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  • I’m looking at my face in the bathroom mirror; I think I look like you. I twist my hair, fastening it with a clip, like you used to, leaving a couple of locks free to frame my face, or hide it. Never reveal too much, you would say. You revealed nothing.

    My hair is longer than yours; my eyes are darker. We have the same eyebrows and eyelids, the same nose and lips. I have painted myself to look even more like you, a perfect replica with brown eyeshadow, eyeliner, old rose rouge and a hint of red lipstick, plenty of mascara. If anyone were to see me now, they would think that it was you, at least momentarily.

    I’m wearing one of your dresses, trying to make it mine, but it will only answer to you, the fabric seems unwilling to embrace my body.

    The scent of your perfume fills the room, I inhale and it intertwines with every fibre of my body like gangrene, spreading, stinking, rotting; is it love, is it grief, is it loss, I don’t know anymore. You’re the one who keeps refusing, the one with the beautiful, blinded eyes, like mirrors, sending all enquiries back unopened. Return to sender, address unknown.

    I hear distant footsteps, as if someone’s walking down the hall, and I turn toward the door, half expecting you to enter. I know it can’t possibly be you, yet it’s so easy to picture you here, moving through the rooms, always just out of reach. Your presence is palpable, something that’s possible to relate to, something one can shake hands with, saying ‘hello there, how’s it going, it’s been a while, how are you doing, how’s work, your career, your outfits, I can see that you haven’t been able to cross out your melancholy.’

    If I squint I can see your image in the wallpaper. Your face is turned away, refusing to return my glance. I may ask if there’s something I can do to help, but you won’t answer. Not today. Not yesterday; not last week, not for a long time.

    I exit the bathroom, dressed like you. My skin feels tight, as if it has contracted, as if it no longer fits.
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