Mirror me

April 2 2020

(content warning: discussion of current COVID-19 crisis)

Since quarantine started I've begun to regret my decision to live on my own. I've always been extroverted but my work involves a lot of working with people, so living in my own apartment is important to me. But now with all this shit about staying home, I haven't been able to see friends or family in ages.

 

The coffee shop near me closed down a couple weeks ago, and I don't know when I'll see those friendly faces again. I hope they're alright. Speaking of faces, it may sound strange but I've been spending a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror lately. I have a nice large bathroom with all my makeup and soaps and lotions and toners, and since I've been touching my face less my embarrassing adult acne has cleared up.

 

I talk to people at the grocery store a little bit. Occasionally when I'm walking up a street someone waves hello, or some dad-looking asshole makes a joke - but I think they do that to cope, so I can't be too mad about it.

 

Like I said, I look in the mirror a lot. Just inspecting, just seeing the way that things have taken their toll on me. I have big blue eyes, sometimes they look tired, like they're trying to retreat from me.

 

I came back from one of my trips to the grocery store, pulled off my jacket and tossed it into my laundry basket. Usually on the weekends I wear the same sweatshirt the whole time, but because of the danger, I wear a new one each time I go outside.

 

I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and as I was counting down from 20, I glanced at my hair and noticed that it seemed to have a slight bluish tint to it. This wasn't really a surprise, since a week or so ago I bleached and dyed my hair pink, mostly to stave off boredom. But I didn't remember it being so blue. I thought about refreshing the dye but didn't feel like putting in the effort.

 

The next day, I knew something strange was going on because I looked up from washing my hands and my skin, usually pale or bright pink, was also tinged blue. I put both of my damp hands to my cheeks and pressed my fingers against them, squishing against my face.

 

I leaned in close to the mirror, letting my thighs press against the edge of the bathroom counter. Something shimmered in one of my pupils. I kept my eyes open wide, watching as my pupils slowly dilated. A tiny yellow spark flickered inside the black hole of the center of my eyeball and when I pulled back, my whole body was blue.

 

I put my hands to the mirror, thinking that there must be something wrong with the surface. It's been weeks since I felt comfortable actually making a maintenance request. I don't want strangers coming into my space, and I don't want to risk anyone else's health, you know?

 

I stepped back from the mirror and raised both hands. I could see that my palms were a pale lavender. Then I saw that my thumbs were split, giving me two skinny on each thumb instead of one thick one. I bared my teeth. They were slender and long and yellowish.

 

Something in my stomach twisted. I started to wave my arms all around. I looked down and my hands and they looked bright pink from the hot water, but normal. When I looked back at the mirror, my reflection was looking back at me with a pitying expression on her face.

 

"I'm sorry." She said, in a voice that sounded exactly like my own.

 

"We've been together a long time but I can't take it anymore." I tried to open my mouth to respond but it felt like a giant boulder was sitting in my chest.

 

"Please don't make this harder than it has to be." She said.

 

"We've been talking, and we think it would be better if we went away for awhile. Just until all this gets put back to normal." She shook her head.

 

I watched, paralyzed, as she turned away from me and stepped to the side of the mirror, then disappeared.

 

I went to sleep. I didn't dream.

 

Since that day, every time I wake up in the morning, I go to the bathroom and look in the mirror, but she hasn't come back. I haven't seen anything on the news about it, but my friends have been saying things that make me think everything isn't quite right, I can't be sure though.

 

I can still see myself if I take a picture with my phone, so at least I know I still look like me - pink hair, pink skin, big blue eyes with dark circles. Every time I look I wonder if that blue hair won't appear again. It's been a few weeks now and she hasn't come back.

 

I wonder if she'll be back when things go back to normal. I wonder if things will ever go back to the way they were.

I wonder if she'll even think it's worth the trouble.

© 2019 Shayna Moon