaited "Good girl"

And yet here was the day. She had gotten up early and got herself ready over the course of three hours. Her long auburn hair with it's natural curls was held up in the back with a clip in pink bow that matched her dress quite well. Her red nails were perfect ovals. She had a delicate chain on one wrist and a ladies watch on the other. Her chain gold necklace with the small locket on it with her late mother's picture kept over her heart.

She had sat at the window waiting with anticipation for at least one of her family to arrive. Her house, meager as it was, was clean. All her dishes were done, the walls and ceiling had even been washed. Her soft dark plush carpet had been recently steam cleaned. In her fridge was a cake she had had specially made.

In pink Icing was her name and Happy Champagne birthday on it. It was a double dutch black chocolate cake with strawberry filling seperating the two levels. In the oven was her favorite pizza, three boxes worth.

On the kitchen table was the one single present she had gotten herself, all carefully wrapped with a pink bow on it. There was a card from her sister wishing her a happy birthday. There was a letter too explaining how she was fairly certain she was pregnant again. Her recently retired military husband was having troubles adjusting to civilian life so things were very tight. Still she sent her love via the hand written letter.

A hand written letter was special now a days. Everyone communicated by facebook or email. Still she could feel the love that only a handwritten letter could convey.

But from her family nothing. Not even a phone call. Still she waited with a smile on her face for her proud day. All day she had checked her house top to bottom tweaking or dusting here and there so that everything was perfect. She had been tempted to call one of her family to remind them. But that would be silly it was her special birthday.

So she sat in her dress and waited at the window. She saw the sky slowly darken with rain clouds. She saw the graveled covered streets and sidewalks as they soaked up the rain creating little rivers. She even had a little game she had not played since she was little of watching the last years leaves do races down the sidewalk visible from her window.

When night fell at last she knew they had not wanted to come. Her makeup soon had smudges as her tears gushed forth. Her heart hurt so much. How could they have done this to her. It was HER special day.

Had anyone passed they would have heard her heart wrench cries of absolute pain. It was a pain she had not felt in a very long time. All of her worries and stress got into the cry as the tears gushed forth.

It took her a long time to finish with the cry but when she did she went into the bathroom to look at herself. She was an absolute mess. Her makeup made her look like a clown. Looking in the mirror she sighed heavily. She had known it was possible they would not want to come.

You see she had not been born a woman. She had transitioned, or tried too, just a few short years ago. Her family had not been that accepting of her at all. In fact she had been quite terrified of her family when she told them.

She had not yet been disowned but it was a close call. They told her repeatedly that she had never been feminine or shown any female tendency. Yet her mother had taught her how to cook, sew and clean just like her sister. She believed her mother had always known she was a girl. That was why her mother's death had hurt her so bad.

Her friends constantly said how feminine she was and how it was no surprise that she would be a girl. Most had just said that's nice now come help me with ... whatever they wanted. Some had even said " well its about dam time".

With a sigh she took out the pizzas and though about tossing them and cake but just put it all in the fridge as she was not the least bit hungry.

She took off her dress and specially bought lingerie for this day. In her comfy but older nightie she went to the bathroom. She tied back her long hair into a bun and proceeded to wash her face of her makeup. She cried once or twice again but choked back her tears.

When she was done she looked up into that mirror.

You see all her friends told her she was quite pretty, beautiful even.

Yet all she saw was the much hated man in the mirror.

The end.



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This story is 1400 words long.