It began one evening like any other. I was peering into the mirror, observing the dark circles under my eyes, the way my pale flesh sagged from my cheekbones. I used to be a pretty girl. But the brightness in my eyes had dimmed since youth.
My fiancé Garrett had not commented on my waning beauty, but I could sense the judgment in his glance. His eyes now drifted over my face, unfocused. His hands didn’t touch me with the same warmth.
I was halfheartedly applying lipstick in the bathroom mirror for our dinner date when I spotted it, a single hair sprouting from the mole underneath my chin.
I dropped my lipstick in horror. Good god! Did my eyes deceive me? Or did I really possess such an unsightly feature?
“So……you’ve finally found me.” the chin hair hissed. “It took you long enough.”
I gasped and jumped back from the mirror. “Who are you?” I whispered. “And why have you come to torture me, you ugly, ugly thing.”
“Who am I? Why I am part of you” purred the chin hair. “More specifically, I am a metaphor for your difficult relationship with aging and female beauty”
I moved my face closer towards the mirror, examining my enemy. There it was. A chin hair, dark and wiry. Fingers trembling, I grasped at it. It was thick, and I could feel the firm root underneath my skin.
“It’s no use” the chin hair snickered. “I am part of you, and I am disgusting. You disgust everyone who lays eyes on you. You disgust Garrett…”
I kept my eyes locked on my reflection in the mirror, though my heart was beating through my chest. With my left hand, I fumbled around in the bathroom drawer. The tweezers…I knew I had them somewhere…
“Honey? Are you almost ready? We don’t want to miss our dinner reservation!” my fiancé Garrett called from the other room.
“I’ll be out in a minute!” I called back, trying to hide the panic in my voice. I was flooded with a sudden wave of anger towards Garrett. He would never understand the pains I took to cultivate my appearance. The fastidious rituals of the female beauty routine. My labors were invisible, yet my imperfections were glaring. I would never be anything to him but a tarnished treasure, a wilting flower that could not survive the end of spring…
“He no longer wants you” chuckled the chin hair. “Your beauty is gone, and with it your value to him. He will leave you soon…. if you do not leave him first….”
“You cannot ruin me, chin hair!” I screamed, wielding the tweezers like a machete. “Just one little pluck, and I’ll pull you out!”
“Wait!” exclaimed the chin hair. “Wait a minute! I have a better idea! Let’s murder Garrett at midnight!”
I threw my head back in laughter, my body convulsing in mirth. The cackles coursed through my body, shaking me from my shoulders to my toes. “Oh chin hair…..oh chin hair…..”
I let the tweezers fall on the soft bathroom carpet. Gazing into the mirror, I reached up to stroke my chin hair. A slight smile parted my thin lips.
“Oh chin hair…..now we’re getting somewhere”