Girl in the Mirror :
When I was a child, I spent a lot of time alone. My parents lived in an old house way out in the countryside and there were no other children my age around. I had a little brother, but he was only a baby at the time, so I couldn’t play with him. I was always a little lonely.
The old country house where we lived had a lot of small rooms. In the corridor, there was a closet with a sliding door where my father would store his tools. I loved to go in there and play with the tools. It was fun for me at the time.
One day, I found an old mirror at the back of the closet. It was an oval shape and the bronze frame was very ornate. Even though it was quite old and dusty, the glass was very clear and I could see myself perfectly.
One time, when I was playing in the closet, I happened to glance at the mirror and saw something that shocked me. In the reflection, I saw a strange girl standing behind me. Frightened, I turned around quickly, but there was nobody there. When I looked back at the mirror, I was confused. The little girl was still there.
I guess because I was a child, I wasn’t scared of her. I just thought it was strange that she only appeared in the mirror. The little girl had long, dark hair and pale, white skin. Through the mirror, she looked at me and laughed.
“Hello,” she said with a smile.
We started talking to each other. The girl told me to call her Nana. We would talk all the time. My parents must have wondered why I spent so much time in the closet talking to myself, but they never took the mirror away from me. It seemed that Nana-chan was not visible to adults.
One day, when I was talking to Nana-chan, I said, “I’m lonely. I wish I had some friends I could play with.”
“Come over here and play with me,” Nana-chan replied.
“I can go over there?” I asked. “How do I do that?”
Nana’s face became troubled, then she lowered her voice. “I don’t know,” she whispered. “I’ll ask…”
I wondered who she was going to ask, but all I could hear was silence. Somehow I felt like whoever it was, they didn’t want me to listen.
The next day, when I spoke to Nana, she said happily, “I know how you can come over here now. Come on! Let’s play!”
I was happy, but I remembered that my parents had always warned me that I had to tell them before I went anywhere.
“OK, but I’ll have to ask my mother,” I replied.
Nana’s face became a little troubled again and she said, “Don’t tell anyone about this. We may not be able to meet each other if you tell someone.”
I stayed silent because I didn’t want to disobey my parents.
Then Nana-chan said, “So you’ll come and play with me tomorrow, OK? Promise?”
“Yeah,” I replied, reluctantly. “I promise.”
Nana reached out and touched the surface of the mirror with her little finger.
“Pinky swear?” she asked with a smile.
I reached out and pressed the tip of my little finger to the mirror beside hers.
“Pinky swear,” I said. I thought I could feel a slight warmth through the glass.
That night, I didn’t sleep very much. I didn’t tell my parents about Nana-chan but as I lay there in the darkness, questions were swirling around in my head.
How would I enter into the mirror? What kind of place was it over there? Why wouldn’t Nana come over here? If I went over there, how would I come back over here?
As I contemplated such things, I grew more and more anxious. I became a little scared of Nana-chan.
The next day, I didn’t go to see Nana. I avoided her the day after that and the day after that. I didn’t go near the closet all week. In fact, I never went into the closet again.
The weeks and months passed by quickly and I grew older. The months and years passed and I grew up. I left home to go to high school in the town. After I graduated, I started working in a nearby town. I didn’t go home very much. Eventually, I met a girl and we got married. By that time, I had forgotten all about Nana.
Shortly after we got married, my wife found out she was pregnant. She went to visit her parents for a while. I was all alone in the house, so I sometimes visited my own parents for dinner. They still lived in the same house.
One night, I decided to stay over and slept in my old bedroom. In the middle of the night, I woke up and went to use the toilet. While I was washing my hands, I happened to glance in the mirror. A sliding door in the middle of the corridor was open. It was the closet where I had played as a child. I thought the door had been closed when I went to the toilet.
I turned around and was shocked to see that the door was closed after all. However, when I looked back at the mirror, the door was open. A chill went down my spine and my hands began to shake. I thought I saw the door sliding back slightly in the darkness.
At that moment, I remembered Nana-chan.
I was overcome by fear, but it impossible to tear my eyes away from the mirror. The door was moving after all… in the mirror’s reflection.
A white mist was floating across the darkness at the back of the closet. As I stared, it formed into a familiar face. The smiling face of Nana-chan. I think I must have fainted.
The next thing I remember was waking up on the floor. It was morning and my parents were still in bed.
“It must have been a dream,” I told myself. “Just a creepy dream.”
I wasn’t comfortable staying in my parents’ house, so after breakfast, I went back to my own home.
My apartment hass an underground parking lot, so I pulled into my reserved space and parked the car. Just as I was about to get out, I glanced in the rearview mirror and did a double-take.
There, in the mirror, was the face of Nana.
I looked back in surprise, but there was no one in the back seat. I looked back at the rearview mirror and Nana-chan was still there. She was staring at me over my shoulder and our eyes met.
She looked exactly the same. The long, dark hair, the pale white skin. In all that time, nothing had changed. I was trembling and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Eventually, Nana laughed.
“Hello,” she said with a smile.
I felt like I was going to be sick.
“Why didn’t you come back that time?” she asked. “All this time, I’ve been waiting for you.”
I was silent. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t find the words.
“Hey,” she said. “Come over here and let’s play from now on…”
In the reflection, her hand slowly stretched out towards me.
“Let’s play here forever…” she said.
“It’s no good!” I screamed. I didn’t mean to say it so loud. “Nana-chan I’m sorry, I can’t go over there. I won’t go!”
Nana was silent and her hand stopped in mid-air.
Trembling, I grasped the door handle with all my strength and spoke in a small voice, like the little boy I had been long ago.
“I have a wife now… we’re having a baby soon… So… I can’t…”
I ended up at a loss for words with my head in my hands. I was shaking and shivering uncontrollably and eventually, I looked up at the mirror.
Nana-chan was still there.
“I see,” she said, “you became an adult… and you don’t want to play with me anymore…”
Her voice sounded so sad and lonely.
“I can’t…” I said.
Nana-chan laughed and smiled. It seemed like such an innocent smile. At that moment, I really thought Nana-chan would forgive me for breaking our promise.
“Nana-chan…” I began, but she cut me off.
“If you won’t play with me, I’ll just have to find someone else,” she said. “Someone just like you.”
And then, suddenly, she was gone. Before I could fully understand her last words, she was gone. Once and for all. Nana never appeared to me again.
That evening my wife called me to tell me she had suffered a miscarriage. Our baby was dead.
Then, I finally understood what Nana-chan meant when she said, “someone just like you.”