The Bathroom Mirror (Excerpt)

The next day, Mary woke up to find a note on her bedside. Of all things, her sister thought this was the most appropriate. Love letters on how much she missed her. Mary snatched the paper from her bedside and opened it. You have been warned. If it had been written in any other way, then maybe she would have taken it seriously, but the font Helvetica? Really? She was worth way more than this basic font. She discarded the paper where she did everything else: underneath her bed. Getting out of bed would have usually been a problem, but today it just felt like that day. She jumped onto her very gritty floor and nearly slid. She still slept with socks on, like a weird person. She glanced in the mirror as she headed to school, simply because she was that weird person who slept with their clothes for the day already on. You only ever realized this if you lived with her. From past “friends,” Mary had learned that telling people she poured her milk before her cereal was probably not a good conversation starter, unless she wanted to be teased mercilessly.

Besides all of that, Mary was walking to school with someone following her. Every step she took and every block she turned, she felt a presence there with her. She burst into a sudden sprint to school, and at the door she was greeted with a familiar face she hadn’t seen in quite a while. She was not sure if she should be mad because he never texted back or happy that Josh was finally back. He ran his hands through his thickly gelled hair, and she rolled her eyes. No greetings were needed, as they were back to talking about Josefin’s abnormally big ears. Secretly, she felt bad. Who was she to judge? But she was just so glad Josh was here, that she didn’t really care what they were talking about.

Finally, the elephant in the room was addressed. “So… where were you… all this time?” Mary said casually.

“Oh you know, just taking care of business,” Joshy struck back. Afraid to make things too awkward, Mary let it be at that. What business? Mary wanted to ask. What could be so important that you would just leave? And right after that whole mirror incident too? This was getting complicated, and she didn’t want to get too deep into it, so, again, she let it go.

The rest of the day, she went from class to class as if nothing was happening. But there was still a presence that she could feel following her. She kept looking back so hard that her neck started hurting. Her whole experience of just being was super eerie. Like when she had that weird dream of being in that girl’s body and that man… Mary didn’t understand why this was happening to her. Or why it would happen to anyone for that matter. In her confusion, she did what any other teenager would do and Googled it. She didn’t really know what to type, not that anyone had ever talked about being through this, so she looked up Bloody Mary. She saw what she expected. A Wikipedia page on how Bloody Mary died. Murdered in a dungeon by her caretaker, Harold Green. Chills ran down her back. Slowly, she was able to piece things together. She got up from crouching on the bathroom floor, as she smelt the girl in the next stall completely gassing the place. She scrunched up her face and ran out of the bathroom. Everyone knew the school bathroom was for meeting, talking, dancing, possibly peeing, or even making Snapchat stories if you were that girl, but no one ever actually used the bathroom.

With her face flushed, Mary ran to last period, her phone lodged between her books. She was probably the only girl too paranoid to leave her stuff in her locker.


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