The faded black and white photograph sits idly on the vanity. My exact likeness stares out at me from within the flowered frame. We stare at each other, admiring the intricate feature we share. She seems to understand how lucky I was to inherit such beauty from her, the ideal embodiment of femininity. A sort of arrogance glints in her eyes; her plump lips seem to smirk. Her creamy, alabaster skin glows with confident. She is aloof, to say the least. I know everything about this woman, my grandmother, as well as myself, by this photograph. I am the spitting image of her. I know that I am much more than my sorry excuse of a mother. I know that there is more to me than her. Because of my grandmother, I know that I come from more than a disrespected, cheap drunk. This photograph of my grandmother shows me everything that I could ever be.
One day, I know I will leave this place I am forced to call home. I will abandon the lower-class without a second-glance the first chance I get. My deep resentment for where I come from is only soothed by the notion of all I could live up to one day. Even in this hopeless, miserable place, I will never let go of this slight trace of hope, mostly because it's the last thing I have to hold on to. Whenever the house is invaded by rats, or sewage fills the street, I remember how my grandmother wasn't suited for this life either.
I was spending my morning sitting at my vanity, brushing my hair, as usual. I heard a hoarse shout from down-stairs. I typically ignore her, so I just continued to brush my hair, my eyes fixed on my reflection. Without a warning, a ragged figure appears in the doorway, clutching a bottle. "What is it, Mom?" I ask irritably, upset to be ripped from my euphoria.
"I can't pay the bills this time. We might be evicted." She starts to sob. I feel my resentment boil inside of me. Even by working four jobs between the two of us, we couldn't keep up with our debts. If she cared about it, then she wouldn't be wasting all of our earnings on alcohol. My knuckles turned white as I clenched my fists. My head starts to pound.
Suddenly, Mom's head perks up. "You still have that old picture I gave you? It's just some actress from the 50's."
My heart sinks to the floor. With horror, I watch my reflection contort itself. My smouldering eyes, my flawless skin, and all my features twist. Suddenly, I am staring at my mother in the mirror.