Stuck behind a glass prison, she stares back at me. She watches my every move.
I was drawn to the abandon in her clear, blue eyes. While some see sparkling gems, I see past the façade presented on the surface. They are only glass caps on empty holes.
Now only standing about three feet apart, I take in the rest of her. Loose, gold locks frame her small, heart-shaped face. Aside from a few, light freckles scattered across the bridge of her narrow nose, her skin is flawless. It gives off the lightest glow, being just barely touched by the sunlight. Her lips, ripe like freshly picked strawberries, part slightly to reveal teeth forced straight with orthodontics. Despite the minimal amount of light reaching them, they sparkle like little pearls buried in the sand of her mouth. A pale blue, cotton sundress sits neatly draped over her slender figure. She is perfect.
Or so it seems.
I know better. Like her eyes, the rest of her appearance is merely a veil. Behind it rests only the empty, dead shape of the girl she’s portraying. Her lungs, with her heart, dried and shriveled to dust. In her absence, something dark spawned and grew. Taking hold of her bones to operate as its own, it lives through her. And now, it was smiling at me.
The sick grin that spread across her lips, flashing those beautiful pearls once more, seemed drastically inappropriate for her, yet perfect for what she’d become. Without hesitation, it pulled a fist back and quickly threw it at the glass. A web of cracks spiraled out around the impact and the grin grew wider at the flash of crimson now dribbling down.
I took a single, hesitant step back as it flung her body against its confines repeatedly, thuds and snaps echoing through the silence. Cracks in the once shining surface continued to stretch and spread. Using elbows, knees, hands, shoulders, and feet, it continued to break through. Bloodied chunks of glass flew toward me, clinking against the floor by my feet.
“No,” I whispered, too horrified to move or scream.
It was breaking free.
With one final lunge, the rest of the glass shattered. Frail hands took hold of my collar. Before I could react, I felt myself pulled forward and everything went black.
Soft whispers entered the darkness first. Letting my eyes flutter open and adjust, I found myself in a mostly white room. From the beeping machine beside me and the horrid, sterile smell, I knew instantly that I was lying in a hospital bed. My head throbbed.
As I reached up to rub it, I paused noticing my fists and elbows were bandaged. Blotches of red seeped through the white material. My hands were wrapped tightly and my one arm hung lazily in a sling.
“Hey sweetie,” my mother cooed, realizing for the first time that I was awake. She walked away from the nurse she’d been speaking to and perched herself at the foot of my bed. “How are you feeling?”
Ignoring her, I spotted the silver food tray on the table at my bedside. Pushing the empty milk carton off it, I grabbed it to inspect my appearance. My mother quickly plucked it from my hands with a sad smile.
“Take it easy,” she whispered quietly as she stood to place the tray out of arms reach.
I noticed that the wall mirror in the room was sloppily covered with toilet paper and tape. Soft footsteps approached the doorway from the hall. My mother quickly strode toward it to meet the person, dropping her voice to a hushed tone. Leaning forward on the bed, I strained to hear.
“Is she awake? The psychologist is here.” I recognized the voice as my fathers.
“She doesn’t need a psychologist just yet,” my mother whispered back.
“Just yet?!” my father replied just loud enough to earn a hiss from my mother in response. “She nearly killed herself. We’re lucky she woke up. When will it be time? By then, she’ll be dead,” he argued back, still trying and failing to keep a hushed tone.
My mother fell silent. I felt the blood drain from my face and quickly scrambled off the bed and darted toward the mirror. A storm of alarming beeps ensued as the sensors were plucked from my body. Using my good hand, I clawed savagely at the thin paper on the mirror. My mother had returned to my side and, with the help of my father, wrestled me back to the bed.
They moved quickly but not quick enough. I had already seen her peering out from behind the paper. Dried blood thickly caked her hair and parts of her face in scabs. I was focused solely on the sinister smile stretched across her lips – across my lips.