The Man in the Mirror
Sarah joined traffic following along behind Brad and thinking about how wonderful a find she had made in the mirror. Her little incident in the house was far away now, like a dream she couldn’t quite grasp the edges of. Only the essence of the episode remained, like an aphrodisiac hangover. She’d almost mentioned it to Vic when she’d told her the story behind the mirror, and then she’d thought better of it and decided to keep it to herself. It had been too private.
All that mattered now was that she’d gotten away with a beautiful antique mirror with a story behind it that made it all the more irresistible. It was an almost unbelievable steal. Almost like a set up. She shook the thought; the girl had just wanted to be done with her toils, that was all.
Then she found her thoughts wandering back to the man in the mirror. He’d smiled. Thinking back she wondered if she weren’t reading more into the incident, but it had been a sort of patiently enigmatic smile, a ‘knowing’ smile. She’d felt naked in that moment, down to her soul naked. Their encounter had lasted only a moment, but she felt like he had left a mark on her very being.
She put her turn signal on as she watched Brad take a right. ‘Almost there…’ “She thought starting to make her turn. Her breasts felt so heavy all of a sudden. She was braless in her white T-shirt and her nipples started to peak. Putting a hand to her chest she felt her pulse rising, she licked her dry lips trying to focus on the road and finding it hard to do. She felt very aware of every part of her body all of a sudden, as if her clothes were a second skin. As she took her hand away from her chest she realized the reason why. She was sheathed for the second time that morning in sweat, making her clothes cling to her every curve and juncture.
Taking a glance into her rearview one last time as she turned the wheel, she screamed. Jerking the wheel too hard to the right she lost control of the car for a split second and spun into her turn. She spun off the road and past the bike lane into a gravely semicircle just barely missing a semi truck loaded with trees that had veered into the wrong lane. Her lane.
The screeching scream of angry hot rubber sounded as she brought the car to a dust clouded halt. She huffed shallow breaths as she turned to scan the back seat in a panic. The scent of warm leather and gravel dust filled her nostrils.
Seeing nothing but her own terrified face reflected back in the mirror she turned back to the front seat and looked out her side window as the semi truck righted itself into its own lane. She stared dumfounded as it drove away without even stopping to see if she was okay. The crazy bastard had almost killed her and hadn’t even stopped to see if she was all right! She laid her head back and closed her eyes trying to control a roiling mixture of emotions; lust, anger, fear and confusion she counted among them.
“Oh my god.” She barely wheezed huffing.
Trying to catch her breath, she rolled down her window letting the cool air wash over her sweat soaked body; it wasn’t enough. She longed to rip her shirt off and stand under a cool shower.
‘What the hell just happened?’ She thought reaching out a shaky hand to open the door. A deluge of refreshing air filled the car and she closed her eyes as her breathing finally started to slow. She got out of the car and walked around it looking in. No one. She put her arms over her head and leaned over the driver side door.
Her head was spinning. The semi had nearly missed crashing head first into her small car and making a ball of tin out of it. She couldn’t have seen it coming from her vantage before she’d made the turn; the corner had been blind. The truck had been totally in the wrong lane and weaving badly. If she hadn’t glanced into her rearview and been startled into running off the road by the image of the man in her mirror at just the right moment…she’d have been toast.
He had winked at her this time as he smiled, taking off his sunglasses as he’d done so. Flashing his perfect white teeth at her, which were a bright contrast to his tanned skin. He’d been more than just a distraction from the road. He’d been an arresting sight with movie star good looks. His eyes had held hers captive, sexy hazel eyes.
Questions bubbled forth from her center causing her stomach to flutter. The stories Vic had told her were just stories, must have been true. Twice was not a coincidence. Where had he gone? Had he just saved her life on purpose? Yes, she decided he definitely had.
She looked around once more to be sure she was alone. No was around, except the occasional passing car. He had been very real, she was sure of it. She laughed. Sure of what? Who was he and why did she keep seeing him in the mirror? She had been thinking of him just before she’d seen him there. Maybe he’d been a suggestive delusion? Her fantasies mixed with Vic’s stories…maybe.
As she weighed this new possibility in her mind she remembered the fine details she’d noticed about the man. His wavy brown hair had been cut long. The starched white collar of his dress shirt flanking his neck had opened in a V, with three buttons open exposing a tan chest cut with muscle, not too much muscle, not too little. His leather coat had reflected the sunlight dully; she’d even smelled the leather as her car had begun to spin out of control. The man in the mirror was definitely haunting her, ghost or not.
