As the knife smashes against the mirror, time seems to slow down. Shards of silver glass break free, spinning in the air. In their reflection, he can see the wall behind him, covered with notes. Why is that? They’re memos, telling him to pick up milk, pick up milk, pick up the slack. Bills from the therapist; another memo about mental exercises. Smiles. Remember to smile.
Loopy handwriting covers the wall. Nothing like his own jagged script, engraved into the darker corners of the collage. Dark to light. A light in his darkness. It’s someone he knows. Who?
Smiling, again. Her smile. He is smiling. Why was that? It slips out of his mind like a silk ribbon. It was important. Remember to smile.
Why did he throw that knife, anyway? It’s perfectly sharp, if a little wet and messy. The mirror was a gift, and she wanted him to recognize his own face.
Slashes are carved into the wall with a knife. Torn plaster and wallpaper hang in gleeful smirks. The carpet is red. Is it supposed to be?
The knife is falling with the mirror, stained red. Someone’s blood. Not his. A wall of notes behind him, blood on the carpet. Smile, smile, when everything else fades, smile! Who?
The world of the mirror holds hell for this man. In that split-second, he can’t remember anything, losing his mind in the images flashing before him.
But with relief, he sees as they crash to the floor, he still has not forgotten to smile.