I tossed in my bed, unwilling to leave the comfort my blanket offers on chilly mornings like this one. My toes peeped out, already succumbing to the numbness that the frost-bitten air yields. Reluctantly, I blinked the crustiness out of my eyes. Cold light filtered through the blinds, giving no reprise to the absence of heat which lingered in this tumble-down world. This pasty room had been my rendezvous during the winter vacations, and my bed was a saviour and solace when cold war dawned upon us.
I wriggled out the bed almost painfully, and with a sudden jolt of energy ran out of the room, lest I fall back in. As I slammed the door shut, the boles suspended in the air could be seen dancing blissfully when the sunlight hit just right. They quivered angrily at the disturbance. Restored once again only when the inhabitant returned to fill the empty space.
The bathroom’s floor tiles shuddered with every step I took. They welcomed my clammy feet, for the little heat left in them, by making it their own. Sleepy eyes looked back at me from the mirror, and my hands performed their daily task. Meanwhile my eyes watched on keenly, warily for the small gap between my fingers and its mirror image. Before passing the test, I heard a smirk from the doorway.
From the mirror, I could see my older brother leaning on the frame with a tease upon his tongue. “Still checking for mirror monsters, eh?” He prodded. “Two-way mirrors do exist. Can’t be sorry for being safe.” I retorted. My brother just sadly shook his head and slouched off to annoy elsewhere.
It took a moment for my brain to register the shock. My mirror image looked back at me and smiled. She then grasped my hand which still lay flat on the mirror and pulled me in. I passed through an icy sheet which dissected my organs, leaving them displaced and confused. Almost immediately my feet hit the ground. I buckled at the impact, my quaking legs sunk to the ground in fear. I felt a dull thud from far off lands, as I fell onto the tiled floor.
Footsteps halted besides me. Funny, we were wearing the same pair of socks. Not unkindly, the girl helped me stand. I blinked in disbelief, mentally pinching myself. She was me, or I was her. Bile rose to my mouth as I began to comprehend my dilemma. I was stuck in the parallel universe of my life, if it was better here, or worse, I was yet to find out. Clearly my mind was in working order, but my body refused to cooperate, for I stumbled to the wash basin and retched my heart out.
The next thing I did, surprised me more than it did my mirror self. I unscrewed the tap, with the intention of washing my face. My mind turned to the unique survival tactic known as denial. I was no longer in control of my body’s actions, my hands continued to do their own thing, and I, the puppet, played along.
A firm hand squeezed my shoulder snapping me out of my trance. It was the girl who looked like me. Our eyes met in the mirror. I couldn’t pretend. A scream built in my throat, but it was abruptly cut by the whistle of a bullet. The bathroom door swung wildly as suited men entered the place with masks and guns. I watched the scene with rising fear from my vantage point, when the stray bullet flew into the mirror from the opposite side. I felt the girl tackle me to the ground as the glass burst into shards.
My throat tightened like a Boa Constrictor whilst I struggled to escape from the girl’s grasp. Like a fish out of water I gulped for fresh air, counting backwards as instructed by my therapist as I fumbled for my puffer.
Ten nine eight, I was stuck in the wrong side of the mirror with my clone.
Seven six five, my house was under a shootout.
Four three two, my family was there.
One, the inhaler warded off the Asthma.
I sank to the floor sobbing, defeated by my demons. My brother came in running and took one look at the horrid mess my anxiety had left me and the bathroom with. Blood trickled down the smashed mirror and onto the faucet. My fist was riddled with glass shavings soaked in the same blood.
I was the girl in the mirror. Trapped in my own world, wanting to escape. I longed to help her, to break her out of the jail. But the only bars that were there were of my mind, and the only escape seemed to be death.
By; Ojasvi Rana