I was fading from the mirror. It was nearly imperceptible at first. My hair seemed drab, skin sallow. I tried dyes and make up. Disappointed with a natural bronze, I moved to shades more vivid, even lurid. Crimson lips and smokey eyes. Nothing worked. I was a washed out photograph, colors bleached by the sun. People were too polite to mention it. I expected comments like – Oh, Sasha you look so pale! Are you feeling alright? They never came. Everyone just looked the other way.
This morning my edges began to soften, becoming hazy. I thought perhaps I needed glasses. No. Everything else was sharp and clear. It was just me that was indistinct. I felt queasy from trying to focus on my blurred reflection. I wrapped my arms around my protesting stomach, fighting a rising sense of unease. Surely someone would notice this.
Needing to feel the press of humanity, I decided to walk to the office. I was alone in the crowd, a leaf swept down the sidewalk in a river of commuters. I weaved around men in power suits, too intent on their destinations to step aside for me. A briefcase cracked against my legs, but its bearer didn’t make eye contact let alone apologize. It stung. Part of me was relieved to feel solid.
I crossed the lot, heels clacking on the pavement. One of the guys from marketing was in my parking space. Again. Since I had walked, I tried to tell myself it wasn’t a big deal. I wasn’t convinced. In the lobby I rubbed my bruised knees as I waited for the elevator. Bing! A lively group brushed past me as the burnished steel doors slid open. They filed in, chatting and laughing. Rehashing last night’s game. No one made space for me. I felt like a wraith, as I waited for the next lift.
The day passed like any other. Three people called me “Sarah.” I’ve worked here for years, but stopped correcting them ages ago. It was an exercise in futility. The boss congratulated Evan for the new financial roll out. It was my idea. I tried not to be bitter. At noon, I ate lunch at my desk. Egg salad seasoned with spreadsheets. It was less awkward than sitting alone in the cafeteria. Not that anyone would notice.
When I got home there was a message on the machine. The indicator flashed bright in the dim apartment. Insistent. I pressed play. The light shone through my fingers. In the background a tinny replica of my mother’s voice nattered on – your sister this, your brother that. The words didn’t register as I stared at my splayed palm. It was turning translucent. A prickle of horror tiptoed up my spine.
I dashed to the bathroom and flipped on the light. I choked back a cry when I saw my reflection. The face looking at me from the mirror was a ghostly shadow. Her eyes were hollow. Defeated. It hurt to see her. To be her. I was fading away into obscurity. The unseen becoming invisible. I wondered what would happen to me once I fully disappeared.