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It was normal for Violette to have a lot on her mind. Maybe it was her ever-smiling face that made people forget she might have feelings of her own, thoughts wracking through her head, demons chasing her. She caught herself in the mirror across the room. It was a split second, but it was enough to put away the book she had been engrossed in for most of the day. She stood, and watched her reflection as she seemed to float across the room. In front of that mirror, she studied every move she made, and for the first time it felt almost foreign. That was a new feeling. A confusing feeling. She looked up, remembering a line she read not too long ago, “Her face pulled in confusion.” Staring at her own face, her delicate nose inches from the glass, features unchanging despite all of the feelings of confusion, worry… sadness. Before she could think, the mirror was in pieces, a small chip in the porcelain on her hand where it impacted.

Violette stared at the broken pieces on the floor. Three large chunks stood out, that same face reflected in all of them. She allowed herself a small, internal sigh before leaning down to clean the mess she made. Starting with the smaller bits, making sure she got every bit of sparkling dust and pieces so small they were almost imperceptible. Her thoughts raced with each sweep she made. She thought of waking among all the pebbles on the beach, all the people she’s seen, all the words she’s read, all the feelings she’s been feeling lately. When she was satisfied with the progress she turned to those three pieces still laying on the floor.

As she picked up the first piece, Tedrynn came to her mind immediately. Her maker, the one she called her family. When she was with Tedrynn, things were easy. She knew her purpose; cook, clean, listen, be present. She never once questioned her existence, happily going about her work making sure he was well cared for. She thought of the last night they spoke in her little room in the attic; how enthusiastic he was about a new project he was starting, the smile on his face as she danced around recalling details of the stories she had read. The morning that came after, she couldn’t bear to think of it. It was heavy, a burden she carried alone. As her face came back into focus, still staring into the bit of mirror, Violette realized only now how different things really were. How she questioned everything about herself, and how trapped she felt in the body he built for her. 

The second piece. Another wave of thoughts. Angel. What was it about Angel? Violette had only known of Angel’s feelings for her when they were pointed out by another, but how did she feel about Angel? For a while, it was nice to feel that she had a purpose. Knowing her hands brought comfort to someone was rewarding in a way, but for Angel it was more. The affection Violette felt was real, she knew that, but did it match what Angel was feeling? Even if it did, Violette knew little about her, and Angel knew even less about Violette. It felt like the only time they really talked was when they were out on jobs together, and Angel did her best to keep her safe, something Violette was grateful for, but how reliable would she be if things got worse? As the thoughts kept swimming, she felt almost guilty about them, how much she questioned Angel and how she felt about her. Angel had always been there for her. Who carried her out when she was so broken she couldn’t walk? Who made sure she made it somewhere she could be repaired? Violette shook her head and reached for the last piece of glass.

Aelwin. V couldn’t help but think of her. She had never trusted someone so fully so quickly, not since Tedrynn. Violette had made a kind of game out of how red she could make Aelwin’s face, and was quite proud of the time it spread all the way to the tip of her nose. That face… She was gentle, always aware, loyal. V recalled the cave, in the darkness when Aelwin not only took her hand to guide her, but told her when she had it. Just knowing brought comfort, she didn’t need to see it. V trusted Aelwin to not let her fall, but she was falling. The more Violette thought of Aelwin, a guilt started to well up inside her again. As much as she cared for her, she deserved more than what Violette could give her, someone more, with an actual heart. Even still, they made plans for a future that was pretty to think of, but was it even possible? Even with the help Aelwin promised, would she ever feel their fingers laced together? Their arms around each other? Her heartbeat. Her lips. A pretty dream, for sure, but still…

The floor was clean, but Violette still felt like a mess. Emotions she couldn’t express surged through her. What would it feel like to cry? Would that even make her feel better? No one would know how she was feeling. No one would check on her when she left the room with the wrapped up pieces of mirror. Her face, ever-smiling, wouldn’t crack.   

Edited by Kelsey
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