I had a twin once. My sister, younger by just minutes, died within a day of being born. I never really missed her. Not when I was younger anyway. I grew up as an only child and I was perfectly content with that. The only difference I really noticed was every year on my birthday, after the festivities ended and the house was dark and quiet, I would hear my mother sobbing in the next room; mourning the loss of the sister I had never known. I mourned with her. She never knew that I heard but I crouched by the door and I heard her cries. I would hear my father holding it together as he tried to console her, and his calm voice consoled me; Often I would fall asleep to sound of his soft words as if they were my lullaby.
My mother passed away when I was only twelve, and my Dad and I were left on our own. My thirteenth birthday passed without the sounds of her tears and without my father soothing me to sleep, and so I cried on my own. I never told my father how I mourned, so I was left alone to think of the sister I never had. Each year I mourned her more and I began to see her face in the mirror. I imagined her habits, her interests, her voice, and I heard her speak to me. She was everything I hoped to be; sporty, funny, and outgoing. She was always up-to-date with the latest fashions. She was smart and likeable and always knew just what to say.
The face in the mirror began to change. I noticed a freckle that wasn’t mine. Her hair always seemed shinier and bouncier. She wore more makeup than I did. At first I only saw her in the mirror but then she appeared in every reflection, following me wherever I went like a ghostly shadow. I didn’t know what she wanted but the voice became clearer in my mind.
‘If you like him go talk to him!’ ‘Just try the dress on!’ ‘Why don’t you try out for the team this year? You did say you wanted to be sportier’
Always encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone just for a second, always pushing me to try something new. For a while it was nice, like she was finally with me. I finally had the twin sister I had mourned for so many years. But, on my sixteenth birthday things changed.
I didn’t go to my room and cry that night. She was within me and my days of mourning were over. I heard my father shut his door and go to bed, and I buried myself under my covers and let my eyes drift shut. That’s when I felt something move beside me; a hot sweaty body lay next to mine. I rolled over. There she was, blonde hair tied back in a ponytail, mischievous grin spread across her face.
‘I can’t believe we’re still sharing a bed sis! We’re sixteen! We at least deserve bunkbeds!’ I was stunned into silence at how real she was. This cool, good-looking body double who lay facing me. She was tangible and real, no longer a part of me, but her own self.
‘Come on, lets sneak out!’ She had a devilish look in her eye.
‘No, we can’t.’ I mumbled back.
‘Nonsense!’ she laughed, rolling out of bed and digging through my drawers for something to wear. She threw a pair of jeans and a stretch shirt at me so I turned around to get dressed, ignoring the obvious point that we shared identical bodies so it probably didn’t matter if she saw how small my boobs were, ‘cause hers were the same. Fully dressed, I turned around to see she had taken her hair down and was applying a vivid red lipstick. She grabbed and handbag and my hand and silently we sneaked out of the house.
‘Where are we going?’ I asked as she dragged me towards town
‘Out’ she replied, her voice cold, clearly fed up with my incessant protests.
‘But we are out technically.’
‘Oh shut up already, we’re almost there’
Her eyes had turned dark and violent and I no longer felt as if I was looking at a reflection of myself. She had become a stranger and I had allowed her to lead me astray. We rounded the corner to a nightclub where she swiftly produced two convincing fake I.D.’s and we were in. The room was dark and smoky, and bright red lights cast their painful rays across the dingy bar. She had made a beeline for the bar so I followed, realising I did not know the way home and I couldn’t call my dad at this hour. She ordered a round of shots and I went along with her, unsure of what else I could do.
‘Let’s dance!’ she ordered, grabbing my hand, her sharp nails digging into my hand and drawing blood. I danced with her and we were soon scouted by a group of lads who danced their way over to us. She took a shining to the tallest of the lads and was soon grinding up against him, no longer paying her attention to me. Instead I had the attention of the rest of the group who seemed to be circling closer and closer despite my desperate attempts to escape. The laughed and kept dancing around me, thrusting their hips towards me and starting to grab at me. I felt hands pull at my hair and grab at my almost-non-existent breasts no matter how hard I tried to resist. I was losing all hope and was beginning to give in to the unwelcome advances when I sharp voice cut through the air.
‘Hey! Keep your hands off her you creeps!’ She shouted, pushing her way through the barricade and dragging me out onto the streets. ‘Are you okay?’
‘Yeah, I’m fine.’ I gasped, relieved that she had got to me in time.
‘Good, come on let’s go.’ I followed her blindly this time, not pestering her about where she was leading me as we trekked through the local woodlands. After a while we came out at the hospital where we had been born.
‘Happy Birthday Sis.’ She grinned, something wicked flashing in her eyes. I didn’t respond as she lead me over the gate and broke into an empty ward. ‘This is where I died.’ She sang to herself, skipping down the corridor. I remained silent as I followed her down the dark empty corridor. The walls were white but doused in dark shadows cast by abandoned trolleys and wispy curtains blowing in an absent wind. There was something about the abandoned silence of the ward that calmed me, with her voice slicing through the air with its melodic macabre. I almost danced to her tune as I followed behind her, watching her loose hair tumble down her back. There was something about the way it glowed, as she passed through the thin cracks of artificial lights that broke up the never-ending darkness, that mesmerised me.
‘This is where I died.’ She sang, skipping ahead, tracing her nails along the walls leaving trails of blood in her wake which began to flood the seemingly endless corridor. The walls were dripping in her crimson design as she carelessly painted them. She stopped very suddenly and turned her head sharply to face me. Her eyes were empty, pitch black holes in her hollow face, blood pouring down her cheeks, and her lips twisted into a cruel red smile as she tilted her head and walked towards me.
‘This is where you die.’ She sang, stretching her arms out towards me, her nails tearing at my throat. Her hair blew behind her, wild and tangled, and she began to glow like some terrible kind of demon. I tried to run, but she had me in her grasp. I tripped and fell, the blood tainting my skin with its evil and touching my lips with its kiss. Her hands twisted around my neck and she held me down in the flood, watching me drown in our blood. The last thing I heard was her maniacal laugh as I drifted out of existence.
I woke up in complete darkness, trapped in an abyss of nothingness. A face appeared in from thin air before me and I saw her face. She looked beautiful. Her skin more radiant than ever, her hair held up in a ponytail, my schoolbag slung over her back. I tried to scream and shout to make her hear me but she only smiled.
‘How does it feel to be on the other side of the mirror now Sis?’