The Other SideMature

She banged against her end of the mirror, but if the girl heard her, she didn’t let on. There was a stinging in Tabatha’s eyes, and at first she thought it was tears, but then she became suddenly blinded.

“I told you,” the girl on the other end muttered, glaring at her with her new green eyes.

Tabatha groped around madly in the darkness, thrashing against the mirror as the girl laughed on the other side. “You can’t hold me in here forever!” she bellowed, pounding her fist against the glass in attempt of getting out.

“Keep believing that,” another higher-pitched female voice whispered from her left. “She took my hair.” The one on her left laughed, rubbing her head.

“My voice,” another person said in American Sign Language as the first girl translated with a sad smile. “My voice,” the same girl said, then explained, “I’m speaking for Monica. She’s over to our right.” She smiled sadly, then grasped Tabatha’s hand. “Come, sit,” she said, pulling her next to her on the ground. “We’ve been trapped in here for who knows how long?”

“I just wish I could see you,” Tabatha sighed, clutching the girl’s hand for support.
The girl hugged her and nodded. “You’re lucky you can’t. I’m hideous.”

“Naww,” Tabatha laughed. “Oh, I’m Tabatha, by the way.”

“I’m Meredith, but you can call me Merdi,” the girl said. “And that’s Monica.” She smiled sadly and then translated for Monica, who signed, “It’s nice to meet you.”
“I just wish we could get out of here,” Tabatha muttered, hitting her head against the wall.

“Okay, since you can’t see, I might as well tell you where you are. Inside every mirror is a jealous girl, just dying to get out,” Merdi said a little too joyfully, spicing it up with a sarcastic eyebrow cock.

Tabatha chortled, but then stopped short. “Is it possible for them to come out?” Her voice was trapped in her throat, but then after clearing it, she managed, “Is that what…what she is?”

Merdi laughed and said, “It’s complicated…how many times have you heard that one before?” She took Tabatha’s hand and pressed it over her chest where a gaping hole lay, covered in a wet, slippery substance, but the parts of her shirt around the hole felt remotely crispy.

“We were best friends, but she didn’t want to let me go. We were having a sleepover, and she shot me after getting stabbed by her father one of his drunken rages.” Merdi sounded so calm about the whole thing. “When we became, well, I’ll call us shades, she told me that she had always envied my hair. Even in life, she said the same thing and always said that if I didn’t give it to her, she would chop it off.” She laughed. “I always thought it was a joke, until we wandered around her house again and…well…snip!”

Monica snorted and signed, “Best friends: Taking ‘What’s mine is yours’ to the next level,’” making Merdi and Tabatha laugh.

Merdi hushed her tone down low and whispered, “Monica was my niece who came to came to look for me, not believing the rumors that the town had begun to spread. And, lucky her, she came over on the anniversary of our deaths. My ex-bestie was wandering around the attic, and spied Monica. Well, you can tell from experience what happened next.”

“She’s starting to get more satisfied, but she still likes other people more. Every 20 years, instead of five like it used to be, she feels a spurn of jealousy and waits for some stupid little girl to wander into her old house. She’ll take something of theirs that she hated about herself, wallowing in a bowl of self-loathe, until they come around. But, being the selfish person that she is, she doesn’t give them something back.”

Tabatha shook her head and muttered to herself, “What was her problem?”
“Anorexia, depression after her parents split, bulimia, anxiety, schizophrenia, all that jazz. After they split, her parents signed her up for a psychiatrist, but she refused to go. Then, they admitted her to a mental hospital. What a blow that was. A month later, she was released, claiming she was cured. Well, let’s just say that it was false.” Merdi shrugged.

A shudder of worry resonated through Tabatha’s body. “Will I ever see my family again?”

Merdi patted her shoulder reassuringly, replying, “Probably not.”

Tabatha sighed, and said, “Tell me more about her,” pointing at the mirror that separated her from everything else.

“Her name was Juliana,” Merdi began, closing her eyes. “She was an all-around good person, until, well, her parents split when she was 8. I met her when she turned 10, and we just clicked. I bet you know what that’s like,” she said with a squeeze of Tabatha’s hand. “We did everything together until she turned 13. That’s when all the shit happened. She started hating her life. I tried talking herself out of it, and did a lot for her, but it didn’t help. I already told you how we died; but really, I wish I knew what I’d done wrong.” She sniffled and wiped her eyes. “This cave is sort of beautiful in a way,” she said, glancing around. “It’s different to everyone who sees it.” She laughed lightly when she remembered that Tabatha couldn’t see it, but before she could explain, Tabatha cut her off.

“I see,” Tabatha said, standing up and feeling the walls. Scattering it were pictures of her life, of her and her friends, of her and her boyfriend, and many more that she didn’t remember even taking. There were even a few of her as a baby, but it couldn’t be…

“You…you do?” Merdi asked, standing up and following Tabatha’s blind gaze.

“Pictures,” she announced. “Lots of them.”

“They’re different to all who she kills,” Merdi told her, glancing at a particular picture of she and Juliana in her room. That picture was taken a few months before they died, and Merdi’s eyes watered every time she saw it. Juliana was so beautiful, even with her sunken cheeks and frail figure, and it was such a shame that Merdi only had to see what Juliana herself saw.

The End

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