“In this uncontainable night, be the mystery at the crossroad of your senses, the meaning discovered there. And if the world has ceased to hear you, say to the silent earth: I flow. To the rushing water, speak: I am.”

There’s a point in everyone’s life, where they’ve to ultimately take the path that they had been trying to avoid, confront the situation they had pretended to forget, make the choice that they had, for long, been putting off. The point when life picks you up and places you on a crossroad. You look around, only to see that you’re left with all but one choice and that is, to finally make a choice.

I remember watching her looking at herself in the mirror. There was something that simply wouldn’t let her meet her own eye. I asked her, she chose to keep quiet. She looked again, and then looked away. No matter how much she tried, there was something that was holding her back.

“I am not beautiful” she said. Her forehead had a scar that reminded her of the unfortunate accident that had given her that unwanted memory for a lifetime. She’d touch her scar and moan. She’d then look at her hands. They narrated the stories of her bitter experiences.

“They don’t care about what I do. They care about how I look. They only care about how everyone looks.” She told me how she was tired of answering questions about that mark on her forehead. She wanted people to want to know her, apart from that one physical attribute that had stuck to her like her shadow. She hated it. For every unwanted incident that would happen, she had her scar to blame. For her, it was the reason behind her parents being embarrassed, for her lack of friends, for her ever-unfulfilled need for love. She wanted it to vanish so that she’d be ‘beautiful like the others.’

Nobody thought she’d ever change, until one day, one incident turned things upside down. Her sister, who had always played an instrumental role in reminding her of what people saw as a ‘blemish’ on her face and well, life, came running to her. She had burnt her hand accidently. For her, the world was over. Because she had always been proud of how beautiful she looked. If there was one thing she thanked her sister for, it was the fact that standing behind her sister would make her look all the more gorgeous.

Life had landed her on a crossroad. She had no roadmap. She had to choose between lamenting over her past and supporting her little sister, between forgetting her own worries and helping her sister realize there was more to the world than her physical beauty. She found herself telling her sister how everybody was alike, and plastic. And how just the two of them were different. How she could go wherever she wanted to without having to worry about being invisible in the crowd. About having her own identity. Suddenly, her view about her scar changed.

Suddenly, she found reasons to love herself. Suddenly, in the midst of helping her sister and closing old chapters, she found herself.

That one crossroad helped her come to terms with the unseen realities of life. She knew her choice at that moment would define the rest of her life, and she chose to let go of her past, to make way for her sister’s happiness. That one choice changed her life.

“That day, she stopped seeking validation. She finally breathed.”

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