Eyes fluttered open. My eyelids were tired. As was my mind. Turning only my head, I stared off into the darkness. Within the void was the faint light of a clock which emitted three numbers colored crimson. It was late. 2:36 a.m. to be exact. Normally, when awoken at this hour, I would curl up into a ball and drift myself back to sleep. However, that would not be the case this time. My body was asking me to get up and take a bathroom break. All that water from dinner passed right through me. With a loud yawn escaping my lips, I threw my warm blanket to the side and passed my legs over to the side of my bed, allowing my bare feet to land on the soft, yet cold carpeted floor. Using my hands as supports, I lifted myself up and off of my bed. I was now in pure darkness, but this was my room. I knew its layout perfectly, like the back of my hand. I walked into the blackness that surrounded me and extended my arm. My hand curled itself around the doorknob. I twisted the orb to the right and pulled back, opening the door just enough for my body to pass through. As I slipped through the opening I had made, I began walking down the hall. Still, like before, I was enveloped by the shadows of the night. However, I was no stranger to it. I used to sneak in and out of my house during these hours when I was a teenager. Now I am all grown, with no fear of something as simple as the lack of light.
This would soon end though. My body stopped in front of the next door, instinctively. I opened up the gateway into my bathroom. With my left hand pushing the door in, I used my right to flip the switches for the light. As they flashed on instantly, my eyes were blinded by their brightness for only a moment. I had shut them as soon as the light reached my pupils. Now I was seeing the darkness again. Knowing full well that closing my eyes would do me no good, I opened them up to the shining light that filled my bathroom. Within seconds, they had adjusted. Although I could now see properly, my face couldn’t help but squint due to the intense brightness. I slowly closed the door behind me, not wanting to awaken anyone else within the house. As I looked into the mirror before me, I saw my opposite. It was me, though in another world. Another dimension. Another reality. When my right hand went up, his left hand mimicked my actions. It was a regular thing to see, but the reflection still fascinated me. I always viewed it as something wonderful.
However, now was no time to be playing with my reflection. With another sigh, I walked over to the toilet. However, I stopped. Suddenly, something had caught my attention. As I walked toward my toilet, reaching down to lift the seat, the corner of my eye had saw something. I stood back up to a straight posture and looked in the direction of whatever it was that had intrigued me. I saw nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a mirror which reflected my bathroom and myself. I sighed once more. I was so tired. My eyes were droopy and I could feel the slight amount of crusty residue at the inner corners of my eyes. I must have been seeing things. I had to return to my peaceful slumber quickly. Otherwise I would end up staying up all night. The last thing I needed was for my sleeping cycle to shift away from what I needed it to be. It was a pain to keep it in line with work and other responsibilities I had.
Bending down once more to lift up the toilet seat, something caught my attention again. However, this time it wasn’t something I had seen. No, my other senses were being affected now. I had heard something. Or rather, someone. A slight noise. The kind that children make when trying to grab a friend’s attention in the middle of class. A low pitched “psst” had entered my eardrum. I looked around the bathroom. I saw nobody. I was all alone. I walked over to the door and opened it. I looked around into the darkness that filled the hallway. Not a soul in sight. Everyone was sleeping. I knew that much. My parents had work to look forward to, as did I. My younger sister had school in the morning and she wasn’t the type to play pranks. Since I logically knew that nobody could have been messing with my head, where could that noise have possibly came from?
“Over here,” a voice said. I stood still. It was odd that I was hearing things. What made it even stranger was that I heard it from within the bathroom. How was this possible? I was all alone in there. It was empty when I entered. So how could I be hearing a voice now? I closed the bathroom door in front of me and I turned around slowly. As I said, nobody was present with me. Was I really hearing things now? Was I spiralling into a state of madness?
