“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it”. - Ernest Holmes
Judith stood quietly at the bedroom door watching her mother as she began brushing her hair. The mirror was uncovered now and reflecting the exquisite splendor of her beloved mother. Judith admired her mother’s beauty and her long dark chestnut hair. She was a small delicate woman with creamy skin and dark features. When she painted her lips red, her face would suddenly blush with intense color. She looked like one of Judith’s porcelain dolls that had magically come to life.
Thankfully, it was morning. The sun was shining brightly through the sheer curtains hanging at the window, highlighting the red against the brown of her hair. Mommy is always happy and dancing around the apartment on days like this, she thought to herself.
Judith absentmindedly reached up to touch her own hair, aware of the striking similarities between herself and her mother. She smiled knowing that someday she would look just like her; exquisitely chiseled features, emerald eyes surrounded by long thick feathery eyelashes, a smile that could stun a crowded room into a silent awe, framed by a glistening chestnut mane of spun silk.
Yes, someday she would look just like her mommy. Someday, she would be just like her mommy…
Judith hesitated before entering the room. She remembered the red coverlet moving the night before.
“Judith!” Amanda jumped, surprised by her daughter’s unannounced presence. Pulling herself together, she put the brush down, turned with a big smile and called Judith to her.
“Come sit with me Judith. We’ll brush your hair, put some color on your lips and you’ll look just like Mommy.” She would always talk about herself in the third-person, as if she wasn’t really there. Judith wondered to herself if perhaps this morning mommy and the nighttime mommy were two different people, like the twins who lived down the hall.
Danny and Denny were their names. Danny was the nice one. He was Judith’s best friend in the building and he would always let her go first when they played games.
Denny wasn’t so nice, he was selfish and such a bad loser. She thought back to that day when they were playing checkers and she had cornered his last piece to win the game. Denny flipped the board over and scattered all the checkers onto the floor. His face had become distorted and red. It scared Judith.
The feel of the brush gliding through her hair felt good. Judith liked the way Mommy focused so much love on her when they shared moments like this.
“Why do you have so many friends here at night, Mommy?” She asked. “Some of them are creepy.”
“Creepy?” Amanda’s face twitched. Judith thought she saw a slight change in her mother; something unnatural and cold. “How do you know they are creepy? You should be fast asleep young lady,” Amanda scolded, then her expression softened and she smiled at Judith sweetly.
Her mommy was such a captivating woman, Judith thought. I want to be just like her when I grow up.
“I don’t like them, Mommy.”
“That’s why they don’t come to visit until you are tucked safely into your own bed.” Amanda replied. '
“You don’t need to like them and they don’t need to know anything about you.”
"Now, turn around and let us have a look at you. There you are – beautiful – just like mommy!” she beamed.
Just like your mother!
Judith was facing her mommy and didn’t see her lips move. Where did that voice come from? Did Mommy hear it too? She had to hear it!
Go on now, Judith, it’s time for school; we don’t want you to be late.” Again, third person; it was never just she and I, there was always that strange ‘we’.
Bedtime rolled around once more and the night played out as it always did. There were different voices, different names – but the sounds were basically the same.
Later, Judith would hear the old woman who would chastise her mommy over and over again, bringing her to tears. Then it would suddenly stop and she would drift off to the sound of running water and the sweet lilting lullaby she would sing to her, just for her.