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A Simple Slip

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I had to do it. There was simply no other, logical solution. Granted, the whole situation was entirely my fault and could have been avoided, but what’s done is done. Sure, I feel somewhat bad for the guy, but it was my duty in order to keep the peace. This all started the day I made a grave and unforgivable mistake; at least, it is where I come from. The whole point of my existence is to not exist; he and everyone else in the world could not know that there was someone there, lurking on the other side, watching your every minute movement. As long as it stays that way, there will never be a problem. Not now, not ever. I had heard of such slip-ups before (each ended somewhat similarly to mine), I just never thought that I would ever be the one to mess up.

The day started as normally as it could have, I suppose. He woke up, hobbled into the bathroom - hair a mess, one eye half open while the other was being rubbed vigorously by his right hand, dressed in his stained white shirt and red, plaid boxers - and went about his standard routine. He turned on the water, cupped his hands and splashed some in his face. Following this, he wet his toothbrush, smothered it with toothpaste and brushed his teeth with the same awkwardly-agape mouth and overall ridiculous expression that he always did. Nothing out of the ordinary - everything went according to plan, and he left the bathroom.

From there he went into his room, got ready for school and then headed downstairs to eat breakfast which was, as always, a waffle. No syrup or butter, just a plain, heated-up waffle. When he was done, he made his way to the bus stop which was only a small distance from his house. The only difference today was that it had rained the night before, so there was a puddle near the bus stop. He stopped and checked his hair in the murky reflection, so it wasn’t anything complicated. The bus ride was normal, his first few classes were normal, and his trips to the bathroom were well-anticipated since I, as always, had monitored his every step. Normal.

After school he stopped by his girlfriend’s locker to talk with her for a bit. He usually texts her after school, but he didn’t have anything pressing to do after his last class that day so he stopped by. He briefly checked himself in the mirror she has on the back wall of her locker, but it was nothing more than a minor neck movement to adjust his bangs. To be honest I was probably becoming a little bit overconfident and thus, slightly less focused. I knew his routine by heart; I knew his every movement by heart - his every mannerism. It was all so… easy. I used to think that if I had to step into his shoes for a day, no one would notice anything different.

Anyways, soccer practice started at 4pm and ended at 6pm, so he was home by 6:30. He immediately took his backpack into his room, finished up his homework with a few quick strokes and was done just in time for dinner at 7. Tonight his mom’s choice was red chili enchiladas, a family favorite. They ate and then, as always, he came upstairs and into the bathroom (closing the door behind him) connected to his room to wash up. I’ll be honest when I say that I was not entirely paying attention - more like… more like autopilot.

He brushed his teeth with the usual expressions, rinsed the toothbrush, gargled and then looked up. He lifted his right hand to the right side of his hair, I lifted my left hand to the left side of my hair. When he was done, he lifted his left hand and I…

I lifted my left hand. Immediately I lost my cool and I think my perfect replica of his facial expression changed slightly, because he noticed right away. His face flushed pale white and he stumbled backwards, groping behind him until he made contact with the wall.

“What… You… I…” he mumbled incoherently under his breath.

Panicked, I leapt from the mirror separating our two existences and flew into him, his body rubbing up tightly against the wall. My hands now tightly wrapping around his neck, I proceeded to choke the life out of his shocked, pale white face. He struggled some, but eventually his bloodshot eyes stared off into eternity and his body slumped down to the floor, sweat beading down my face.

"Shit." My hands tensed at my sides as I tried to figure out what to do next. I would need to return to my realm and explain things, and then... then they would decide what to do with me. Ultimately, I decided to leave his body there on the cold, hard bathroom floor. His parents would find the body soon enough and call the police who, despite their best efforts, would never find any clues as to who had strangled him.

This is very rare, for we are very good at what we do. Should this ever happen to you, it’s in your best interest to act like you didn’t notice the mistake.

But, should this ever happen to you, it will most likely be the last thing you ever see.

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