The mirror

Thomas always said that the real charm was in knowing how it was going to happen.

War could reach you; you might be caught in a car accident, your face disfigured to the point of being unrecognizable; you could catch an incurable disease.

The real charm was in knowing how it was going to happen.

 

David walked into the store. One of those stores in which every article has a story to tell, and every story you’ve ever heard has an article that is in some way bonded to it. It was in that store that David saw the mirror for the first time.

 

The first owner of the mirror had been a poor man. It had been a gift from a friend. Back then it was just a normal mirror, a gift from a friend, a commodity. A decoration he hung on his house, as a sign of appreciation.

One night, the poor man came home drunk. He found an eviction notice in his door, his dog dead in the front of his house and a note from his wife saying she had run away with her ‘true love’, and to never come looking for her again. He came into his house, and flicked the lights on. The light bulb flickered, flashed for a millisecond, and died out. It was then, in that moment of sheer illumination, that the poor man saw it. The mirror, or rather, what was reflected in the mirror.

 

The second owner of the mirror had been a rich man. It had been a gift from his wife. His wife had bought it from a state auction, from a house that had just been repossessed. To him it was just a normal mirror, a gift from a lover, one more thing to own. A decoration he hung in his dressing room, to see how he looked in the mornings.

One night, the rich man came home late. He found his house thrashed, his five dogs slashed to bits in his backyard, and her wife dead in the living room, a big hole were her right eye was supposed to be in. He ran into his house, desperately trying to find who had done this. He rushed into his dressing room, to grab his revolver, and flicked the lights on. The light bulb flickered, flashed for a millisecond, and died out. It was then, in that moment of sheer desperation, that the rich man saw it. The mirror, or rather, what was reflected in the mirror, and it smiled back at him.

 

The third owner of the mirror had been a woman. It had been it had been a gift from his boyfriend. He had apparently found it lying on the street one day on his way to work, and decided to pick it up. To her it was just a normal mirror, a random occurrence in someone else’s life, a less-than –charming detail. A decoration she hung in her bathroom, because she previously had no mirror.

One night, the woman came home normally. She had been promoted at work, finished paying-off her mortgage and the man that she loved had finally asked to marry her. She pranced into her house, overflowing with happiness. She undressed in her bedroom and walked into her bathroom to remove her make-up, and flicked the lights on. The light bulb flickered, flashed for a millisecond, and died out. It was then, in that moment of sheer positivity, that the woman saw it. The mirror, or rather, what was reflected in the mirror, and she froze.

 

The poor man hung himself.

The rich man shot himself.

The woman was never found again.

 

After that the mirror had been sold to the owner of the store, and was know sitting in front of David, showing him his reflection. The store owner said no one really knew what the mirror showed to all those people, or why it had showed it to them. It was all probably an urban legend, he said.

 

So, David bought the mirror, as a joke to a friend. He took it home, polished it, and called Thomas. Thomas arrived that night, and David told him the story of the mirror. They laughed at the incredible story the shop-owner had probably made up. They drank wine and changed the subject. Then, David took the glasses to the kitchen, and the lights flickered.

 

David came back to the living room, where Thomas was sitting, staring at the mirror. David asked what the matter was. Thomas did not answer. David asked if he had seen it. Thomas did not answer. David asked what it was that Thomas saw.

 

Thomas said that the real charm was in knowing how it was going to happen.

Thomas always said that the real charm was in knowing how it was going to happen.

War could reach you; you might be caught in a car accident, your face disfigured to the point of being unrecognizable; you could catch an incurable disease.

He said everyone knew it would happen one day. The real charm was in knowing how it was going to happen, and once you knew, you realized nothing you did would change it. If nothing else was written, that was. It made you feel insignificant, and useless, and hopeless.Yes, he had seen it. David asked if he would be okay. Thomas said yes, it was not time yet. David looked at the mirror with horror, and in that moment of sheer hopelessness, the lights flickered.

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