I leisurely strolled to the bathroom to get ready for bed. On the way, I was trying to remind myself to brush my teeth and was thinking about the next day’s plans. Turning on the light, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I mustered up the courage to check and only saw my own reflection in the mirror of one of the medicine cabinets. Our bathroom had three mirrors: one above the sink and one on each of the two medicine cabinets. All three mirrors formed an obtuse-angled triangle, and standing in front of one of them inevitably meant that my reflection was also on either my right or left.
I walked in and stood over the sink with the toothbrush in my right hand. I tried to focus on the thoughts racing inside my head in an attempt to distract myself. But I couldn’t help feeling that something, or someone, was in there with me. I shook off the fear and checked the bathroom thinking about how silly I was; I found nothing but my reflection. This went on for a few minutes, but the third time I checked around me, I had to stop. Something seemed different. Staring at the mirror, I noticed that my reflection looked different; it was somewhat calmer yet more unsettling. It was quite rigid, too, and didn’t seem to reflect how confused I felt. My confusion started to turn into panic, but the facial expression on the reflection hid it well. I tried the other mirrors—it was the same. I stopped for a minute, closed my eyes, then heard it talk.
“Believe.” That’s it. The word’s resonance paralyzed me; I couldn’t move and couldn’t understand a thing. ‘In what?’ is all I thought.
“Believe” was what the reflection repeatedly said. It was the word that felt like an abyss that I had to surrender to. “Believe” was what I was ordered to do in the calmest yet most bloodcurdling manner possible. “Believe” is what I decided not to do.
Written by Enjy Ashour.
Cover photo by Ella Jardim.