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The mirror had been removed from my room, leaving a big, open space with nothing in it. The white wall looked bare and unloved. Relief washed over my body. Running towards it, I touched the blank walls, so glad to have them back, so glad not to have that stupid mirror there. “Glad you’re pleased.” Mum was leaning against the doorframe, her hair now neat, her jeans and t-shirt ironed. There was not a trace of the clowns mess of makeup she had had on her face earlier. “You bet I am. I don’t know what that was this morning. Maybe my dream was too real.” Feeling childish, I twirled some of my hair around my finger. She gave me that knowing look. The sort you give when you don’t believe what someone has just told you. I knew that she thought I had been taking crazy drugs, when truth be told I had only done weed, and that had only been once. Not something I found pleasurable or something I had the need to do again. Turning, she softly said, “It’s in the attic. I do want it back in your room one day, Alexis.” “Okay.” I called back to a now empty corridor, my skin crawling as I anticipated ‘one day’. It could be sooner rather than later. Lasagne was for dinner - I could smell it wafting its way up through the floorboards, see the cheese bubbling in the oven, a tiny bit like a wave machine. My tummy growled because of the lack of food. Grabbing a random book off of the shelf, I flopped down onto the bed. Into the carefree and easy world of book absorption I eagerly went. The only thing that got me out of it was the call for dinner - I wanted that lasagne. Thump. Thump. Thump. Sighing loudly, I violently rolled myself over. “Can no one else hear that? Ben? Is that you?” Thump. Thump. Thump. There was no reply. Either Ben was playing a trick on me, or everyone else was in a sleep as deep as a coma. Sighing again, I kicked the covers off and padded off down the stairs. The potential of it being a burglar hadn’t occurred until I was standing in the middle of the hallway, light twisted onto full beam and a weapon out of my reach. Heart thundering like the first storm in an odd hot and dry spell, I pressed myself up against the wall. Thump. Thump. Thump. It wasn’t coming from downstairs. It was more distant down there than it had been when I was in my room. Still cautious, I stood at the bottom of the stairs, straining to work out exactly where it was from. Between the bangs, I could hear Ben and mum snoring. It really sounded like: loud snore, soft snore, thump. Loud snore, soft snore, thump. There was no way I could have stifled that giggle. The rhythm continued as I made my way back up the stairs and onto the landing. It got louder. So it definitely wasn’t downstairs. Yet it didn’t seem to be coming from this floor either. I shrugged before returning to bed. Half way there, my toes went
deadly cold. Oh shit. I knew exactly where that sound was coming from. And it just couldn’t be. It was impossible. Dreams never come true. I had eventually lead myself to believe that this morning was nothing more than a realistic dream. Maybe a nightmare I didn’t remember but woke up from, still believing to be true. Blood running like ice, nervous beads of sweat gathering on my forehead underneath my fringe, I turned and climbed the stairs into the attic. Now I could hear many thumps. Now the rhythm sounded like this: Loud snore, soft snore, thump, thump, thump, thump, THUMP. Loud snore, soft snore, thump, thump, thump, thump, THUMP. My heart wouldn’t slow - if anything, the speed at which it was racing was increasing. Cartoon-like images of my heart jumping out of my chest and ripping all the big veins and stuff attached to it were racing around my head. There was a whistling in my ears and I felt all fuzzy, but I still kept going. The attic had never been a pleasant place. Then again, the local dump wasn’t a pleasant place, so why would a room dedicated to the same cause be any different? Beams of moon managed to battle their way through the grime covered window, giving the room an eerie atmosphere. Everything was a flat black shape, the pointy bits seeming pointier than they really were. It was like a typical horror movie scene. The mirror was right underneath a perfect, undisturbed beam. There could have been nothing more perfectly placed about it, unless it were to have ended up in my room right underneath my light. There, in the centre was the boy. His long black hair this time neat, his blue eyes piercing through the murky dark. He half smiled. I turned to run. THUMP! He banged on the glass so hard I thought it was going to shatter. My eyes shut, my teeth clenched, I turned back around to face him. He was holding a white sheet of paper with “Hi. I’m Fabien” sloppily scrawled across it. He held a finger up, telling me to wait, flipped it over and furiously wrote something else, which turned out to be “Got paper and pen?” I was in a trance. Not in control of my own body at all. Something in me nodded. Something else in me then moved myself into my room, opened my desk draw, heaved out the pad of A4 leaves and a big black marker, before returning me to the attic. “Your name?” he wrote, his eyes twinkling with amusement. Popping the cap off of the pen, I opened up the pad and wrote “Alexis. But you call me Lexi.” The writing was shaky - nowhere as neat as usual. My toes were slightly warming up, my pulse only slightly above normal. A calm was flowing through me, as if what I was doing was perfectly normal, an event that happened every day. With a flirty smile on his face, he wrote again, laughing at whatever he was writing. Anxiously, I wriggled in my seat. “I love it when names match people.” Registering my confusion, he hastily added to what he had just written. “Your name is beautiful. Just like you.” Blushing, I looked at my feet. It must have looked like I was staring at him - which I was. He wasn’t cherub beautiful. Or obviously beautiful. It was something deeper. Or something emitting from him. I felt ashamed. Josh flashed to the forefront of my mind. I had never felt this way about Josh when I first saw him. It
was like I was cheating on him. The glass once again was thumped, my attention obviously having been away for too long. “I’ve been waiting for you.” He flipped it over, the message on the other side already there, “It sounds weird… but don’t be scared.” He picked up another sheet of paper, “I’ll explain. I promise you.” Once again, he flipped it over, “It’ll have to be tomorrow night.” A third piece of paper was removed from the floor, “So, Lexi. I guess I’ll be seeing you.” “Wait!” The ink wouldn’t leave the pen fast enough. I flashed my message at him, only to find nothing in the mirror but the reflection of all the cluttered junk behind me. I wasn’t quite sure how I should be feeling. Definitely freaked out. Someone just pops up in the mirror, and then, worse than that, they tell me they’ve been waiting for me. Freaked out was definitely high up on the list. Maybe scared as well. How did Fabien know I existed? Who the hell was he? Why is he trapped in a mirror or whatever? However, I felt nothing more than inner peace - and the desire for the mirror the be placed back in my room. “Maybe,” I thought, “you should get your head checked. Maybe you’re losing your marbles.” Chuckling, I added to my though, “As if you had any to begin with.”