It was another couple of weeks before she heard from the mirror again.

This time Evelyn saw Evie, older again and pregnant.

“Ah, Evie is going to have a baby,” Evelyn said aloud.

Evie was washing her hands and kept washing for what seemed an awfully long time. Her hands looked raw and red.

She didn’t dry them on a towel but shook them over the sink.

The next thing she saw was Evie scrubbing the floor, her enormous belly hanging over as she was on her knees. Again, she was doing it excessively and talking to herself. She went around the kitchen floor multiple times. It was hard for her to get up off her knees and she had to slide over to a chair to grab onto it to help her.

Evie then went into the bedroom and was dusting the furniture. There wasn’t any dust as far as Evelyn could see, but she meticulously picked items up and wiped underneath them. She did it again and again.

Evelyn could hear the front door open. Evie screamed, “Don’t walk on my floor, I just washed it.”

Brad came into the bedroom.

“Get out of here. Go wash your hands first,” she spoke harshly.


“Go wash your hands.”

Brad did as he was told and came back into the bedroom.

He took Evie’s hands and drew her to the bed. They sat.

“I just changed the bed; we shouldn’t be sitting on it.” Evie struggled to get up, but Brad gently held her down.

“What’s going on, Evie?”

“Nothing, there’s nothing going on. Can’t I have a clean place? We have to be careful with germs now, especially when the baby comes.”

“Look at your hands; they’re raw.”

Evie pulled her hands away and sat on them.

“I’m worried about you. You’re behaving weirdly.”

“Well, thanks very much.” Evie started to cry.

Brad pulled her in. “It’s okay, it’s okay,” he soothed.

“C’mon, I’ll make us some tea.”

Brad made the tea and brought it over to the kitchen table.

Evie had stopped crying, but she was clearly emotional.

“Maybe you should see a doctor?”

“No, no doctor.”

“I’ll come with you.”

Evie shook her head no.

“Well, talk to me, then. What’s going on?”

Evie sipped her tea. She looked at Brad, tears running down her face, “What if, what if I can’t do this. What if I can’t look after the baby?”

“Of course you can. I’ll be here to help you. You’ll be a great mom.”

“You don’t know that. I might be crap. I might not be able to love it properly. I might hit it…” Evie started sobbing, covering her face with her hands.

“Oh, Evie, you won’t do any of those things. You’ll be great.”

“No, I could be exactly like my dad. Abusive, impatient, angry; all the horrible things he was.”

Brad took Evie into his arms. “Oh, sweetheart, no, no, you are not at all like your dad. He was sick, an alcoholic.”

Evie didn’t say anything but just cried.

“I think I need some help, Brad; I keep seeing myself as being this monster. It’s driving me crazy.”

“Yes, we’ll see someone. I’ll be there with you. I promise.”

The next image was Evie holding her baby. A little girl.

She was rocking the baby to sleep in a rocking chair.

She kissed the top of her head affectionately.

Gently, she put her down in a bassinet. Her cell phone vibrated and Evie went in the next room to answer it.

“Hi, babe, how’s it going?” It was Brad.

“Good, I just put Shelly down for a nap.”

“You take a rest as well.”

“Yes, I will.”

“Don’t forget to take your medication?”

“No, I won’t forget. Love you.”

“Love you too. I’ll be home around 4 and I’ll make dinner.”

“Okay, thanks.”

After Evie hung up, she went to the kitchen and took a bottle off the top of the fridge. She opened it up and took out a tablet.

Evelyn could see the writing on it and it looked like some type of anti-depressant. Evie swallowed it with water and went to lie down next to the baby.

The images faded.

Poor Evie  Evelyn thought.

She suffered from anxiety and depression just like their mom; just like me, Evelyn thought, but she had a wonderful husband to help her and she got help.

Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Evelyn thought about all the help she was receiving now; getting methadone injections, seeing a social worker, talking to the volunteers at the soup kitchen, her aunt.

She went back to sleep, thinking about Shelly, the baby Evie named after her friend.

There was no delay in the mirror transmissions. The next night, the mirror came to life again.

This time, Evie was talking on the phone with a toddler balanced on her hip. Two other children were sat at a Mickey Mouse child table and chairs, coloring. The toddler was happily munching on an arrowroot cookie.

