Through the looking glass
A tale of how our worlds collided
The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own. Instead, it showed a dimly lit room with a figure standing in the corner. I tried to look away, but I couldn't. It was like the image was pulling me in.
The image appeared distorted but the longer I stared, the clearer the image became. The figure was a woman, with long black hair and a white dress. She was staring straight at me, her eyes full of sadness and despair. I felt a chill run down my spine and I knew that something was wrong.
The next day, I woke up feeling uneasy. My stomach churned and when I woke up to make my usual morning coffee, my hands felt clammy as I held the mug. I couldn't shake off the feeling that something was off. As I got ready for work, I avoided the mirror just to give me peace of mind. I was heading out the door when I realized that I had left my blazer on my full length floor mirror in my bedroom. Since I saw the woman in my bathroom mirror, I didnt think twice about retrieving my blazer. As I grabbed my blazer from the mirror's frame, I caught a glimpse of the mirror and I froze. The reflection was in this mirror as well, but this time it was clearer. The woman was closer, and I could see tears streaming down her face. I could see her hair up close in a ponytail and it looked like a mess. It was dull, tangled and in desperate need of a wash. Her tears were not the normal translucent tears we see when anyone cries; her tears were black and stained her pale face as they streamed down her cheeks. Her mouth was moving and I could tell she was trying to talk to me but I couldn't hear anything. Her hands squeezed into fists and her neck veins began to bulge. I think she was yelling. I could see she was not only angry but sad. I still couldnt hear her. I waved goodbye and she disappeared.
I went to the office as I had a client that was ready to finally close on a luxury condo in Miami at 11 am. It was already 8:30 and commuting from Westchester into the city by car was no joke. I would expect no less than an additional 30 minutes of traffic to get to work. Just as I expected, there was serious traffic. I arrived at work at 9:30 and my daily standup meeting at 10 , gave me little time to work on my clients folder. Standup ended at 10:45, leaving me only 15 minutes until the meeting with my client. I went to the bathroom to check how I looked.
I looked in the mirror and there she was. This time her face was contorted. Her eyebrows were furrowed and her jawline muscles appeared more prominent. "Are you going to keep ignoring me". She yelled. I flinched and let out a quick scream. "I can hear you. Who are you? What do you want from me? " The woman disappeared again and I hit the mirror several times to see if she would reappear but no luck. I went back to the meeting room. My client had been let in by my secretary and was sitting when I entered. He greeted me. I greeted back and we began filling out the required documents. "Help me" a soft voice whispered in my ear. "Was that you?" I asked my client but I already knew it was her. He looked at me confused. "You must have had a long night" he said. I smiled.
When I went home that evening, I rushed to the floor mirror in my bedroom as soon as I could. There she was again. The woman was now standing in the same room as me, and I could hear her screaming in the background. "Who are you?" I asked. "I am Isabella. You have to help me" she said. "What's wrong?" I asked. She began shaking her head and tears started flooding her face. "Look what they have done to me." I looked at her intensely and I could see puncture wounds all over her arms and legs. There were two large strap marks on her skin around both of her wrists. " "Who did this to you?" I asked. "They're horrible, they won't stop until they find a cure. Who are they?" I asked. She wiped her face. "There is always a price to pay for being a Brentwood and it's in our genes" " "Brentwood? Who is Brentwood?" She looked at the left imprint of the rope on her wrists. "Do you love your daughter? the woman asked. "My, my daughter?! She's in college and is currently spending her Spring break in Miami with her dad. You know my daughter?" "I know everything about you" the woman said. "You know me?! Who exactly are you? Listen, I am not sure what you want from me but I can't help you. " The woman began to cry. "You have to help me", she said. I looked at the corner of the mirror and saw another image. There was a girl no older than 15 laid out on a lab table. Her wrists were fastened by metal bands. The table was surrounded by over a dozen machines. The room was filled with medical equipment, surgical toys, ivs, and needles. The girl was attached to one of the machines by wired sensors on her chest. She too, had punctures on her arms and legs. I could hear this young girl whimpering. "Who is this?" I asked. "My daughter" she said. "Youre a mother and I know you wouldnt want anything of the sort to happen to your child." A figure in a lab coat approached the girl with a needle and a syringe.
I reached out to touch the mirror, but my hand went straight through it. I stumbled back, shocked and confused. I tried to rationalize what I had just seen, but I couldn't.As a mother myself, I knew that I had to do something, but I didn't know what.
The following night, I mustered up the courage to step into the mirror. It was like stepping into a different world. The air was thick and heavy, and her house was dim. I walked outside and the streets were empty. "What happened here? Where is this?" "This is Rhutesan." she said. She took a black butterfly clip from her vanity dresser and clipped her hair back.
We spent hours talking, and I learned that a deadly virus had affected Rhutesan and she and her daughter were immune to this virus. The Rhutesan government collected medical records, urine and blood samples from every individual every year. They conducted a draft in which they tested 100 people with each blood type and blood subtype. It was discovered that AB positive blood with the RO subtype is immune to the virus. Only 0.1% of people had this blood type and Isabella and her daughter were one of them. Everyone with this blood type and subtype was taken into medical labs for testing. They collected their blood and injected them with all sorts of variants of the disease. They sedate them and their organs are eventually used for testing. She had managed to escape one of the labs but her daughter was still there. She had been trying to get her daughter for weeks, but she couldn't. I promised her that I would help her, and I knew that I had to get back to my own world to do so.
As I stepped back through the mirror, I felt a jolt of electricity run through my body. When I opened my eyes, I was back in my own world. But something was different. The air was still thick and heavy, and I could hear the woman's cries.
I went outside and my street was empty. The only person I could see was my neighbor across the street.She was standing in her living room peering out the window. I took a step closer and I realized that she was wearing a white dress just like the woman whose kid was kidnapped in Rhutesan. Although my neighbor had blond hair, I was a bit freaked out when I notices the frills and design were exactly the same as the woman. This woman who I never got to know her name. The woman's despair was seeping through, and I didn't know how to stop it. I turned on the tv to watch the news. "The International Medical Center has determined that the deadly airborne disease, Deucocia has four stages. The first stage is the incubation period. The second stage is said to have itchy blisters, which leads to scabs. In the third stage, patients get a fever, headache and become very weak. In the final stage, the virus is said to affect their air pathways and constrict their lungs. As of now, no individual that has reached the final stage has survived. However, Dr Imran remains hopeful that they could find people that are immune to this disease and begin testing to find a cure." I grabbed the remote from the living room table and switched it off. I stood there in complete shock of what I just heard. My daughter had the very blood type Isabella mentioned. My phone rang and I could see Brian's number come up. I let it ring a few times as I didnt feel like talking to him since our divorce was not finalized. I suddenly remembered Isabella from Rhutesan, and I already knew. I picked up the phone only to hear "It's our daughter". His voices muffled more words that were drowned out by my thoughts. I realized that I had made a mistake by stepping into the mirror, and now I had to pay the price.
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