Gage Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America- Earth, 9:15 A.M, May 4th, 2018 A.D.
I’m awakened by the pain in my head. I sit up in my bed and wince, throwing my covers off me and putting on my chanclas. I walk up my mirror to inspect my head.
“Oh, Selena...” a voice whispers.
I look around. No one’s here. I turn back to my mirror, cocking my head. I must be imagining things.
Before my hands make contact with my scalp, my reflection shimmers. Suddenly, it’s not me in the mirror anymore. Or is it..? I look different. My hair is ashen white and my eyes aren’t blue, they’re... black? I bring a hand to my face, and so does the reflection. Huh, weird.
I grab a lock of hair that was resting on my shoulder and raise it to eye-level. Still brown. I look back at the mirror, to see my weird reflection doing the same.
Then she smiles. But I don’t.
“I’m you,” she mouths. I gasp.
Lightning crackles around my body.
“And you’re me,” she adds, her smile widening.
The black in her pupils starts to spread to her sclera. Pain shoots through my whole body and I kneel.
Black smoke starts swirling around my hands. “And you’re my puppet,” she whispers, a soft cackle echoing around us. How is this happening? Did the curse power inside Leilah somehow... enter me?
My closet doors swing open and the drawer holding Lonan’s feather screeches forward. The feather drifts towards me in the air. Before I know what I’m doing, I grab it. The overwhelming emotions of Lonan surge through me again and a tear slips out my eye. How can someone live through that much pain?
My bedroom door creaks open and my Amá peeks her head in, her eyebrows scrunching when she looks over at me. “¿Qué te pasó? I heard you move.”
I look down at my hands to find them back to normal. I stand up to face the mirror, but that other... me? Is gone. The feather lies in front of my left foot, away from Amá’s view.
“Nothing,” I chuckle nervously. “Just... checking if I had dust.” I swipe my other foot across the floor.
“Okay...” Amá says, sending me a weird look. She closes the door behind her.
I sigh. I must really be going crazy. I grab the feather again and shake my head at the sadness overtaking the edges of my brain. I stuff it back in its designated drawer and shut both the drawer and closet doors. I shuffle over to my bed and collapse onto my sheets, burying my face in my pillow. I wonder what happened that got Lonan and Leilah cast down here. That feather has something to do with it, I’m sure.
I turn my head to stare at my closet doors, my eyes squinting thoughtfully.
But what’s really nagging at me is what I just witnessed. What’s wrong with me?
“I’m not gone...” the voice whispers again. “I’ll never be.”