Mitchell walked over to his bedroom cupboard. He opened the door and looked into the full length dress mirror that was secured on the inside. Hmm, no real changes from yesterday he thought as he considered the musculature of his fifteen year old frame. He turned this way and that, dipping his left shoulder towards the mirror and flexing his extended arm.. definitely a tricep there he thought to himself and he felt pleased with this visible result from last weeks pushups.
His attention moved away from his mirrored physique and strayed to his face. He looked back at himself looking at himself and smiled for a moment at the unrestrained vanity of the moment. He was using about a tub of that pimple stuff a week but it didn’t seem to be making much difference. He almost groaned out loud as he noticed a particularly virulent new arrival encratered halfway along his left nostril.
He heard his mother call him for dinner, “Mitch, dinner in five”!
He saw the letter sitting on the desk across the room. It had arrived today and even though he had requested the letter (a letter of reference for a college course he was keenly interested in) he was surprised that it had arrived so quickly and he was astounded at the image it portrayed of him. He had asked the gear steward at the local surf club; his surf club, to write the letter for him and after explaining what the letter would be used for it had promptly arrived three days later.
He turned back to the mirror and looked into it with intense concentration. He could not recognize the person that looked back at him who might be that person in the letter of reference. Where was the increasing maturity, the dedicated club member, the disciplined and talented competitor? He looked again in the wardrobe mirror, searching for those traits, hoping they would issue forth from his reflection like the zygot on his nose or the fledgling tricep on his arm. Where was the evidence that he would indeed be a “successful and valuable enrollee” in the Marine Tech course? He simply couldn’t see it.
His image darkened into a silouette the longer he stared at the mirror and the strange adult words swirled in varied fonts and formats around his head. Mitch had to close his eyes, but he could feel the stirrings of something within him; something that reading the letter from the tough, weather beaten old gear steward had strangely inflamed.