by Jennifer Weber
For the zillionth time I look into the mirror above the vanity in the master bathroom and think: I am fat, stupid, old, ugly, and useless... sometimes I wish I had never been born. For the billionth time I survey with contempt my unforgivably imperfect features and yearn helplessly for the mindset, the finances, the breaks, the epiphany, the serendipitous circumstances, that might magically liberate me from a rabid self-loathing that I fear has its roots in a hideous and impenetrable pride. For the millionth time I prepare to turn away and extinguish the light so as to hide my sorry self in darkness, giving up on my life yet again with a sigh of resignation, when I see what I thought I heard. For the thousandth time I witness the faint flicker of a flame lightening my own dark eyes when you round the corner, slide up behind me, put your arms firmly around my waist, bend your head to my neck where you breathe me and sip at my skin, say "Mmmmmm," then lift your honest eyes to meet mine somewhere in the depths of the silvered glass. For the hundredth time your enigmatic smile coupled with the frank desire conveyed by your urgent hands buoys me, validates me, carries me, comforts me, converts me, causes hope to effervesce within me, strives to convince me that I am worthy of this devotion. And with a joy that is like dawn breaking on every Christmas morning of the world, for the first time I believe it.
Jennifer Weber, author of Undone by Love, is a court reporter occupying an empty nest in South Carolina. When she grows up she wants to be a writer.