Image borrowed from twisted candy
When walking by mirrors I look away. I look away because I know that she is there, waiting for me. The look in her eyes haunting me with their questions, always pleading, "Why? Why?" and the look of pity upon her face that makes my stomach churn.
Yesterday I was cleaning my closet and stumbled upon an old jewelry box. It was full of old broken jewelry, love notes, and photographs. Jewelry that I would never choose to wear, notes that didn't belong to me (a frumpy housewife), and snapshots of her. I quickly closed the box and pushed it away from me. The closet can be cleaned later. Why is she doing this to me? Why won't she just leave me alone? But I know why she won't leave me alone. I killed her. I squeezed the very breath from her being, stole her place and hid her. I broke her up into little pieces and hid her body in various dark places. Why? Why would I do that? I'm not a violent person. I don't think I even realized what I was doing at the time. When it was all over I told myself that I had to do it, it was the right thing to do, it was better for everyone that she was dead. But now, years later, she is back and she won't leave me alone. WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE ME ALONE? Her laughter rings through my head. A loud, happy laughter so unlike my own. She loved to laugh and to make others laugh at her. She was brazen, obnoxious, and always ready for a new adventure. I remember her crazy, wild hair and the interesting way she dressed. Never one to bend to the latest fad she was always coming up with new and unusual outfits. The best way to describe her is, "not like me." I'm the responsible, serious type, I know there are things more important than fashion or beauty. I don't have time for silly escapades when there is so much work to be done. If I don't do it, who will? Maybe that is why I killed her. I couldn't stand seeing the stark contrast so I destroyed her so that no one could compare us. But killing her didn't make her go away. People still remember her, talk about her. And now I seem to see her everywhere I go. The other day I was talking to my husband and I swear I heard her voice coming out of my mouth. It's as if she is trying to come back, as if even death won't stop her from living.
Today I felt her inside me. It was when I flipped my wet hair back while taking a shower. I flipped it back and smiled as I ran my hand through my hair, just like she used to do. I looked in the mirror and saw here there, staring back at me. But this time she wasn't pleading, she was smiling. She was getting stronger and she knew it, I knew it too. In a panic I ran around the house, reaching into closets, pulling from under beds, gathering all the hidden mementos of her life. Sitting in the living room, surrounded by her remnants, I studied her, remembered her, allowed myself to want to be her. The ghost that had been taunting me and tormenting was winning, and secretly I began wanting her to win.
Why shouldn't I want her to win? She is my ghost, mine, the person I was before I got married and had children. I thought she had to die to make room for the new me. But she wants to live again, and so do I. No, I'm not going to go and do anything crazy, but maybe today I will do my hair like I used to. Maybe I will spend more than 5 minutes assembling my outfit, and I just might fix some of that old jewelry and wear it again. Who knows? Maybe I will laugh a little louder or take my kids with me on some silly little adventure. After all, it is Halloween, the perfect time to let old ghosts live again.
This was written for entry in Scribbit's wonderful WriteAway contest.