A five-year-old Reed Van Kamp sat down at the table to eat his lunch. Marge, his nanny and mother's housekeeper, set down his plate and grape juice before smiling at the curly haired boy and walking out of the room. Reed started nibbling on his carrot sticks, smiling happily to himself. A few minutes later his mother, Hilde, sat down at the other end of the table with a bottle of water. "Hi, mommy." Reed smiled wide at her.
Hilde glanced up from a magazine she was looking at. "Reed, dear, don't talk with food in your mouth. It's not polite."
Reed's smile withered and he swallowed his food, debating whether or not he wanted to talk to his mom about something. He decided to go for it. "I have a friend, mommy, his name is Shane."
"Is that so?" She asked without looking up at Reed.
"Yes. He's younger than me, only four years old. He has curly hair like mine, but it's dark and not light like mine is. Oh, and his eyes are really pretty. They're green and gray. They're the most prettiest eyes ever, mommy." Reed got a little excited thinking about his friend and everything kind of spilled out towards the end.
"Really? How do you know this boy, Reed?" Hilde asked, this time setting the magazine down to look at her son.
"He lives in my mirror in my room. I talk to him every night." Reed smiled proudly at his mom.
Hilde raised her eyebrows in response. "Hmm… Well I don't want you staying up late to talk to your… friend."
Reed's smile instantly faded, but he didn't argue with his mother. He knew arguing was never okay. "Yes, mommy…" Reed looked back down at his plate and continued eating.
Later that night, Reed sat on the floor in his bedroom looking at a picture book. He was almost finished flipping through the pages when two men walked into his room. They were both wearing jeans and t-shirts with some kind of writing on it, but Reed couldn't tell what it said. His mom had left an hour ago to do something work related, so he couldn't ask her who these strange men were.
Then, the two of them started taking his things away. First went his dresser. Reed was terribly confused as to what was going on. He didn't question the men, because that wouldn't be polite and Reed was afraid his mom would get mad at him again.
Reed grabbed his picture book and scooted to the furthest corner of his bedroom, hugging his knees and just watching as they kept taking his stuff. His bed, desk and chair, nightstand, wardrobe; all of it was gone. Reed didn't understand anything at the moment. He didn't know why this was happening or who these strangers were. They didn't seem to pay much attention to Reed, probably not even noticing him taking up so little space in the spacious bedroom.
It wasn't until the two men came back into his room for the last item that he felt the hot tears silently falling down his cheeks. They were taking his mirror. Reed wanted to say something, to say anything so that they would bring his mirror back. How could he talk to his four-year-old friend, Shane, every night if they took away his mirror?
As soon as the men started bringing new furniture in, Reed bolted to go find Marge, stumbling on the way. It was hard for him to see through his tears and he ended up collapsing on the floor in the playroom, too exhausted to look any further.
A few seconds later Marge hurried into the room and sat on the floor, picking a heavily crying Reed up and holding him tightly in her arms. She had overheard the conversation he had earlier with Hilde and figured that the men taking his mirror away was why he was so upset right now.
Marge rubbed Reed's back and whispered reassurances into his ear, which only helped slightly. To Reed, Marge was like a second mother. She was always at home with him and always comforted him when he needed it the most. Just like he needed it right now. Reed just didn't understand anything. He didn't know why anybody would take his mirror away. Would Reed ever get to see Shane again? Thinking about it only made Reed cry harder, and eventually he exhausted himself out and fell asleep in Marge's arms.
Shane's unruly curls bounced as he practically ran up to his room, clutching his new teddy bear, Macy.
His mommy had just gotten it for him and every time he got a new toy, he would always go and show it to Reed first. Shane knew that Reed appreciated it, because after all, it was a pretty big deal. Shane's friends from kindergarten didn't even get to see it before the day after.
And this time, he hadn't even shown it to his dad, so it was an even bigger deal.
He ran into his room excitedly, his socked feet softly thudding against the rug.
He plopped down on the big pillow that was already lying in front of the tall mirror and settled Macy in front of him, and waited.