Sarah drove home to find Brad waiting in the drive smoking a cigarette and looking a little unsure of what to do with him self. When he saw her drive up his expression lightened and he put out his smoke. He lifted the table out of the back of his truck and waited for her to get out of her car.
“Where’d you go? I didn’t see you again after I turned off the main road. I waited for a sec to see if you’d catch up, but when you didn’t come I figured you’d probably took a different route.” He said scratching his head.
She didn’t know exactly why yet, but she didn’t want anyone to know about the strange things she’d seen or felt around the mirror. At least she told herself, not until she could figure it all out for herself. So she lied.
“Oh, yeah sorry about that. I forgot to tell you I take the back road now. The other one has too many potholes. I think its messing up my alignment.”She didn’t look him in the eye as she passed him to open the front door. “It would probably be easier to bring it in through the sliding glass doors to the kitchen.” She didn’t like lying, but the truth was just too bizarre and personal.
She was just finishing putting the last of the chairs in place around her new table when Brad came out of her room. “It’ll hold alright. That’s sure is one heavy mirror, but I made sure to drive the nail into a stud. It won’t come down anytime soon. Here’s your hammer, where should I put it?”
“Here, I’ll take it. Thank you so much Brad. Sorry for the trouble by the way. I really appreciate it, my mother won’t get off my back about dressing the place up. Would you like a beer?” She asked as she offered a frosted bottle to him.
“No, no I have to get going Tommy just called me from the mall, he’s ready to be picked up now. Thanks though.” Brad said heading for the door.
“Oh okay, another time then. Bye Brad!” When the door shut home her eyes darted to her bedroom door. She waited a beat, two…Nothing happened. Slowly walking to her room she realized she wasn’t exactly scared of the mirror, or the man. She was actually excited about it, them…him. She wasn’t sure where he ended and the mirror began. She intended to figure it out though.
Walking into her room softly she approached the mirror, which now hung along side her bed exactly where she’d told Brad she’d wanted it. Smiling in childish delight she ran her fingers indulgently along its guild. Still nothing happened. She looked at herself and decided she needed a shower badly.
She reached down and peeled off the damp tee that had so plagued her on the side of the road an hour back. Her full breasts bounced gently as she did so and a soft sigh of delight escaped her lips as she kicked off her sandals and slipped out of her shorts, slinging them across the room to land precariously on top of her laundry hamper. Falling back on her goose down comforter she decided to indulge in a moment of sweet respite. Letting the tension ease slowly from her tired body, she lay comfortably in the nude. Suddenly she felt like she was being watched and her eyes flew open. Yet she was alone. The man was not there.
Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly as she stood languidly in all her naked glory, trying not to appear alarmed. She stretched out her five foot six frame for all it was worth and stuck out her chest and bottom. Reaching up she ran her fingers slowly through her hair and let her head fall back. She ran her hands over her hips and belly turning to observe her self from the side. Sticking her lips into a pout and pulling her hair up into a pile on top of her head, she posed. Pretending to examine herself in the mirror she knew she teased and played at the man’s senses. She felt his hungry eyes watching her; still he refused to show himself. It turned her on this game of cat and mouse, but she refused to give him anymore. She could play hard to get too. She let her hair fall from her fingertips pretending to tire of her voyeuristic exploits. She sauntered off to shower feeling a little put out. Oh well.
After taking a hot shower she toweled herself, once again in front of the mirror. She did this slowly taking her time. Then she donned a comfortable pink shift, brushed her hair out and turned the lights out save for a night light she kept in the bathroom. It gave just enough light to help her see the way to her bed without having to feel her way. It was the only childish habit she’d allowed herself to keep since she’d lived on her own. Nothing appeared in the mirror. Not even a glimmer.
Sarah crawled up onto her oversized bed and into the covers. She watched the mirror through lowered lids as she drifted off. She knew he watched her from somewhere inside the mirror, she also knew he watched over her. Peace and tranquility filled her, as she lay there. She felt safe.
She fell asleep thinking about the man in the mirror, wondering what it would feel like to have his hands all over her body, where she was almost certain his eyes had been.
He watched over her as she fell asleep.Sitting back, waiting for the rightmoment. She had taken himfarther thanwas safe...much farther. Soon he would give her what she asked for and he hoped she could take it.