You’ve changed.

He stared in the mirror. Three years. Three whole years had gone by. She’d gone missing by doing what he was doing now.

She’d stared into the mirror intensely. Thinking of all the hate she’d gotten that day. Her friends, her teachers, bullies, so much to put up with when you’re a teenager. And then, the next moment she’d just gone. Disappeared. She didn’t get sucked in or anything. She’d simply disappeared. 

He was her only true friend. He was devastated when he found she went missing. He’d tried doing the same thing almost a million times now. He thought he’d at least join her. No. It didn’t happen again. She was gone, probably for her own good. 

He just stood there crying. ‘Why did such stuff happen to people with the truest, kindest, and most beautiful hearts?’ he thought. ‘Probably for the good’ said someone familiar. 

Once he’d turned, something had struck him. He just stood there shook by his visuals. What was he seeing?? He stumbled up and touched the image.

Yes. It was true. She was back. Back, like nothing had happened. No change. She didn’t look any older. Just the same as she left, just more wiser. 

And then, they hugged, like there was no tomorrow. They cried tears, though they were out of joy. “Why? Why did you leave?? Where did you go??” he asked wiping away his tears. “Somewhere new” she said.

“What is new?” he asked. “New is new. Some change.” she replied. “She’s hiding something.” he thought. She raised an eyebrow as though she’d heard that.

“I’m not leaving you until you explain probably.” he said. “I have my restrictions.” she replied and got up to fetch herself a glass of water. “What’d you mean restrictions?? I’m your friend. You have to tell me. You don’t know what’s been going on here.” he replied firmly.

She was different now. She didn’t seem to care what people thought about her, though she knew. “Coming for shopping?”she asked, as though she’d just come back from school. “Yeah. Sure. You just came back from a place you claim as ‘new’. I need explanations.” he said harshly. “Sure. If you wanna become like me too” she said and immediately seemed to regret it. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN LIKE YOU?” 

She came closer. “I went through something for being who I am now. Wanna join too??”she asked threateningly. And then I was standing in front of the mirror and staring at it too. I couldn’t stop myself. And then I’d just disappeared out of that place like she had. This time, she was with me. “I can read minds. I can persuade people to do what I want. Join me. I am boss now.” she whispered into my ear. “No. I ain’t coming with you.” I mustered with difficulty. That was all I could manage. She’d changed. I was going to too. 


“T. W. L”

She came closer and stretched out her arms, and then she hugged me. Tightly. Then, she squeezed my hand, and they felt sweaty. I felt something drop in my hand.

 Before I could look, everything blacked out.

I woke up with a start. I found myself breathing heavily. I looked down upon my bed. A crumpled piece of paper was lying next to my hand. I picked it up and smoothed it out. “T. W. L” it said. I placed it on the table next to my wristwatch. It was my favorite wristwatch, and I felt confident and assertive when I wore it.
I pushed away my sheets and stood up and headed to the restroom. I picked up my toothbrush, washed it and smeared toothpaste on it. I put it in my mouth and brushed. Then, I stopped abruptly. Something was missing. I whipped out my toothbrush and checked if I’d smeared toothpaste. Yup, been there, done that. There have been times when I’ve forgotten to smear toothpaste. But no, today I’d done that. What was missing? I opened my mouth and stood there gaping in horror. 
My tooth. It was missing. My front tooth was missing. I gargled my mouth and whipped out the sheets of my bed. No tooth. I collapsed on the floor. And then, I saw it. The crumpled piece of paper. There was something new written on it. “Tooth.” I checked on my tooth. Nope, it was gone. 
I showered thinking of what a horrible day it was and how it could possibly become worse. I’d woken up with a start, had a nightmare and lost a tooth with no traces of it. How could my day possibly get worse..? 

After dressing up, I grabbed my wristwatch. THUD! A part of it fell. My heart skipped a beat. It was broken. Into two clean pieces. 

I broke out into a sweat and went for the crumpled piece of paper. There you go! “Wristwatch” was written below “Tooth”. I’d had enough. I called up my friend and explained to her I won’t be coming to school today. 

I decided to nap for the day. I was done. I crashed into my sheets and closed my eyes.

I heard laughter. It was cold and clear and dripped with consciousness of what was happening. I found the girl who’d hugged me sitting in the corner. She clutched the piece of paper I’d had all morning. Something else was written on it. “Life”

” T. W. L”

I woke up with a start. I was alive. The paper was gone.