It Is You, All Along

The windows on my left barely touched the roof, but the width was as broad as this room. From the lights that came through the slit between the thin purple curtains, I believed it was morning. Or perhaps in the middle of the day. I wasn’t sure.

Morning, afternoon, neither of them convinced me that the sunlight was real.

My eyes scattered to see. And it was all dreary as if I was surrounded by the color of gray. Nor the white paint on the wall nor the chest-high dresser, they all seemed lifeless and dull while standing on my right. Next to the dresser, I noticed the door was slightly opened, exposing the darkness which shouldn’t have been there.

Apart from these details, I found myself under the blanket, glancing under my eyes, and saw the big blue shirt I usually wore hiding my upper body from the cold—and I felt nothing, I smell nothing, they were all merged into one utter numbness. Once or twice, I was shifting my head, but, no, the whole me was inanimate, as if it didn’t want to be alive.

I then let myself to sink into the solitariness while watching the light of the sun disguised the gray that shading my room. Not by much, I knew, but it gave me a little comfort. I would never be a fan of this moment, and yet, I was motionless like an undead.

At the door, I sensed someone was coming, with its light steps, unnoticeable. Aware that its shadow was getting closer, collided with the sunlight from my left, I grinned in order to help myself calm as its presence disrupted the silence around me. Then, a woman appeared, standing next to me, staring without showing her eyes. Her face was covered by her long black hair. It was tangled and dirty, messy like it was never been properly cared for.

She leaned forward, allowing her hair touched my chest, brushing along with her shadow. I was stunned as I couldn’t move, and anxious at the same time. Her height was same as mine, and she was wearing my favorite black shirt I normally used for my work, and also my favorite orange ZARA pants.

She, remarkably, looked like me.

“Yes, I am, you,” she said, with the soft voice that passed through the gaps of the hair covering her face.

Unexpected, I felt my body was shaking involuntarily. And the only thing I could do was just looking back at her, with the prolong frailty and dismay. Her sinful fingers wanted to reach me, but she couldn’t, as if something blocked her moves. Thus, we just stared at each other, observing and learning each other. It was too closed, her hideous look made my stomach uneasy.

“You know,” she whispered while moving her head like a snake, “you are the one who caused your life miserable. Not anyone, but you.”

I felt fury suddenly raised to the back of my head. My lips sealed, hunting my breath through my petite nose while sending all the curses at her in silence. She hasn’t allowed me to speak, and I couldn’t argue here. She won, I was weak.

“Yes, you are weak,” “she whispered again with her wicked smile where I could feel it behind that curtain hair. “You’ve made the people you love suffer, and so yourself,” she added.

This time I was extremely mad. She wouldn’t understand that I’ve been spending my life doing my best for those who I love. And her presumption was overruled here. With all the anger, my strength returned all at once. I woke up without a doubt, then both of my hands reached her, grabbing her neck.

I tried to murder her existence as best as I could; insistently kicked and pushed her until she hit the dresser and retreated to the doorway next to it. But she firmly stood there, laughed with her evil and devious hoots, insulting my effort to eradicate her presence.

“You can’t kill me because I am you,” her voice was now horribly shrill.

I kept hitting her, punched her, back to strained her, again and again. And after quite some time, I fell to the floor, realizing that she was gone, disappeared from my grips.

I looked around and found nothing except myself in this empty room.

I gasp, trying to reach the air in one gulp.

My eyes are narrowed to hide me from the bright sunlight coming between the purple curtains. I sit down, removing the blanket from my chest, aware that I’m wearing the same big blue shirt I wore in the dream I had.

Roughly, I rub my face with both palm of my hands. Another one came, and this one successfully terrifies me.

THE SILENT ROAD •