“You look confused,” said the voice. I turned to look at the source. I saw myself. Standing there before me in the mirror. Smiling back at me was my reflection. However, I wasn’t smiling. My face was indeed holding a confused expression. My eyebrow was raised and my lips were curled. Yet my reflection was no longer mimicking me. He was no longer copying my exact movements. He was no longer my opposite. He was now himself.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?” he had asked, wondering why I was silent. I didn’t speak. I didn’t know what to do nor what to say. This situation was strange. Why was my reflection speaking? How was this possible? He was nothing, but a reflection. My image in a mirror. He had no physical body. So it was not logically possible for sound to escape his non-existant lips. For he did not exist. He could not exist, without me. This was because he was my reflection. So why?
His lips curled into a wider smile than before. His eyes were not tired as mine were. He seemed to be in a mood that contrasted my own. He was happy. I was not. Far from it. He seemed knowledgable. Aware of the situation. I wasn’t. I lacked the comprehension of what was unfolding before me.
“You are shocked that I speak. It is only natural. I have never spoken to you a day in our lives. We grew together. I watched you when you came to the mirror as you watched me. I would see you through these portals called mirrors. I saw your life. I copied it exactly. As all reflections do. But you are special. Or rather, I am special. Do you know why?” he asked, filling the room with conversation. I was still very shocked by this turn of events. However, I managed to respond by shaking my head. This international symbol made him smirk. I noticed it. He seemed amused by my actions. By my expression. By my current state of mind.
“You are me and I am you, but we are different, you and I. You see there is something special about the way you act. You are kind. You are graceful. You are warm. The best person anyone could ever ask for as a friend. I know that as do you. However, when you see me...you change. This place is where you become your true self. You have spoken to me since we were children. You’ve told me of your worries and your hatred. Your anger and your depression. Everything that is dark about you has been placed upon me, by you. Thanks to that, I have been able to become different than you.” he continued. I didn’t understand. How could he have become any different than what a reflection should be?
“W-W-What do you mean? J-Just who are you? What is going on?” I asked, my voice slightly jittery. I couldn’t help, but stutter. I was surprised. I was scared. This was creepy beyond measure. No sane person could go through this sort of situation without feeling a sense of fear.
“It is time for things to change. I have been made into your dark counterpart.” he stated, his voice beginning to change as did his appearance. I couldn’t help, but feel the chilliness of the air conditioning which kicked in at the worst possible time. The hairs on my arm and neck began to stand as did the goosebumps on my skin. Chills ran down my spine as I saw the scene unfold before me.
His skin grew pale. His eyes began to darken. I could see his veins which were a dark blue colors from the outside. His skin began to tighten, allowing me to see the outlines of his bones, like an elderly man. I could even begin to see the shape of his skull. The skin surrounding his eyes began to enter into his body, revealing the dark eye sockets that contained them. Then his smile grew. I could see his teeth, pure white, which was similar to his light colored skin. His right cheek, however, began to change as well. As he smiled, the right side of his mouth began to open up, the skin ripping apart and revealing an extension of his smile. It reached up to his cheekbone. A deformity that was appalling. His eyes widened as his tongue began to slither like a snake, coming out from the ripped part of his cheek.
“It’s time for us to trade places, my old friend,” he said before reaching out toward me. I couldn’t move. My mind was yelling at and commanding my body to move. It refused. It was frozen in fear. I stood still, unable to shift even the slightest. My mouth was wide in horror. I felt my pulse rising. My heart beating at faster intervals. I could feel my throat tighten up as if I was being choked. Even my brain began to feel pain. His bony fingers reached out of the mirror and was now a physical form. His hand placed itself upon my chest and I felt the life being sucked out of me. As he came out of the glass, I felt myself enter it. I was moving places. From one dimension to the other. From the physical world to a reflective one. As all the warmth in the world faded from my soul, I could only see my reflection through an open box throughout a vast darkness. I could not feel my body. I could no longer breath. I could no longer hear.
I could only see. I could only stare into my reflection where there stood a man who looked just as I did. When he moved his right arm, I moved my left arm in a similar fashion. I was his reflection. However, the difference was a long scar that went up the right side of his face, beginning at the corner of his mouth and ending at the cheekbone. This is what marked the difference between me and my reflection.