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The Mirrors.jpg

 

The Mirrors

It has been a while since she left, but when I lie down to sleep I can still feel her next to me.

 I can smell her.

 I can hear her.

 But when I turn over,

to put a hand on her back,

 there is nothing,

 but the sheets and the air.

Sometimes I roll over to the spot she once occupied and sniff hungrily; in the secret hope that she would be there one day and the air would smell sweet and inviting.

The way that she once did.

I say sometimes, but it could more accurately be described as often, maybe even nightly. It’s fine though, because the ghost of her keeps me company, the life we shared, the kids we had, and the lives we were honored to be a part of. I can still hear the laughter in the hallways and see the hints of dancing shadows on the walls.

One night I awoke to find her next to me.

The image was something that I had been longing for, but it felt so wrong in the moment that it happened. My first instinct was to:

 Engulf her in my embrace.

To hold her close.

To never let her go again.

 But instead, I chose to watch her for a short while and try to remember what it used to feel like to have someone that I could call my own. I didn’t want to fall asleep, because I knew that it would only mean that the dream would come to an end.

A glimmer of light flashed in the corner of my eye. I ignored it and looked back at the woman sleeping next to me.

The light flashed once again, and I knew that it was useless to resist, I stood up from my bed and walked to the source of the light. I looked back at my sleeping partner and saw her form consumed by shadows.

 I smiled when I thought of her return.

 I frowned when I saw her leave yet again,

The mirrors were something different altogether, I walked into the bathroom area of my master bedroom and was taken aback when the doorway sealed behind me. Nothing but mirrors surrounded me and in them I saw not my own reflection, but images of people.

People that I knew.

People that I loved.

And some that I had never seen before.

I watched them doing things and saw that the people that I had known were all different somehow, some were thinner, others more muscular, while others had put on some weight. As I watched them I saw that they were all happy.

I felt mischievous.

Like a Peeping Tom.

Like someone that didn’t have a right to be watching.

And then it came.

I saw my wife.

The woman I had yearned to have by my side with another man.

He looked like me.

He was me.

But, on the other side of the mirror.

I saw her laughing.

I saw her loving him.

And realized that it was me that had left.

Me that had disconnected and gone away.

I watched the other people in the mirrors and saw the reflections of people that I knew as living souls.

They were the same but, better.

Happier.

I turned to go back to my wife and saw that the doorway was blocked by another mirror. I saw all the images behind me and realized that my desire for their happiness was stronger than the desire for my own.

I took one last glance over my shoulder at the images of all the lives that I might change.

I thought of how I could help them when I returned.

And then I smashed through the glass and crawled back into bed

With her.