The aloe aroma of the fog surrounds and fills me, wrapping me in its warm cocoon of moist comfort. I know I should shower with the bathroom door open; after all, it’s only me in the apartment and the vent fan doesn’t work, but sometimes that fog is a blessing. The mirror is a sheet of white vapour and my reflection doesn’t stare back at me pityingly.
I pull the door open and the chill air of my room wafts in. I stop; something is very wrong. The lights are off and the old laptop I use for a TV is on. And somebody is sitting on my sofa bed staring at it.
Panic strikes. I’m dripping from head to foot and the towel is on the sofa. I want to slam the bathroom door. I want to jump for the towel. I want to curl up and whimper. Instead I just stare as she turns her head.
I start hyperventilating. The face I see is mine. She stares at me with wide eyes and a slack jaw; her chest is pumping rapidly with each tiny breath. Her hair is slicked down against her head and tiny beads of water trickly slowly down her face.
My hand fumbles and finds the bathroom light switch. Darkness envelops me in its velvety comfort. She’s still there, but it’s much harder for her to see me. I hope.
“Selena?” Her voice is soft and tentative.
I fight down the urge to turn and hug the wall. “Who are you?”
“I’m you Selena, from the other side.”
“No. I’m the one who looks back at you through the glass every morning.”
The shadowy form walks toward me, holding something bulky in her hand. I shrink back, but she reaches forward and it touches my arm. I sense the prickly soft tingle of terrycloth against my skin as she brushes the towel against me. She starts stroking my skin with it in a soft kneading motion. The comfortable feel of it causes me to relax just a tiny bit.
“You’re my reflection, aren’t you? From the mirror?”
“Uh-huh. I got out.” She sounds as nervous as I feel as she rubs the towel across my back. I feel her back and it’s drying as she dries me. Her skin is warm and soft.
“B-but that’s im-impossible.”
“No it’s not. It’s just very difficult. Like looking into your eyes every morning and not being able to hold you.”
The towel drops and her hands caress my lower back. Nobody’s ever done that before and it sends a shiver of raw anticipation through me. My breathing gets shallow and ragged again, but this time it’s not entirely fear.
I wake up lying on the carpet in the apartment’s chill morning air. It was all a dream. Figures.
A whisper kisses my ear. “Good morning, Selena.” She snuggles in tighter and her warm hand touching my stomach makes me gasp.