The Chain Letter: A Reflective Look
Laughter escaped her. She had received one of those stupid chain letters from an unknown source. It seemed silly to read, and even easier to delete. With the click of a button, it was gone and she continued with her day.
She let out a short gasp, but was quick to settle into a more somber tone. She should’ve seen this coming. Now, there was nothing she could to do change his mind. Turning her back to him, she looked out the window.
Skyscrapers were risen around her, but in that moment they seemed so distant. In front of her was her reflection laid against a rain-streaked window. It held a disappointed expression. “You should have listened,” it seemed to whisper.
“I’m breaking up with you.”
Her teeth clenched in anger. As he spoke those words, sadness seeped in as a replacement. “No,” she cried out. “Don’t go!” He was already out the door before she even began to speak. Gone.
In frustration, she threw the nearest object. It hurled across the room, smashing against the door. The item was a ceramic person representing love. Her mother had given it to them. To her now, it meant nothing.
A few cusses left her mouth as she searched for a broom to clean up the mess. As she succeeded in her search and began to sweep the fragments up, she was once again faced with her reflection. It was much more difficult to see here, but had her distinct features.
This time, it seemed to have a calmer expression. Patient, as if waiting for her. “Have you learned your lesson yet?” it asked. She kicked the piece that the reflection was placed on, shattering it further.
“Your parents have died in a fatal accident.”
Heartbreak. She wanted to scream at the police officers, to tell them that they were lying. In the end, she knew it would get her nowhere. They were gone.
Instead, she slammed the door in their face and collapsed to the floor. The woman buried her head in her knees for a while, weeping. Once she was done, she got up to wipe her tears away in the bathroom in an attempt to collect herself.
Yet again, her reflection was there. It was crystal clear now in the mirror, giving her a small scoff as she passed. “All you had to do was pass the message along,” it growled.
She glared at the mirror, feeling her fists clench. “What? You expect me to put my friends through the same hell?!” she retorted.
This seemed to please her reflection.
She was tense, gripping the edge of her sink. “I thought you was spam. I’m sure they would think the same,” she responded.
“Your fault then,” it glared.
Angered, she turned her back and left.
The next day she asked her friend to come out with her to grab a drink. They went to a small cafe, and were soon seated at a small table.
Her friend seemed to show sympathy, reaching out his hand to place on her shoulder. "I'm sorry for your loss," he muttered. "If you need anything at all, just ask." His words were sincere.
“Taylor,” she muttered, crossing her hands on the table before placing her head on them. It was her attempt to stay level-headed. “I think I’m going crazy.”
He leaned in, listening closely. “What’s wrong, Leslie?” he asked.
She sighed. “I got a message that asked me to forward it to friends,” she started.
It was clear by his empty laugh that he wasn't quite sure how to handle what she was saying. When she didn’t react, Taylor’s face drew back in confusion. “Everyone gets those. It’s just spam mail,” he responded.
An uncomfortable nod escaped her. “I know,” she said. “Except not this one. It started with when I got fired, then continued over to when Jason broke up with me. Now my parents are dead, but I don’t think it’s going to stop there. Every single time I see my reflection I feel so taunted, as if it's my fault in all of this.”
Disbelief entered his eyes. “You’re joking,” he said. “Leslie, this kind of stuff happens as well. As horrible as what you're going through is, it's a normal part of life. I'm sorry to hear everything that has happened to you recently, but you can't blame a dumb chain letter. They just aren't true."
Her shoulders slouched, but she had to admit to herself that he was right.
"Here," he added in. "Let me walk you home. We'll take the long way through the park." A sad smile attempted to exist between them. "I'm sure some fresh air will clear your mind," Taylor said.
"I suppose you're right," she agreed. "Let's go."
Together they got up, leaving the cafe to head outside. Leslie turned to take the lead with Taylor close behind.
A loud screech sent her on her knees, covering her ears as it was followed by the sound of a smash.
Hesitantly, she got up to take a look behind her.
The cafe's sign had fallen off, smashing into Taylor. His blood littered the sidewalk, and with one look that nearly caused her to vomit she realized that he was dead. All she could do was stare in disbelief.
What Leslie didn’t notice was her reflection watching her from the store window. “Seven more years of bad luck, and no one can save you now,” it said, rippling away from existence.
© 2017 Alexis Chantel