A/N: This is an odd piece, I admit. The idea of each Cullen's self-perception is interesting to me, but I'm not in love with the way this turned out. I am especially disappointed with the first paragraph. [Polite]Constructive criticism is very welcome. :)
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Though I try to give my family their privacy, I can't help but hear. I hear their fears and their boredom. I hear mundane observations and intimate moments. I know what they see when they look into the mirror.
Rosalie sees her beauty, immortal and stunning. Flawless features and beautiful hair. As a human, she had been beautiful. As a vampire, she could stop traffic. Every man she meets stops to stare, and that pleases her. Makes sense to her. Who wouldn't stare? She's perfect. She can see so in the mirror.
Emmett sees himself, just as he is. He didn't choose this life, but he plans to enjoy it to the fullest. He doesn't spend a lot of time reflecting. And he doesn't have much use for a mirror.
Jasper sees his scars. He's felt the alarm of others as they see him for the first time, perceived the shock and fear when they realize what he must have escaped, what he may be capable of. He is marked. As the only Cullen who really struggles to abstain, he wonders if the two are linked—maybe his upbringing has damaged him. Maybe there is no victory. But he holds on to Alice, and he hopes. He tries to overcome those scars, to look beyond what he sees in the mirror.
Alice sees the past, because for Alice, the present is the past. Her visions of the future keep her in a state of constant anticipation, enjoying today in light of what she expects from tomorrow. Knowing the future leaves her little desire to look back, and if she looks back too far, there is only blackness. Fashionista gratification is all Alice needs from her mirror.
Esme sees her calm face, the unremarkable mother of a remarkable family. She believes herself ordinary, but she doesn't wish for more. Carlisle, her perfect match, thinks she's beautiful, and her children, each one unique and precious to her, allow her to love them. No, she could not ask for more, because there is no more. She looks in and is content, wanting nothing from the mirror.
Carlisle sees beyond the reflection, always thinking of others—his family, his patients—while he checks his hair and straightens his tie. Long ago, he'd seen his appearance as a curse, damning him to solitude. He'd avoided his alien reflection, an unnecessary reminder. But since Edward, since Esme and the others, he sees just a man, a father and husband, a doctor. He has come to this place by a long, hard road, and he can see that road in the mirror.
At one time, when I saw my reflection, I saw a monster. The gold eyes meant little—I denied the impulse, but the impulse remained. My bloodless complexion, my stone skin—I was truly inhuman. Our safety depended on our human façade, but the truth of my existence mocked me from the mirror.
And then Bella changed everything—as she always does.
We had been hunting one night, and the wind had tangled her dark hair as she ran. Back at our cottage, she sat in front of the mirror and picked up her hairbrush. As I took it from her hand and began to brush, Renesmee came in and climbed into her mother's lap. The two of them were so beautiful, it hurt to look at them. How could I ever deserve them?
I leaned down to kiss them both, and as I did, Bella caressed my cheek. "I love you," she whispered, her eyes looking deep into mine. The sound of those simple words and the sight of my reflection alongside these two that I loved beyond understanding changed something inside me.
Now when I look at myself, I see less of the monster. Like Carlisle, I see a father, a husband. A man. If someone as good as Bella shares my physical attributes, they cannot be wholly condemned. If I am responsible for creating part of Renesmee, our perfect angel, then I cannot be wholly bad. I know now that I would not—could not—trade this life. I've made peace with the face in the mirror.