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Have you ever taken a moment to stop and think about your reflection in the mirror? What if reflections had a life of their own. What if it was their job to watch and mimic you?
What if there was a whole new world beyond mirrors? What if your reflection could cross the bridge between the two worlds but is not allowed to?
Well, wonder no more. I am here to tell you my own tale. I am not human. I am the reflection that broke the rules.
It was a hot summer day in 2009. Children outside hanging with their friends. People at the beach and pools swimming. Even the birds were chirping in the trees, making nature's music.
My reflection was collecting his belongings to head home from his afternoon work as a beggar at the local grocery store when a shady-looking character in a suit with a stylish brown fedora carrying a metal suitcase approached him as soon as he had left the store. The look on the stranger's face was full of anger.
The stranger spoke in a husky voice, "You got the cash?".
"No. Not yet." replied my reflection.
"Listen, man. You get me the cash by sunset or I'll have no choice but to use force." He glared at him under his fedora as he spoke.
"I'm trying, I swear... Just - please.. don't hurt me. I'll do my best." The reflection's voice trembled as he spoke.
"NO, THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! You WILL get it to me!" he had begun shouting.
The reflection flinched and recoiled at the sudden change in the man's tone of voice and quietly replied, "O-okay. I'll see what I can do."
His free hand formed into a tight fist at the reflection's response "SEE?! No, not see. WILL! You WILL get it to me goddammit!" He briefly glanced behind the reflection and noticed people were beginning to stare with concerned looks on their faces.
His gaze turned back to the reflection as he clenched his teeth together but relaxed his hand. He had a look in his eyes that said that he was dead serious about the money. The man realised he was holding his breath and exhaled. A fake smile spread across his face as he tried putting up an act for the people who were watching, shook the reflection's hand tightly, and walked off, briefcase dangling in his hand.
The good-guy get-up seemed to have worked on the customers, as they had gone back to their activities and ignored the previous event.
It was then at that moment that I knew this was going to not go so smoothly. I knew after that conversation who the man was. It was Joun, a worker at the local pawn shop. He and my reflection had gotten into a money dispute in the previous week. He demanded $230,000 from the reflection. I knew that there was no way he could come up with that amount of money that fast as he only makes a mediocre salary.
After a few minutes of processing what had happened, the reflection began walking home, thinking of ways to collect the money before it was too late. The farther he walked, the more he began realising, there was not a single possible way he would be able to gather that amount of money before sundown, and gave up.
Once at his house, my reflection approached a mirror. He is known to talk to me sometimes. If others saw him talk to himself in the mirror, they would think he was crazy. I know he is not crazy.
He placed both of his hands on the counter and stared directly at me through the mirror as I mimicked his every move.
"Looks like it is all going to end here," he paused and took a deep breath. "It was a good run. You've always been there for me."
I wish I could say something back, but I couldn't. It was against the rules. If I broke them, I would seize to exist. My reflection has always come to me when he felt down. When he was in high school, bullies always picked on him for being short. They would beat him down and taunt him in his classes.
He always came to me and talked to me after school. I had always wished that I could help him out but couldn't. The only thing I could do was mimic his every move and repeat everything he said as he talked. There were mirrors all around the school that forced me to watch him get bullied five days a week without being able to do a single thing.
Sunset came quicker than I had thought. The reflection just sat there awaiting the man's arrival.
There was a knock at the door. It was Joun.
The reflection hesitated, but instead, stood up, and approached the door. He placed his hand on the knob, and opened the door.
Without wasting a second, he immediately began, "Where's the money."
My reflection looked up from the ground and stared him in the eyes. His chin began to tremble as he fought back tears "I.. I don't have it..."
"Well, I told you what would happen" Joun reached into his coat and pulled out a pistol.
"You're going to shoot me." The reflection glued his eyes to the gun as his own hands began to shake.
"Nah, not yet. I've got this," and with that, Joun pulled a knife from his pocket with his other hand.
Without wasting another second, he leaned forward and plunged the knife into "my" ribcage. Blood began spilling out of my reflection's body like it was an endless supply. I couldn't do anything but watch. The reflection couldn't take it much longer. He was soon to die. Joun began to laugh as he repeatedly plunged the knife into him. I watched as his hand with the gun began to ascend, then I remembered.
My reflection's rifle is upstairs.
I had two choices here. I could watch my reflection be brutally murdered and do nothing, or I could help him. Although this would result in me breaking the rules and seizing to exist, I couldn't just stand by and watch.
"You should have paid up when you could."
Without any further thought, I transported through the mirrors in the house until I reached the mirror that was in the master bedroom. I began charging my shoulder into what separated me from the other world. Finally, I stumbled through the mirror and landed on the floor. I quickly pushed myself up and stumbled to the dresser. I wrapped my hands around a corner of it and pushed it away from the wall, revealing the rifle behind it. I grabbed it and flung open a drawer. I reached for the shells and began loading the rifle as I ran from the room and made my way to the stairs.
I could hear my reflection downstairs trying to speak to Joun, but his words only came out as gurgles as blood spilled from his mouth. I descended halfway down the stairs, just far enough that Joun and the reflection were in view. Joun had put the pistol to my reflection's head.
He leaned down to be face to face with him "Just don't forget. I didn't choose to do this. You brought this upon yourself" He began to laugh again.
I realised what was to happen next. I leapt down the last few steps and caught Joun's attention, but it was too late. By then, I was standing directly behind my reflection who was knelt on the ground facing the opposite direction. I had the rifle raised and was aimed at Joun. His laugh was cut short. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was frightened. He had no clue who I was.
I pulled the trigger. He fell to the floor, blood spilling from his head.
I couldn't let my reflection see me. Without hesitating, I dropped the rifle and sprinted back to the mirror that I was originally occupying. Just before climbing back in, I had to say something to my reflection. I disguised my voice and made it significantly deeper.
"Don't give up yet. You are still young and have a lot to live for. We have always been together"
I noticed my reflection had begun to turn around. So I re-entered the mirror and awaited my fate.
This is where I end my journal.
Reflection's Point of View
I had been saved by someone I couldn't see. I guess I do have a lot more to live for than I had thought. With Joun dead I was safe again. There was something after that day that was weird, though. Whenever I approached a mirror, my reflection wasn't there. It was really creepy at first, but I had gotten used to it. I miss my reflection.