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Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder

164 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5164 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5164 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5164 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5164 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5 (164 votes, average: 4.15 out of 5)
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by Lena

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, James replied to Mary’s remark that she was anything but beautiful.

She had nothing to say against it and quickly changed the subject. The evening went on without any more distractions.

Later at home she looked into the mirror, searching for that beauty James referred to. Not finding any sign of it, she made a pitiful face and sighed deeply.

She was not beautiful. She was not ugly either. She was… average. Pretty face. Few extra pounds. Dark hair. Once she had tried to color them blonde, but it turned out to be a disaster. It was not bad, no. But it was not she. Mary smiled bitterly at her reflection in the mirror and turned off the light.

The darkness did not change who she was. As a child she had tried imagining what it would be like to become beautiful. She never got to know. She grew up and nothing changed. She had not become a self-confident, modern, stylish girl. She did not wear designer clothes and didn’t own one hundred pairs of shoes. She did not match the color of her purse to the color of her nails. She was not one of them. She was not beautiful.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, she repeated. Crap.

The next morning she woke up with a headache. Cursing James for bringing up this Beauty topic she got ready for office and left.

It was a dull day. The somber morning sky was about to break out into a thunderstorm. Occasional lightning flashed here and there. Soon, a loud clap of thunder pealed overhead and the first drops of rain touched her face. Within a minute the rain sheeted down and she was fully soaked. Searching for shelter she pushed the nearest door and stepped into a dark room. Once her eyes had adjusted to the darkness, she saw it was a bookstore. Curious, she came closer and took out one of the books. The Obvious Truths We Fail To See, she read the title. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder was the first line. Not again!

“Found what you are searching for, young lady?” The old man had appeared from nowhere.

“I… no, not really,” she muttered. “It’s just… the rain.”

“Ahh… the rain.”

Mary walked between the shelves touching the books’ covers. It was amazing how she, a passionate book lover, had never happened to come across this bookstore, just a few blocks away from her apartment.

“Do you think it will end soon?” She asked the man. “The rain,” she explained, noticing his blank stare.

“It will when it has to,” he replied mysteriously.

Mary wanted to ask more but the look in his eyes was a definite “no-more-questions-please” one. She shrugged and turned back to the books.

Suddenly, she caught her reflection in a mirror on the wall. It was she and yet it was not. The woman in the mirror looked… yes, she looked beautiful.

Confused, Mary asked the man, “What’s wrong with the mirror?”

“Which mirror?”

She pointed to the wall.

“Ahh… This one? What’s wrong with it?” The man seemed surprised.

“Is it broken?”

“No. Why?”

“It is not me in the mirror.”

The old man came closer, looked at Mary. Paused. Mary waited.

“You are the only woman in the room,” he finally said.

“But the woman in there is beautiful,” Mary said.

“Is it a problem?”

Mary tried to say something but the man had moved behind the counter.

She looked into the mirror and smiled. The woman in the mirror smiled back. Mary winked. The woman winked too. Funny, Mary thought, the woman is me. Realization dawned slowly upon her. The woman is me. Mary glanced triumphantly around and said to the man at the counter, “It is me. The woman is me.

The man gave her a funny “I-told-you-so” look and announced, “The rain is over, young lady.”

Mary saw sunbeams twinkle on the door’s glass and smiled. “Time to go,” she said. Thanking the old man for giving her shelter during the rain, she cast one last glance at the mirror and left the store.

Once she left, the man took the mirror off the wall and packed it in a box. The inscription on the box read Soul reflecting mirror. The man hesitated for a moment, then took a pen and wrote Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder on the box.


  1. vivek
    November 2, 2009

    nys story and well written..missy..

  2. November 2, 2009

    Beautiful story!All the best dear :)

  3. umesh
    November 2, 2009

    simply awesome
    i love it

  4. November 2, 2009

    “Soul reflecting mirror. The man hesitated for a moment, then took a pen and wrote Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder on the box.”

    You have no idea how happy you make me feel with what you write. This is essentially the needed post for my low self esteem at the moment!
    thank you!
    so so so much!

    every word weighs a 1000 gallons!

  5. Shashidhar
    November 2, 2009


    Thanks, Lena!!!

  6. November 2, 2009

    lena i have no words..u always rock with ur words dear.

  7. November 3, 2009

    Lovely creation as always girl.. Good Luck!!!!

  8. Cinderella
    November 3, 2009

    Wonderful attempt Le !

  9. November 3, 2009

    i loved it then… and i love it now again…. beautiful story.

    all the best :)

  10. November 3, 2009

    Great heart, there isn’t a woman that can’t use the beauty found in this piece. Makes me want to check my ‘mirror.’ Thank you

  11. November 3, 2009

    Wow! Nicely woven. The ending is bang on :-)

  12. Divkiran
    November 3, 2009

    I have no words… its just so beautiful!

    Lena – this is really good…I mean REALLY REALLY good. well done girl :)

  13. November 3, 2009

    This is so beautiful! A msg conveyed with so much of ease and confidence. Good one Lena, i share the likeliness of lines with AD.

  14. Abhinav
    November 7, 2009

    its nicely written…really well conceptualised…enjoyed it.

  15. Raghu
    November 9, 2009

    simply Awesome _ this is really beautiful story.
    all the best

  16. rakesh
    November 9, 2009

    lena – Good luck

  17. raghu
    November 9, 2009

    its just so beautiful…!
    good luck

  18. rakesh
    November 9, 2009

    nice story

  19. Swapna
    November 9, 2009

    Hello Miss,
    That’s really awesome story. Its better if i say it as a REALITY. I do believe in inner beauty than external, but the way you kept it in words with a lady’s feelings, confusions in her mind and old man’s thoughts are really impressive. I liked it.

    GOD’S Gift for all -> Every one has some thoughts in their mind but some people like you will keep it in words.

    All the best dear. keep going with it. :)

  20. November 9, 2009

    I know I shouldn’t have put off reading it… I don’t know why I did anyway,


    I loved the story!! Every word!!!

  21. November 9, 2009

    Your story is a repitition of a story read before,the good part is visiting back this story is refreshing again.The bottom line is the struggle of what is in ourselves and what is out there goes on and on :)

  22. November 12, 2009

    @ everyone: thank you for your appreciation, I am glad you liked the story :)

    @ Daanish: what you mean my story is a repitition? I have never posted it anywhere at all, it was written only having this contest in mind. Maybe you are confused with something on a similar topic.

  23. umesh
    November 16, 2009

    Really a beauty full story.
    i love it

  24. November 16, 2009

    Very nice Lena!

  25. January 21, 2010

    love it !!! nicely written…=)

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