You’re not crazy if you talk to yourself.
Only if you answer back.
And tonight I answer back.
I’ve barricaded myself in the bathroom as my husband beats on the door, demanding to be let in. I burn the memory of my reflection into my brain, for fear that once the door opens, I will be unrecognizable.
“After this, things will change,” the woman in the mirror promises. “All you have to do is say the word.”
In an instant, my husband bursts through, and I am outside of my body watching myself catch his fist in the air, side-step him, and duck, letting his weight drive him into the side of the bathtub head first, and with a crack and a thud, all is silent.
I am in the back of the police car now. And the female officer says, “No one will blame you for what happened. We just need you to answer some questions, and then you’ll be free to go.”
I stare past her at myself, at the woman from the mirror who now inhabits my body. “Yes, after this, things will be different,” she says to me in the rearview with a cold smile and black eyes.
What once filled me with hope now fills me with dread as I worry what I might have released upon the world.
© 2022 Nortina Simmons
This story was inspired by The Twilight Zone episode “Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room” and has a much more sinister ending.