Article: 261363 of talk.bizarre
From: (Diane Wilson)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: The Woman Who Used to Live in the Mirror
Date: 1 Dec 1995 14:36:21 GMT
Organization: Bell-Northern Research Ltd.
Lines: 112
Message-ID: <49n3t5$>
Originator: thwilson@brtph885
Status: O

It was the first time I'd ever gone anywhere in a dress.  When I got home,
there she was, looking back at me from the mirror.  She wasn't me, but she
couldn't exist without me, either.  We both knew that.

"We're going to do this again," she told me.  She studied my clothes, as
if they were hers.  She looked distracted, though; something else was on
her mind.  It was to become her obsession--going out, other chances for
her to escape from the mirror.  I could feel the power of that obsession,
even then.  She scared me; I didn't want to admit that I knew her.

I didn't want to leave her there, either, but I was tired and needed to
sleep.  As I took off my clothes, pieces of her disappeared until no one
was left in the mirror but me.

I didn't like the way that felt.  She couldn't exist except in my presence,
and I'd sent her away.  I hadn't known what else to do.  But when she leaped
from my eyes to the mirror, she took with her my hidden desire to be--her.
Now that she was gone, she still had my desire.  She'd left me incomplete.

I began to look for other opportunities to let her out of the mirror.  Going
to the post office at midnight to buy stamps from the machine.  Returning
movies after the video store had closed.  Even standing out on the balcony
during a thunderstorm at night.  Going out was her special thrill.  She
always knew how far she was from the mirror, how far her clothes were from
my closet.

I took her shopping, or she took me, or we took each other.  All she needed
was for me to wear something of hers, and she was with me.  At first her
selections were unlike anything I'd wear--sexy, even slutty.  What she
needed, she said, was not to be me.  After a while, her selections improved;
they were more like the kind of clothes a woman my age, my height, my weight
would wear.  She looked good in them, too.  This was a woman I could learn
to like.

But it scared me to go out in public as her; I was sure someone would know.
So we shopped by phone more than in person.  I thought that would be enough
for her, but she needed to wear the things that we bought, needed to wear
them in public.  "Why don't we go out more?" she asked.  She wouldn't listen
to my fear.

Sometimes we used my computer to talk to other mirror-women.  "Where do you
go when you're out?" she'd ask.  "What are you wearing?" they'd say.  Black
leotard and a denim skirt.  Turtleneck and jeans.  Sometimes they asked more
personal questions, but she never answered those.  Soon she knew what kind of
people would ask those questions even before they spoke.

One day she said, "I want your body."

That scared me.  Did she know what she was asking?  This was the moment I'd
been dreading, a moment that other mirror-women had told us about.  What
she wanted was not temporary.  "We'll talk about it," I said; maybe we
could work out an arrangement.  I wasn't the person she wanted to talk to,

We found a therapist who knew about mirror-women.  After all the times we'd
shared, suddenly it was her against me.  We were both frightened:  I could
lose my body.  She could lose her life.  A word from the therapist, and one
of us could die.

A word was all the therapist said.  She held up a mirror to us and said,
"Count."  There was only one image in the mirror.  The mirror-woman had known
all along which of us it would be.

There was no stopping my mirror-woman now.  She wanted me to go on hormones.
"Whose body is this?" I asked, but her therapist said, "Yes."  "Whose body is
this?" I asked, but she sat at my computer and listened to other mirror-women.
"Do it!" they said.  "Do it!  Do it!"  "I'm jealous," one said; "I wish I
could do that."  "I did it, and I never looked back," another said.  "Do it!"

"Whose body is this?" I asked, but my voice was lost among the mirror-voices.

With the hormones, she no longer needed for me to wear her clothes in order
to steal my body.  I now shopped openly for her clothes, even when dressed
as me.  When we went to a store, I never knew whose voice would speak to the
clerk--mine or hers.

With the hormones, I grew breasts.  My face changed, my hips changed, other
things changed.  She was thrilled, and while I shared in her thrill, my fear
grew as well.  This was the only body I'd ever known, and I no longer knew
whose body it was.

She still wasn't satisfied.  "I want a name," she said.

"But you already have one," I said.

"That's just between us.  My body needs a name, too; it needs a proper name."

"A female name, you mean."  Cold crept up my spine.

"Of course."  She already knew how to do it; her mirror-friends had told her.
We went to the courthouse and posted the notice.  Old name, mine.  New name,
hers.  Wait ten days, and pay a fee.

I no longer wanted to ask whose body it was.  She had her mirror-friends, she
had her therapist, and now she had me.  What did I have?

I found out one night when she sat on the end of my bed and looked in the
mirror.  Her own image looked back from the mirror.  She was in both places,
and I was in neither.  "Whose life is this?" I asked, but I knew.

"You can live in my old room," she said, pointing to her heart--the heart that
used to be mine.  I looked into the place where she had lived all my life.
I knew beyond question why she'd wanted out, but I also knew that my
alternatives were worse--I knew what other mirror-women did with their men.

"Promise me this," I said.  "Promise you'll take no more from me."

She promised.  But even in this, I was to learn, she was selfish.
Diane Wilson