The Reflection in the Mirror – by SEBNEM SANDERS

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The Reflection In The Mirror


It didn’t begin in the elevator, but it started with the photograph taken in the elevator. My niece, Lara, sent me the picture from Berlin. The black and white shot could have been from a classy fashion magazine. A trendy couple, both wearing hats and dark sunglasses, and confidence clothes only young people look good in. Casually elegant, street-style, very Berlin.

I saved the photo and kept looking at it, until it dawned on me. The mobile snap summarized all my feelings. It was the reflection in the mirror, the split image on the right that showed her in two parts. In one portion, she’s half of a couple, in the other she’s following her dreams. This was my worry, what I wanted to say. Don’t stop chasing your personal goals. Don’t allow yourself to be submerged by your lover’s wants and needs. Don’t compromise on your ideals. You’re doing so well …

These thoughts had occupied my mind, ever since the carefree party girl began to date this young man. Will she let him change her plans? No, she won’t, she’s too smart for that. Should I talk to her, say something? My gut feeling said, No. Besides, who am I to give advice? I’ve done exactly what I fear for her, not once, but twice.

Did advice work? NO. Does anyone learn from advice? NO. So, does it make you a worthy person to try to protect someone from making a mistake, if this is one? You haven’t even met the guy. You’re imagining things to satisfy your ego. I told you so, I warned you. I’m free now, blah, blah …

Let her learn from her mistakes. She’s entitled to that. Set her free from your experience and baggage. Let her deal with her own Karma. Maybe she’ll be happier this way. Don’t be judgemental. Who are you, her guardian angel?

You’re making up stories. Maybe they’re not in an elevator. Perhaps they’re just strolling out of the hotel lobby or a restaurant. The split image is a convenient coincidence, you’re using it to transfer your anxieties.

Next time I spoke with Lara, I said I loved the photo and asked who took it. She said she did, capturing their reflection in the elevator mirror, with her phone. She also told me there’s a special process for converting the pictures into black and white images. Something I must learn.

All I said was, “I find it very inspiring. I’m going to write a story about it.”



Sebnem E. Sanders is a native of Istanbul, Turkey. Currently she lives on the Eastern shores of the Southern Aegean Sea where she dreams and writes Flash Fiction and Flash Poesy, as well as longer works of fiction. Her flash stories have been published on the Authonomy Blog,  The Drabble, and  Sick Lit Magazine. More information on her work can be found at her website: where she publishes some of her work.


**Featured image courtesy of Sebnem Sanders**

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