But Shane, being Shane, quickly got tired of simply waiting and after a few seconds, he knocked on the glass softly with his small fist.
Nothing changed. All he could see in the mirror was his own reflection and the surroundings.
Shane's face scrunched up in confusion. Reed and Shane always talked around this time of night… right? He wasn't entirely sure of course. He still didn't know how to read the clock. It was too hard with all the minutes and seconds and whatnot.
He glanced out the window. It was dark outside, which meant that Reed should've shown up by now.
Shane looked into the mirror again, bottom lip pushed out in an unhappy pout.
Why wasn't Reed there? After all, they'd promised to stay best friends forever and best friends always played together.
"Doesn't he want to play with me?" he asked Macy. But all he got from the stuffed bear was a blank stare.
Shane huffed and glared at it. "What? You don't want to play with me either?"
He dropped the bear annoyed and pushed it aside, sitting closer to the mirror. "Reed?" he called. "Reed, you there?"
He leaned his cheek against the cold glass. "Reed?", he said again, a lump starting to build up in his throat. He really missed his best friend.
But he was only met by his own unhappy voice.
12 years later
The halls of Walcott High School are crowded and busy as Shane Anderson makes his way throughout the masses to his next class. He walks with his head held high, a slight swing of his hips, and a lazy grin plastered on his face. The curly haired boy oozes confidence and charisma that makes the girls swoon. Any one of these girls could be Shane's in a heartbeat.
He sees groups of girls huddled together, whispering as he passes by and smirks to himself. They don't know that he's not interested- that he's not ever going to be interested.
"Hi, Shane!" comes a perky, high pitched voice on Shane's left. A girl with flaming red hair stands against the wall, clutching her books to her chest. The look of adoration blatantly shown on her face mirrors the rest of the female population attending Walcott.
With a bright smile, Shane walks over to the girl with the red hair. She blushes the shade of her hair as Shane focuses his attention on her.
"Well, hi there, Macy. How are you doing today?" Shane's voice is light and airy as he talks to his on again off again "girlfriend". To be honest, no one really knows what they are. All they know is that Shane holds her hand in the halls and gives her a quick, light peck on the cheek when they part go their separate way. Sometimes Shane takes her home and his dad walks in on them kissing on the couch. He mumbles something about his "good straight son" before leaving them to continue.
But Shane doesn't like her. In fact, he doesn't like girls at all. The only reason he's sort of seeing Macy is to keep his cover. If anyone found out he was gay… Shane didn't even want to think of the consequences. After Shane's brother, Blaine, came out by accident the year before, Shane had been terrified of what would happen if anyone found out his sexuality.
And that's where Macy comes in. Of course, she doesn't even know that Shane is gay. She thinks he genuinely likes her. Shane feels the familiar guilt pooling in his stomach as he takes her by the hand and leads her down the hallway.
Macy smiles and continues talking to Shane but he doesn't really hear her. He's thinking back to a strange old mirror in the corner of his room. Thinking of the strawberry blonde confuses Shane, but also sends shivers of anticipation down his spine.
He lets his thoughts drift back to the little boy he saw in the mirror so many years ago. He thinks about how he's checked the mirror every single night, waiting for him to come back, but only sees darkness.
After a moment, he's snapped out of his reverie by Macy laughing in his ear. Apparently she had just told Shane something funny, so he puts on a smile and gives his best attempt at a lighthearted laugh.
Shane puts the mysterious boy out of his head for the moment, but knows that it won't be long before he enters his thoughts again.
"Reed, sweetie! How was your day?"
"Oh, it wa-
"Good, good. So did you manage to finish off those painting?"
"Oh, umm... No, well, sort of... I have a few things to do still bu-"
"Well you better get started then, Emergency at work... I may be gone for a few days but Marge is here. Ta ta!"
And just like that, Hilde Van Kamp was out the door. This wasn't uncommon for Reed; he was used to his mother going away on business trips... Most of them were short lived. But some of them went on for days.