Evie was talking on her cell, “Yes, I know, I’m sorry…Troy had a fever last night and was upset. I couldn’t get to it…uh huh…okay, will do as soon as possible. Bye, yes, bye.”

Evie disconnected the call. “You, young man, made Mommy get told off.” Troy started to laugh.

“Yes, you, you little monkey.” Evie tickled his belly.

The boy squirmed and laughed loudly. Evie put him down.

He toddled over to a box of toys and grabbed a truck from it to play with.

“That’s my crayon. Give it back.” One of the girls reached across the table to grab at the crayon.

“Hey, Mom, Hannah just took my crayon.”

Evie went to observe the ruckus.

“Who had it first?” she asked patiently.

“I did.” Shelly said.

“Okay, Hannah, give it back to your sister and pick another one. I’m sure there are more of the same color in the container.”

Hannah threw the crayon at her sister and folded her arms in a pout.

“C’mon Hannah, you know better than that. Let’s see if I can find the same color, green, is it?” Evie got down on her knees and rummaged around the crayon container.

“It’s teal, Mommy, and there is only one color like that.”

Shelly gave her back the infamous crayon. “Here, I’m finished with it now.” Hannah snatched it back.

“Hey, no snatching; what do you say?”

“Please, thank you,” Hannah said.

“Right, now that that’s settled, how about a snack?”

“Yes, please,” the girls spoke in unison.

Evie went into the kitchen and cut up apple slices and added a couple of Oreo cookies on the plate. She got another arrowroot cookie for Troy and reheated a cup of tea in the microwave. She brought the plate and tea into the living area and sat down on the couch.

“Go wash your hands before you eat, please.” Obediently, the girls went to the bathroom to wash their hands.

“And make sure you use soap, not just water,” Evie shouted.

Troy climbed up to his mother’s lap. She handed him an apple slice.

“I should wash your hands as well.”

Evie stood up with Troy and went to the kitchen, where she got a wet wipe to clean his hands.

“There.” She went back to the couch and sat down next to the girls.

“Can we watch a show?” Hannah asked.

“Hm, okay,” Evie relented.

The TV was put on and something about talking puppies, riding special vehicles, saving other animals, came on.

Evie smiled and sipped her tea. She took a piece of apple and ate it.

Just then, Brad came through the door.

“Wow, you’re home early,” Evie said.

“Daddy!” The girls shouted happily.

“Yeah, my last appointment got cancelled, and I know you have a deadline. So I came home a bit early.”

“Oh, thank you! I got reamed out by Dave; he doesn’t have kids, so he has no idea.”

“Just let me get changed and I’ll take over.”

“Thanks, babe.”

Five minutes later, Brad came out in sweatpants and a sweatshirt.

He picked up Troy and blew a raspberry on his neck. Troy giggled.

“How’s it going, girls?”

“Good,” Shelly said.

“And what are we watching?”

“Paw Patrol,” Hannah informed him.

Evie took her mug back to the kitchen.

She called out, “Let’s get takeout pizza tonight.”

“Yeah,” the girls shouted.

“This is a treat, you understand.” Evie came back into the living room.

The girls nodded and Brad laughed.

“You know, I hate getting fast food, but…” Evie shrugged.

“Go, go do your editing. I’ll order.”

Evie kissed the top of Brad’s head and headed towards another room.

The image faded.

Evelyn took some time to digest what she saw.

“Three kids and a job!” Evelyn said aloud.

How could she do it? Evelyn thought. She had a hard enough time just surviving day to day with herself.

Evelyn crawled back to bed and her last thought before going to bed was that she needed to get a job, but first she wanted to finish high school.

Evelyn made an appointment with her social worker.

The social worker stated that Evelyn could be trained for a job for free but if she wanted to finish high school and graduate, she needed a sponsor.

“I don’t know what you mean by a sponsor?” Evelyn said

“Well, you would have to find someone that would be willing to pay for the courses needed to get your graduation certificate.”

Evelyn’s heart sank. “Who would do that?” she asked.

“Oh, you’d be surprised. Some people will sponsor someone if there is a promise that they will be paid back, once a job is obtained.”

