On Second Glance


Lawrence glanced at the half-clean mirror hanging on the back of his bedroom door before exiting. The house rules were always to brush your teeth before going downstairs for breakfast. He turned the doorknob to the bathroom and pushed open the door. The sunlight shining through the window blinded his eyes. He released the knob and lifted his arm to shield his eyes. His temporary blindness limited his vision to colors of black and blue with specks of white flying around. The see-through curtain hanging in the window was useless.

Lawrence couldn’t figure out why his mom had a curtain in the window if it let in all the sunlight from outside. He turned his face away from the light and looked into the bathroom mirror. His eyes were adjusting back to normal, and he lifted his toothbrush from the holder and pulled open the top drawer underneath counter. The spotless mirror in front of him reflected a slightly rounded face looking back at him. He had a red spot just below his left eye where he was bitten by a bug the night before.

He had stayed outside late having a treasure hunt with his friends. His parents ended it when they called him in for the night. It was about 10 o’clock then. It was the first time he ever had a night-time treasure hunt. It was dark outside. Only the light beams from the flashlights held by the players and the sounds of their yelling voices cut through the night air. The light beams reminded Lawrence and his friends of a science fiction movie they had watched together. Recalling the movie added a sense of adventure and thrill to the night-time hunt. When they found something, they would identify themselves using a character’s name and call out the name of the item to be crossed off the list. They started out with a list of ten things to find.  Three were left when his parents interrupted the game.  Thoughts of last night were still in his mind when he noticed the sleep crust sticking to the inside corners of his eyes. He didn’t bother to knock it out right then because he didn’t feel like being awake anyway.

 Lawrence squeezed a thick layer of toothpaste on his toothbrush and started brushing. Toothpaste spattered all over the mirror in front of his face. It looked like he had some kind of disease, and his eyes widened with more interest. He made up a name for his new disease, “pasty pox,” he thought to himself. It was like the chicken pox but with toothpaste instead, and the white spots weren’t stuck to his face. He rinsed his toothbrush and placed it on the counter next to the uncapped tube of toothpaste.

He dragged his feet across the plush gray carpet back to his quiet, partially darkened room and looked into his mirror again. He wondered to himself why he was up so early. Why was he brushing his teeth so early? Why was he going downstairs so early in the morning? Why did the sun blind his eyes when he went into the bathroom? And now, standing back in front of the half-clean mirror in his room, he wondered why did the smudge marks on it give him blurry vision?

He pondered answers to all the questions that popped into his head. Then he suddenly realized that it was Saturday morning! There was no need to be awake another minute or to answer any of these questions. He could save all of them for Monday morning before he went back to school. He was 100 percent sure that all the same issues would reappear. They have for years. And after all, today was Saturday, a day for rest, not a day for worry.

On second glance, he decided to get back into bed, bury himself under the soft blankets, and close his eyes. Breakfast could wait.


 Have a comment? Write it below.



Comments: 1
  • #1

    Thomas Man (Wednesday, 15 May 2019 12:57)

    Very cute story. I think kids would enjoy this!