Her questioning blue eyes reflected the sun rays coming in through the ripped shade in the kitchen. The hole in it was just enough to make her squint.
“Why are some people policemen while others are drug dealers? And why are some lawyers while others are prostitutes? Do the people who settle for less than they are know they could be more?”
He looked down into those blue eyes that spoke out loud. Without saying a word, he just held her gaze for what seemed like an hour.
It was only 3 seconds.
“Yes baby… I don’t know. But that’s a real good question. How did you get so smart so young?”
She was annoyed by his patronizing of her childish question.
He was embarrassed that he didn’t know how to answer his 9 year old daughter.
“I wish I knew,” He managed to choke out.
She knew all along.
And all those years later, when she remembered the conversation vividly, she knew that was the turning point in her life.
A nine-year old who knew what she wanted to be, and more importantly a nine-year old who knew she could be more than she would eventually settle for.
A failed relationship. Thoughts of suicide. Countless losses of those close.
The death of a loved one, so quickly and so young.
A miserable living. Hating work, hating home, hating everything that she touched.
Maybe she didn’t know anymore.
That nine-year old convinced her otherwise.
A failed marriage. A sick parent. A dying friend.
And then, it was clear.
She stopped listening to her.
The nine-year old was screaming on mute.
The closed caption, turned off.
The ability to understand or read lips or even want to know was slipping away.
She lost everything. Or so it seemed.
When all of a sudden, her mirror opened, much like her heart again for the 17th time. The “Maybe it will work out this time” mantras started to beat their tattered drum.
And all of a sudden she turned and faced the mirror on a nondescript wednesday and caught those nine-year old eyes in the mirror.
“Do the people who settle for less than they are know they can be more?”
And the truth shot back like a piercing reflection.
She knew all along.