Evelyn bit her lip. “How do you find these people?”

“I can give you a link to a website. You can go to the library and access their computers. The other alternative is to ask a family member.”

Evelyn groaned. The only family member would be her aunt. Her uncle might be a problem, though.

Evelyn took the link to the website and thanked the social worker.

Evelyn didn’t particularly like the idea of asking a stranger to sponsor her, and what if she couldn’t pay them back?

Evelyn decided it was time to meet up with her aunt again.

Evelyn arranged to meet her aunt at the hot dog stand along the seawall.

They hugged each other when they met. Evelyn took out her change purse and went to the stand. “What would you like?”

“Ooh, are you sure?”

Evelyn nodded yes.

“Okay, I’ll have a sausage on a bun with sauerkraut please,” Bev said to the vendor.

Evelyn just had a sausage on a bun. They both put ketchup on the dogs and Bev added mustard.

They sat on a bench to eat.

Bev took her first bite, “Mm, this is delicious.” She said with her mouth full.

Evelyn smiled and bit into hers.

They ate silently enjoying their food.

Evelyn had butterflies in her stomach, waiting for the right time to mention her request.

The sun was out and there were various boats on the ocean. The water was relatively calm. Evelyn watched the gulls swoop around looking for food and crows hop on the grass eating grubs and scraps.

Bev finished her hot dog and scrunched up the container it was in. She wiped her mouth with the provided napkin. Evelyn hadn’t finished.

Bev got up and threw her garbage in the receptacle. She even gave the vendor a thumbs up as she walked by.

“Well, that was sooo good. Thank you again, dear. Now what’s up?”

Evelyn nearly choked. She had to cough and drink from her water bottle before she could speak.

“What do you mean,” she said, raspy.

“I can see you’re nervous about something. I hope you know that you can talk to me about anything.” Her aunt put her arm around Evelyn’s shoulder and squeezed her in.

Evelyn smiled and threw the remaining hot dog to the birds. There was a lot of squawking and fighting over it.

Both of them got up and started walking along the seawall.

“I’m, I’m thinking about going back to school. Well, not school, really, night classes. I want to finish high school.” Evelyn looked straight ahead not looking at her aunt.

“Well, that’s wonderful,” Bev said.

“Yes, I only went to grade 10 so there’s a lot of subjects to cover. The thing is, that, well, I went to see my social worker and she said I could be trained for a job but I want, what I really want is to graduate first.”

“Okay and…” Bev nodded and waved her hand encouraging Evelyn to keep going.

“Well, the thing is that I need someone to sponsor me to go to school. The government won’t pay for it and I can’t afford it.”

“Why didn’t you say so in the first place? Of course we’ll sponsor you.” Bev grabbed Evelyn’s hand.

“I’ll pay you back, once I get a job, you know, in installments.”

“Pff. Don’t worry about that. It’s the least we can do, hon.”

“No, I mean it. I know Uncle Ray isn’t very keen on me…”

“Oh, please don’t worry about Uncle Ray,” Bev interrupted.

“Let me handle him. That’s amazing that you want to finish your education. You get all the details together and it will be sorted.”

Evelyn turned suddenly and gave her aunt a big hug. People had to walk around them. Evelyn had tears in her eyes. She whispered into her aunt’s neck, “Thank you. Thank you.”

After their embrace, Bev grabbed Evelyn’s arm. “C’mon, let’s go get an ice cream.”

Evelyn couldn’t wait to speak to her social worker on Monday.

She was so excited to be able to finally do something with her life, want to do something with her life instead of just bumping around trying to survive.

The mirror was quiet and Evelyn wasn’t sure she would see or hear Evie again, but it didn’t make her sad. She felt blessed that she had a glimpse into her parallel life, her better life as Evie, but she also wanted to make her own life, Evelyn’s life, better. She would go to the night classes, graduate, train for a decent job, get out of this crappy room into a decent apartment, and be proud of herself. The $100 her aunt gave her was used to buy some school supplies, pens, pencils, notebooks, a dictionary, and even a special math calculator. She even had money for a new backpack. Evelyn joined the local library as well to be able to access whatever reading materials she needed and computers.


For all installments of “Mirror, Mirror…,” click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4