Home > Contests > 25 Days of Romance > Reflections of Love

25 Days of Romance | Marianne Donley | A Slice of OrangeBy Sandra Paul

“I have a great idea!” I told my husband enthusiastically. “Why don’t we put mirrored closet doors in our bedroom? It will not only give the room more depth, it will bring in more light!”

“Why don’t we just buy another lamp?” he replied dryly. “It would be easier.”

Obviously, he didn’t share my enthusiasm. Possibly because I’d been coming up with “great” ideas to improve our fixer-upper ever since we’d bought it two years earlier. Since then, my husband had spent nearly every weekend replacing windows, repairing walls, re-roofing, hanging siding, ripping out carpets, nailing down floors, fixing plumbing, laying bricks, cementing, yanking out tree stumps, laying a lawn, drywalling, plastering, and painting.

All of which he now reminded me of in unnecessarily specific detail.

“But the bedroom is a special project,” I reminded him in turn. “I envision it as our personal, private haven where we can relax. A getaway from the kids, pets—and endless chores.”

I think it was the chore bit that got him. At any rate, he didn’t argue further but put in the mirrored doors for me the following Saturday. When he finished, I stood in the doorway of our newly redecorated room, admiring how the lamplight bounced from the softly glowing burgundy walls to the gleaming mirrored doors and back again. I was totally thrilled with the result of my latest great idea. . . until the next morning.

While lying on my side, I opened my eyes—and stared in horror at the image before me. Less than four feet away was my own reflection, revealed in unforgiving detail in the harsh morning light. My once blonde hair looked dull and lifeless. My eyes were red and swollen almost shut. My skin was puffy and blotchy.

Involuntarily, I made a sound between a horrified gasp and a moan that caused my husband to sit bolt upright next to me.

“What is it? Are you hurt?” he demanded, leaning over me. He tugged down the sheet I’d lifted to cover my face.

“No, it’s those mirrors!” I blurted without thinking. “I look so awful. And now I’m going to have to face that fact, every single morning when I wake up!”

His green eyes widened with surprise, and then narrowed on my face. He stared at me as if he’d never seen me before.

Which was so not true. I’d first met those green eyes when we were in high school. We’d now been married over 20 years, and during those years, we’d spent less than twenty nights apart. I’d studied his expression countless times during countless days, hours and seconds. There was no face on earth including my children’s, I suddenly realized, who I gazed at more often than his. And if that was true for me, then it had to be true for him as well.

Shuddering at the thought, I jumped out of bed as he started to say something, wishing I hadn’t called my looks—or lack thereof—to his attention. I kept busy all day, avoiding mirrors, avoiding my husband’s gaze. And I went to bed that night, determined to forget the whole thing.

But when I awoke the next morning, I was lying on my side again. And I knew, without even opening my eyes, that I was facing those darn mirrored doors. It doesn’t matter; just don’t look, I told myself. I took a deep breath, and resolutely opened my eyes.

My gaze locked; I stared at the doors in amazement. Then my eyes grew misty. But that didn’t matter, because what I saw is forever imprinted on my mind and heart.

Sheets of notebook paper covered the glass. On them my husband had written, “You are beautiful. And I love you.”

Sandra Paul

LAST CHANCE FOR MARRIAGE

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

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    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.
  • Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh!! That is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard. Your husband is an awesome guy.

    Louise

  • Anonymous says:

    Now that’s hero material! Love this story, and I think you’re ultra mah-velous!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wait! I *really* like you too. 🙂

    And that was such a cute story. What a sweet and wonderful guy. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Our men really do come through, don’t they? We all need to let go of our insecurites and just believe what they tell us. You do look “maahvelous.”

    Sandy

  • Anonymous says:

    But, guys! Don’t you know? We have a Bonus Blog coming up tomorrow by Maureen Child! Don’t miss it!

    (And thanks for the compliment. Hearing from two such maahvelous people that I look maahvelous, too, makes me feel sooooo special! Now I can look in the mirror and say, “Sandy, you are a special person, who is like no one else on earth–or possibly even on other faraway planets in distant galaxies that scientists don’t know about and haven’t discovered yet. And people (at least Michelle T. and Michele C. here on earth) really, really like you! 😉 Sandy

  • Anonymous says:

    Sandy,

    What a nice entry to end the 25 Days of Romance. So sweet! And I agree with Michelle T., you do look maaahvelous.

    Michele C.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sandy,
    Even though I’ve heard that story before, I always get a little choked up. Butch is such a sweetie!!! You are a lucky woman to have a husband who sees you through the eyes of love, not years. Although you look ” MARVELOUS” darling. I’m kinda of sad the 25 days of romance are over.
    MichelleT

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