Have you ever gotten that you’re unsafe in your own home? And no, before you say it, I’m not talking about that clichéd feeling of being watched. What I’m talking about is the cold feeling inside your heart that you’re unsafe, that someone or something means to do you harm. That’s the feeling that’s been dwelling in my heart for quite some time. Here’s how it started.
My name is Aaron. About two weeks ago, I moved into an apartment on my college campus. It was irregular that I’d have gotten accommodation this late into the year, usually the student apartments would’ve been long since taken by now. And they were. But just about two weeks ago, I got the call that the campus suddenly had an opening for me and asked would I be willing to move in immediately. Not thinking anything of it, I accepted, thinking myself lucky that I should suddenly have my accommodation sorted for the academic year. And, just like that, I moved into the apartment. It was small, nothing more than a bedroom, bathroom and small kitchen area. Before she handed me the key, the landlady gave me a worried look and told me “Be careful of the mirror, dear. It doesn’t like people staring for too long.” That statement immediately made me confused, but the moment I questioned her about it, she immediately thrust the key into my hand and quickly ran down the hall, ending the conversation.
It started off simple. I’d hear knocking at the window, a light tapping on the glass in the middle of the night. You’d probably pass that off as one of the other students playing a prank on me at night but given that my apartment is on the third floor of the building, I find that unlikely. I did my best to rationalise it, saying that it was probably the wind blowing a leaf against the glass every so often. But even at that, I got the feeling that it wasn’t the answer. Like how sometimes, you tell yourself something to explain a strange situation, forcing yourself to believe it, even though you know it isn’t true. For about three nights in a room, that same tapping on the window happened, and each time I looked, nothing was there. Not even a leaf. But that’s only where this story begins.
I started noticing things about the mirror last week. When I first noticed it, it was subtle things, like a shadow standing in the corner of the room while I was brushing my teeth, only for me to look and see no one there, or seeing a someone through the reflection, standing in the doorway, again only to find myself alone in the bathroom. But, in the past few days, it’s been getting worse. One night, I could’ve sworn I heard whispering. The words being spoken were nowhere near audible, but I was certain that, on the other side of that glass, there was someone whispering. And whoever it was, they didn’t sound happy. After that, I started asking around, trying to find out why there was suddenly an opening in the building a few weeks after the first semester had started. I’d originally thought whoever the student was had dropped out, but the answer I got was much more sinister. One of my neighbours, a pale-looking girl with long jet-black hair, explained to me in a nervous, shaky voice that the boy who last lived in my apartment disappeared. She’d only talked to him a few times, but she’d noticed how distraught he’d looked as the days went on, like he was becoming scared. He’d told her that something was living in his mirror, that his reflection wanted to hurt him. She’d called him crazy as she didn’t believe in ghost stories and had a naturally sceptical personality. But, all of a sudden, the boy disappeared without a trace. The police searched his apartment and found nothing. No signs of forced entry, or any indication of him leaving town. All his clothes and books were left behind, undisturbed. It was quite literally as if he’d disappeared into thin air. All that they found was a toothbrush, left on the bathroom sink, with fresh toothpaste on it. So, wherever he went, it was as if the bathroom was the last place he was. When the girl, who introduced herself as Paige, told me the story, I could feel myself turning cold. Thinking that’s the real reason why I got that apartment, I didn’t feel right being there. However, thinking of the story, I took it upon myself to find out what had happened to the boy who disappeared. I practically marched into my bathroom and scanned the place, desperately looking for clues. Pausing for a moment, I stared at my reflection in the mirror. For about five minutes I simply started at the mirror. And that’s when I saw it. My reflection. Was I hallucinating or was my reflection smiling at me? I rubbed my eyes and looked again. No doubt about it. My reflection was bearing a grin. A grin that I wasn’t wearing on my own face. In fact, my own face bore a reflection of horror. The reflection, the other me, was looking back at me with the most sinister looking smile on its face. Regardless of what has happening in reality, the reflection was smiling a sinister smile. The moment I saw it, my heart started hammering. No matter what I did, my reflection didn’t copy. When I raised my hands, wiggled my fingers, or even made a funny face, the reflection simply stared at me, maintaining that same horrible smile. Immediately I moved, trying to get as far away from the room, away from the mirror, as I could. But all I could think about was how, as I left, the reflection’s head turned to watch me left, still wearing that horrible smile.
Whenever I passed the mirror, I noticed the reflection. No matter what I did, no matter what I was doing, the reflection didn’t mimic me. It simply stood there, watching what I was doing with that sickly grin. Whenever I tried looking at it through a camera lens, the picture would simply show the reflection acting as it should, holding a camera. But, outside the camera, the reflection simply watched me with a smile. It was driving me crazy. Before long, I couldn’t bear looking at my reflection in any form of surface, not just mirrors. I lived in fear of that horrible reflection, acting of its own accord, living by its own free will. I tried telling people about it, but they called me crazy. And, to tell you the truth, I think I might be. Think about it; who would believe that a one’s reflection was acting of its own accord, trying to haunt the mirror or those who looked at it? I know it’s crazy, but deep down, I’m beginning to think I know what happened to the boy who went missing. And I know that the reflection is behind it.
There’s why I’m telling you this tonight. I’m looking at the clock. It read 12:00am, but it isn’t ticking anymore. The moment it struck midnight, the clock froze, refusing to change its figures. That’s when the tapping started again. I’m no longer checking the window, I know by now that nothing’s there. As I said, there’s a reason I’m telling you this story. It’s because I just heard a crash, the smashing of glass. You see, the tapping was never coming from the window. It was coming from the mirror. And I think I hear something, standing outside my door.