When the New Year began,
I looked into the mirror.
I saw a reflection of myself
from long ago. I was
lying on a bed, weak,
my whole world changed.
I watched as my reflection
lifted a hand and beckoned to me.
I touched a hand to the glass
and it was as if
there was no glass there.
The veil between the present
and the past was thin.
I stepped through the mirror
and found myself in a place
that I remembered but fought
so hard to forget.
It was dark and there was only
one small light in the room.
Even so, by that light I saw
who I used to be lying
on the bed, my past self,
my other self. He regarded me,
and I looked at him.
I remembered that day,
how the night before the New Year
my life had changed forever,
never to be the same again.
I knew just how he was feeling
as I had been him, he had been me.
He was weak and disoriented,
unable to walk very well at all,
his whole world seeming to
move around him, unable to keep still.
He regarded me with tired eyes,
the fear in them so total.
He knew that something was wrong.
“You forgot about me.”
“You forgot our anniversary.”
It was true. I had forgotten.
Every year since that day,
I always wondered if this
would be the year that it happened,
the year where I lost control
of my body once more.
For a while, I lived in fear
of December 31st, of who I had been
and of what I had become on that day.
“I did forget. I did forget you.”
“Because I left you behind. Because I’m so much stronger now. So much happier.”
He regarded me with a blank expression,
the fear increasing in his eyes until
they were full of tears.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m so afraid.”
I said kindly.
I sat on the bed beside him and took his hand
in my own. It was cool and sweaty and
I remembered how warm I’d been,
how nothing had felt right,
and how my own body had turned against me.
“You’ll have to be strong.”
“There is a lot more pain coming, but you’ll have to be stronger than you’ve ever been. Can you do that for me?”
“I don’t know how.”
“You don’t, but you’ll learn. There will come a moment when you’ll want to quit, where you’ll want to give up and head towards the darkness. But I promise you, good times are coming.”
He looked at me with such
an open expression, one of yearning
for something better. I remembered
wearing that look, wishing and hoping
so fiercely that it was painful.
I heard my partner calling me from
the other side of the mirror,
his deep voice making the liquid glass
move in ripples. I took one last look
at who I used to be and patted his hand,
leaned forward to kiss him on the forehead.
“I have to go now.”
“I know you do. Don’t forget me, okay?”
“I won’t, I promise.”
With that, I stood and moved towards the glass.
When I stepped through the glass,
I left behind what I had been
and into what I had