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decayed reflection

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There is something in her that draws you to her. You do not understand why, but she’s like the woman in the mirror. There is no life in her pale body, much like the woman in your mirror. Her eyes are empty, her smile hollow, her voice laced with sweet poison, her skin marred by death and bitterness. You do not know how to touch the woman in the mirror, so you wish to touch this woman instead.

You fear something may snap. You may lose the woman in the mirror forever. You may lose your body. You may lose this woman, too, whoever she is.

You trace your finger along the stitches on your neck. The woman in the mirror does the same. She, on the other hand, watches both of you from behind—you can see her through the mirror standing behind you, watching you with her dark, unreadable eyes. When you turn around, she’s gone. 

You wonder how similar she is to the woman in the mirror after all.

The day she has her knife to your throat as a warning for you to stay away, you search for the hatred you found in similar eyes years and years ago. You search for the hatred you were met with a lifetime ago, you search for the familiar sting of pain in your heart, but there is nothing. It is when she pulls away that you realise that you were searching for something that wasn’t there—neither her hatred for you, nor a heart that could feel hurt. 

No, her hatred extends beyond you. It extends beyond this manor, beyond herself, much like your cold heart which lives this cursed life after death. Her hatred could even burn this thread around your neck. It could charr the tips of your fingers should you reach out to her, should you get close. 

You do not care. Your skin is lifeless and blue so it doesn’t matter. Your nails are made to claw your way through to whatever it is that you want to reach.

It is on your lonely nights when you hear her cries next door that you feel the thread tighten around your throat. It is the distance she keeps from her own reflection, fearing something she might see, that makes you wonder how else she’s different from the woman in the mirror. 

It is on moonlit nights when she dances and you’re reminded of an image from ages ago, an image of a princess under a bright, clear sky and you’re reminded of the emotions you felt once upon a lifetime, when the world around you wasn’t this sour and dull and colourless. It is when she hums songs you can’t sing that you wonder of your other unfulfilled desires and whether she could ever meet these longings. 

It is when the anger in her eyes shifts away from you, and her knife no longer points at you, it is when her gaze follows you in the dark and it is when her voice becomes softer every time she talks that you realise that this is what she may have been like a lifetime ago as well. 

It is when she’s close that you wonder of the warmth that was the last time you had a woman underneath you.

You do not feel that warmth again. Neither of you do.

The truth is, you are both withered inside out. Your souls have been crushed, manipulated, destroyed, and then put back into your disgraced bodies, and too much may have been lost in the process—things you will never get back. You live this pitiful life with faint memories of the past that you see in each other. You do not have a princess, you do not have her warmth, you do not have castle walls around you, you do not have sunny skies, and you do not have a beating heart. 

Instead, you have this woman. You have her to sing your songs, and you have her dancing in your shadows and reflections, and you have her as opposed to just the woman in the mirror. Maybe she finds something in you, too. Maybe in these wretched bodies, you both have a reason.

The thread linking you to her is the same thread that holds your body together. 

Even though you’re decayed and even though you are farthest from life, you cannot let this thread snap.