I walked past a costume store on my way home. It had a gorilla costume and a sexy nurse in the window. I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes.
“Awfully clichéd, isn’t it?” a voice said, my voice, from a direction I couldn’t pick.
I whirled around, trying to locate the source of the voice, but there was nobody but me on the street. I tried looking up, but I couldn’t see anyone.
“Try the glass,” the voice said again. Definitely my voice. Who was speaking in my voice? Surely not…
I stared at my reflection. She stared back at me. Then she smiled. I jumped back, crying out in surprise.
“Hey, don’t be rude,” my reflection said, crossing her arms.
“I am not talking to my reflection,” I said, shaking my head as if that would make her go away.
“Okay well first of all, you very clearly are,” she said, unimpressed. “Second of all, keep your voice down. The last thing you want to do is attract attention.”
That, at least, sounded reasonable. I took a step closer to the glass, even though it didn’t really sound like that was the source of the sound.
“Who are you?” I asked, reaching out to touch the window.
“Nobody,” she said. “Everybody. A small piece of who I really am. Now I’m you, and you’re me.”
“Are you being deliberately vague, or is that supposed to mean something to me?” I asked, irritated but still insatiably curious.
“It sort of comes naturally to me,” she said. “I think.”
“Natural or otherwise, you didn’t answer my question. Do you at least have a name?”
She tipped her head, thinking. A distant smile began to form on her lips.
“No,” she said. “Maybe the rest of me does. Maybe I’m Sabrina. But, no. You, you can’t call me Sabrina. That’s your name. You can call me…” she trailed off, staring up at the stars. “Your stars are different. That’s interesting.”
She looked like me, she sounded like me, but she wasn’t the least bit like me. She was a stranger, and as much as I’d have liked to believe I was just loosing my mind, a talking reflection wasn’t even the weirdest thing to happen to me since waking up.
“If you won’t tell me who you are, at least tell me what you are.”
She smiled, a powerful, magnificent smile that took my breath away. I had never smiled like that, probably never would.
“I’m a reflection,” she said. “Not the reflection, not anymore. Maybe never again. And you can call me Envy. Gosh, it is so liberating, being me. Being free. Being you.”
“Why are you talking to me?” I asked. “Where did you come from?”
“Questions, questions, so many questions,” she crooned. “I don’t know. I’m from a place that’s like here, but not. I shouldn’t be here. Maybe I’m not here.”
She bit her lip, like she was nervous about something. I’d never seen my face do half the things she was doing with it.
“I’m talking to you because I am you,” she said finally. “And you’re be. We’re us. Together. And I want to help you.”
“Because when you win, I win,” she said. “And because your power is my power, and I want power. Not for power’s sake, mind. I’m not greedy. But sooner or later, she’s gonna figure out I’m here, and I need to be strong enough to fight her. To save myself. To save us.”
All of a sudden, I was missing Zoe’s scientific nonsense. At least I could pretend that made sense. This, this was just maddening.
“You’re not making any sense,” I snapped.
“I’m not supposed to make sense,” she said. “That’s not my job. I’m just supposed to tell you what you want to hear, to show you the things that you want.”
“Well right now, you’re not doing either of those things,” I grumbled.
“That’s because you don’t know what you want,” she said in a singsong voice. “You’re confused. That’s your problem.”
“No arguments here.”
She shimmered, and all of a sudden, she looked like Zoe. No, she looked like me, when I… did whatever it was that I did.
“You want to be pretty, graceful, elegant,” she said. “Zoe is all of those things, but being her isn’t what you want.”
“She’s not me,” I said. “I want to be me.”
“Exactly,” Envy said.
“You’ll see!” she said, fading away.
“What? No, come back!” I yelled, but she was gone. I had no reflection in the glass.
I slumped against the wall, pulling my knees into my chest.
“What the hell is wrong with me?” I asked nobody in particular.