That’s what they said then and that’s what they are saying now.
“I’m afraid after careful consideration that is not something we can offer.”
She took them at their word. That was a foolish thing to do. The bright open room doesn’t allow for any kind of emotionally charged scene. Their icy eyes are on her, almost daring her to object. Agitation pricks at her armpits.
She notices her hunched reflection in the glass partition. She straightens up but her mirror-image doesn’t; it lurches out magnificently before the panel. The dark intrusive form stands with red eyes, veiny legs, and a protruding stomach.
“Making demands isn’t going to get you anywhere.”
It sounds like something you would say to a toddler. She wants to know why there isn’t more fuss about this mirror-wraith and looks pointedly, eyes shimmering, at the witnesses. They continue unperturbed.
“It’s about being fully present. Connected. Committed.”
The macabre version of herself brings with it a sense of finality. She, of course, isn’t surprised by their comments, only disappointed.
A piercing alarm goes off on her phone. They watch her struggle as she apologises, face flushing. There’s no point burning bridges; she slides over her resignation elegantly. The moment his finger touches the envelope her reflection is back in place in its usual copycat shape, nothing ominous lingering in sight.
The time on the office clock is running two minutes slow but she already knows it is past pick-up time.
Helen Harradine graduated with a 1st class English Literature and Creative Writing degree with commendations for her writing back in 2010. She has since been working in and around publishing and writing in her spare time. She was shortlisted for the Glittery Literary Short Story Prize and the Walk Listen Create Competition this year, and long-listed for the Mogford Short Story Prize in 2019. She is currently seeking a publisher for her debut novel. Helen lives and writes in the Scottish Borders and is @helenharradine on Twitter.
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