Written by Michelle Rochniak
Art by StockSnap

You stand in the mirror, supermodel posing, as I watch from the bed. That dress with pockets, those princess sleeves, that pouty face. Your hands wrap around your body, line your chin, drape over your head. Your legs cross, crouch down, shift weight. Swishing fabric. Swooping hair. Just like the photographer on TikTok showed you. You never let it come naturally. You always needed someone else to tell you how to move. And it’s my fault. I never brought you roses after recitals. I never squeezed you tight after a long night of crying in your bed. I never told you how proud I was of you for snagging the perfect internship. So, the next time you find the courage to smile at yourself in the mirror, I promise I’ll smile back.