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Mirror, The (By Anonymous)
|Matt was a freshman at a large midwestern university. He lived in a dormitory with a hundred other young men and women. Matt wasn't what you'd call the outgoing type, but he was friendly enough in his way. As a 4.0 student, he was much in demand whenever a class assignment came due. He would go running every afternoon, and play cards late into the night. To all appearances, he led a simple, pleasant life.
Yet, had anyone ever looked closely, something wasn't quite right. Matt never discussed his personal life. He would laugh at other's jokes and stories, but never told any of his own. Nor did he ever show the slightest romantic interest in anyone, male or female. When it came to drama of any kind, Matt was a black hole.
Eventually, someone noticed. Allen was a neighbor of Matt's, a senior from down the hall whom he knew only casually. Nonetheless, Allen had been keeping an eye on Matt all year, becoming increasingly puzzled. No one is truly asexual, he believed, and if they seemed to be, well, there was a part of themselves that they weren't allowing the world to see.
One evening, Allen stopped Matt in the hall. "Do you have a few minutes?"
"Um... sure, I suppose."
"Come to my room." They made their way down to his suite and sat down. "So, um, you're probably wanting to know why I asked you here. I don't want to be rude or anything, but I think that being direct is the best approach. So what I wanted to ask is: are you gay?"
A very long pause.
"Well, I've never told anyone this before, but yes, I am," Matt finally whispered.
"I figured as much."
"But how did you know?"
"It takes one to know one."
Matt gasped. "You mean you're..."
"Yup. I saw the way you looked at me sometimes, and I had a feeling. Besides that, the way you never talked about your love life, or even your lack of one, made me suspicious."
"Wow, I figured no one would ever suspect. I've known for a while now, but I didn't have the courage to tell anyone."
"But don't you feel better now that you have?"
"Well, now that you mention it, I guess I kinda do." Matt smiled a cautious smile.
The two of them talked long into the night, talking about how they'd discovered their sexualities, how they'd come to terms with it, even which of their neighbors they thought were cute. Finally, Allen asked, "So... have you ever had a boyfriend."
"Any particular reason why not?"
"Guess I've never really had the opportunity. Besides, look at me, who'd want to go out with me?"
Allen blinked at Matt in total confusion for several seconds, then his face set into a frown.
"Come with me," he said, leading Matt over to the mirror above his bathroom sink.
"Tell me what you see."
"Describe yourself. I want to know what you see in the mirror."
"Well, this is kinda wierd, but okay... I'm a skinny white boy, I guess. Pale skin. Short hair that I can never do anything with, eyes that are no particular color, and a goatee that just looks stupid. Scrawny neck. Flat chest. Stove-pipe arms. Hairy legs, even though the rest of me isn't. And a dick so average it's an international standard. I guess you could say there isn't an ounce of fat on me - not that there's an ounce of anything else, either. Oh yeah, I'm a real catch for some lucky guy."
Allen's frown grew deeper through the increasingly self-critical monologue. Finally, he broke in.
"Take off your shirt and pants."
"I said, take off your clothes. Trust me. It's not like I'm going to molest you or anything."
"Well... okay, I suppose." Matt dutifully took off the t-shirt and jeans he had on, leaving him clad only in a pair of blue shorts. He avoided looking at the mirror, having never particularly enjoyed seeing himself in it.
"This is your lucky day," Allen said. "This mirror is a magic mirror."
"Excuse me? Now you're just making fun of me."
"No, really, it is. Close your eyes." Matt complied, but managed to roll them melodramatically first.
"Imagine yourself going to the gym, every day, all year. It makes you feel energized, and gives you an excuse to ogle all the cute guys, too. Little by little, as the months pass, you begin to see results. First your arms begin to expand a little, and for the first time in your life, you can see your biceps. Then your traps start to fill out too, and your neck expands a bit, so your head doesn't look like it's on a stick anymore. Next comes your thighs, which get a little bigger around every day, until sometimes they rub together when you walk. Isn't that a great feeling?"
"Oh, but you're not done yet. All those sit-ups you do every day are helping too, and one day you notice the faintest outline of a six-pack on your abdomen. You can't help tracing it out with your finger every time your mind wanders, never expecting to possess such a beautiful stomach. Your pecs, too, have started to inch outward from your chest. You may not quite be a muscle god, but there's definately a shadow beneath them."
"The muscles aren't the only thing that gets bigger about you. You stand taller as your confidence increases, seeming like more than your six feet. You try things with your hair, spiking it with gel, highlighting it with blonde. Oh, and how could I forget the most important thing? Your dick doesn't double in size overnight or anything, but you swear it looks a bit longer, a bit harder than it did before."
"It's all so subtle, your friends can't quite put their finger on it, but there's no denying it: you're a hunk now. You're a man that men fantasize about a night, and would do anything to get into bed. You're desireable. You're beautiful."
"Now, open your eyes."
Matt gaped in shock. "What... how... I don't understand... this can't be real..."
"Oh, I assure you, it's very real."
"I... this... this body is mine?"
"Yes, it is, and everything I said about it is true."
"But how will I explain this to my friends... my parents... I hardly look like myself."
"What's to explain? You've always looked this way."
"Wow. Just... wow. I don't know how to thank you. This is like some sort of a dream." Matt wrapped his suddenly-stronger arms around Allen and pulled him in for a lingering kiss that left them both a little dazed.
"You don't need to thank me," Allen finally managed. "It was the least I could do."
"That's some mirror you've got there."
"This thing? It's just an ordinary mirror, same as the one in every other room."
"But you said..."
"I said that you've always looked this way. And so you have. You just couldn't see it. All those years of telling yourself you weren't attractive, weren't desireable, messed your self-perception up a little bit. The mind sees what it wants to see. All I did was help you to see the truth."
Matt stood in shock for several minutes, trying to absorb all this. Finally, he smiled.
"So, do you want to help me break in this newly old body of mine? I told you I've never had a boyfriend..."
"It would be my pleasure. You are beautiful, after all." Allen took Matt's hand, and led him into the bedroom.
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