I stood naked beside our marital bed, gazing at myself in my grandma’s antique vanity mirror. A surreal fog swirled at my feet, and I was amazingly alert.
I knew it had to be a dream.
First of all, I absolutely never sleep nude. Not even in July. I hate it, and I always end up having weird dreams, kind of like this one.
Also, my aunt possesses Grandma’s coveted vanity, and any type of smoky aura in the house at three AM is usually a bad sign. None of this fazed me for a millisecond; therefore, a dream did this make.
The full-length oblong mirror cast a subtle illumination on me. I observed the lines and contours of my figure—the tight, womanly curves that created sultry shadows in their dips and hollows.
A familiar voice spoke from the corner, “God sure did know what He was doing when he made woman. We’re so pretty we can’t help gawkin’ at ourselves.” She laughed from her belly, exactly as I remembered.
I blushed, “Hi, Grandma. How’s Heaven treating you?”
“Not too shabby, bebe-gurl. I am ‘bout ready for that big ol’ trumpet to blow so I can try out my glorified body. Ya’ know who you get that gorgeous body from, dontcha? Moi.”
I thought of Grandma when I saw her last: gaudy clothes, chunky jewelry, gaudy shoes, chunky midsection.
“Oh, bebe-gurl, I know whatcha thinkin’—I didn’t get old and fat overnight, ya know. Look for yourself.”
The mirror appeared to be rippling water. As it gradually stilled, the image of Grandma in her early twenties—also frighteningly nude—stared back at me. The resemblance was overwhelming.
“Well, bebe-gurl, after you pick your jaw off the floor, I’ve got somethin’ to show ya. I know you and that lovely husband of yours have been talkin’ bout started your family…”
“Grandma, gross! Oh, please tell me you don’t visit us—“
“Get a hold a yourself, gurl.
“Now, think of this as an informed consent presentation. Ya ain’t gonna be able to say ya didn’t know what hit ya…ready?”
“I-I guess so.”
The mirror shimmered, and my reflection assumed a time elapsed rapid gestational period. My flat stomach swelled till my navel protruded; my chest inflated until it rested on my ginormous belly.
“Turn around a tad, bebe. Same issues in the rear. And notice the deep, red grooves everywhere.”
Grandma chuckled, “Just wait.”
The time elapse continued. The giant belly was evacuated, leaving a wilted, permanently puckered balloon of flesh dangling from my torso.
“Yeah, and don’t forget about the stitches, bebe-gurl.”
“Ohh…I’ll have a cesarean?”
“No. Fewer stitches—worse location.”
“Huh?” It took several moments before it hit me fully, “Oh…Ohhhh!” My entire body shuddered.
“You betcha, bebe. That smarts somethin’ awful. But keep watching.”
My chest got even bigger and dark circles formed under my eyes. There was a flash of me nursing a tiny infant with soft curls on its head.
Grandma’s mirror showed my full figure again; I could see my pouch-o-deflated-skin, my widened hips capped with the dreaded “muffin top”. The shadows beneath my eyes began to ease, but simultaneously my bosom withered and drooped miserably.
“Your twin fawns of a gazelle will truly be browsing among the lilies then, bebe-gurl.”
“And those feet of yours will be almost two whole sizes bigger. Not a single shoe in that big ol’ closet will ever fit again.”
“That’s just plain mean, Grandma.”
“Yes, bebe, but you tell me, is it all worth the trade?”
In a sliver of time, I saw a lifetime of images flash across her mirror: three different baby faces, pink dresses, school buses, birthday cakes, graduation gowns, wedding dresses, and many more precious tiny faces. I barely noticed my aging image in the peripheral of the scenes. The streaming vision pummeled my senses, filling my chest like the crescendo and climax of a powerful hymn. I began to weep.
“Oh, yes. A thousand times, yes...” I looked to our bed, “But will he still think I’m beautiful?”
“Oh, yes, bebe-gurl. A thousand times, yes.”
I awoke with a jolt. Grandma and her prophetic mirror, gone.
A thousand times, yes…
I sighed. In all its frightening glory, my dream bestowed me with something remarkable—peace.
I reached for my husband, who was already watching me.
He smiled. “What are you thinking about, Beautiful?”
I smiled. “What do you think I’m thinking about?” I eased towards him.