I step out of the shower, skin pink from the heat. Sometimes I try to scald the morning's fog away. It usually works.
I'm warm and cozy and steamed clean, feeling full of my blessings right now. I glance in the mirror. Not at my face but at the curve of my belly. I'm starting to look full now, too. Good.
It's when I lock with my own eyes that I see her. She's leaning into the glass, examining her face, frowning at her angular elbows. Her brows are furrowed. So critical.
What would I say if she could see me, too?
Would I tell her to ignore the boy at school who laughed at her skinny knees?
To throw away that eyeliner because its not you anyway?
To take calcium supplements starting now because you'll avoid that stress fracture sophomore year?
Should I remind her to thank her parents more genuinely because theirs is the kind of love that's real?
To inhale the scenery at every step, drinking in the journey, even though you can't see what's around the bend?
And should I tell her to just sit tight because see this belly? You'll meet this kid's father in about a year. If he seems like a nice guy from the start, believe me when I say he will mature into a fine man. The very best kind. And he'll never notice your skinny knees, I promise.
But I doubt that girl would listen to my words even if she could hear me. Her head is full of doubts and dreams, and I stand half a lifetime away from her....30 seemed so old when I was 15. My words wouldn't mean anything to her anyway. So I keep my mouth shut. She doesn't need to hear my voice. She's doing fine, finding her own way, even if she feels unsteady on her feet sometimes.
Besides, I really like where she ends up.
Playing with the NaBloWriMo prompt: what advice would you give your 15 year-old self?