Slowly, the small boy made his way up the stairs. His house was big, too big for Reed's taste. There were far too many rooms and only a quarter of them were in use. The room that he seemed to be spending the most time in was his painting room; it was big, wooden, and warm. It wasn't like the room had any heating; it was just that there was a big window overlooking the garden that faced the sun, from sunrise to sunset.
Placing his school bag in the corner of the room, he made his way over to the cupboard in which all of his paints were stored in. He had two more paintings to do; he would have finished them by now except for the frustrating lack of inspiration.
He had done 3 paintings, not that he liked them much... But they were what his mother wanted. As Reed looked in the cupboard, he noticed that he only had a small amount of paint left; he knew that he had been running out, but every time he thought to remind Marge it slipped from his mind.
Luckily for him though, his mother always kept about 2 years of paint supply in the attic in case he ran out before she could organize to get some more. Reed's paint was imported from France "Only the best, Reed" Hilde told him the one time he asked why he couldn't just buy normal paint from the store.
Reed headed out of the room and up to towards the banister to call out for Marge. Marge was essentially Reed's nanny, but she was also the housekeeper. She had been there as long as Reed could remember... She was like a mother to him. As much as his mother told him to, he never really asked her to do much for him; it would be like asking his mother to tidy his room.
The only thing that he would ever ask her help with was matters regarding the attic. Reed's mother never let him go up to the attic... He supposed it was just because he was awfully clumsy and it was probably cluttered up there... Two things that did not coincide well together.
"Marge?"... No answer.
"Marge?" Usually she would reply, she was probably just out in the garden or something.
Reed decided that there was no point in bothering her, he could just go the attic himself... I mean, how bad could it be?
The attic staircase wasn't very pleasant; it smelt of dust, not the mention the hideous amount of spider webs... Reed hated spiders; even thinking about them sent chills down his back. Once reaching the top of the stairs, he had to wait for his eyes to adjust to the minimal lighting, there were two skylights and the attic was big. Everywhere that Reed looked he saw some item of furniture with an old cloth draped over it, which looked like it must once have been white, but now was a musty brown.
Although there was a huge sense of abandonment, it was kind of magical in its own way, with the dust dancing in the rays of sunlight, and everything up here must have been something that had once belonged to his family at some stage, before his mother decided that she wanted to refurnish the house with new, modern furniture.
The painter felt like a child again, exploring something that was so new to him. He wondered why he had never been here before. Cautiously, he began towards a large object that was covered by one of the many cloths. Reed grabbed a handful of the material and pulled it away, coughing at the dust, he saw an old couch. It was beautiful, faded beige with flowers sewn into the fabric. The backboard of the couch must have been some sort of wood that had been painted gold, unfortunately now chipped.
As Reed began to turn away, something behind the couch caught his attention. Behind the old couch, was a tall, thin object covered with a cloth. Reed walked behind the couch; again, he grabbed a handful of the fabric and swept it off the tall object. Unfortunately, being Reed, one thing led to another and somehow he ended up tangled in the fabric on the ground.
With a decent amount of struggle, he managed to free himself from the duct covered cloth to find that he was staring at a tall, antique mirror before him. It looked like an ordinary mirror, but something about it reminded him of something. He couldn't quite think what it was and it was going to kill him until he figured it out... What was it? Reed stood up and walked towards the mirror, what was it? He reached out a gentle brushed him hand along the middle...
"Reed?" Marge was calling from downstairs. He knew he shouldn't really be up here. His gazed snapped from the mirror as he remembered exactly what he was supposed to be doing. Paint. He looked around the room, and sure enough, there was a steel cabinet that held Reed's paint.
He reached the cabinet, staring at all of the colours. Which to pick? He grabbed some red, so yellow, blue, orange, and white, black... He turned around to head downstairs, but felt like he was missing something. The small painter looked back at the shelves, and found himself looking at the green. There was something about that colour that was strangely alluring. He grabbed 4 tubes of green, each different shades.
That night, Reed stared at the canvas, in which Reed had begun to draw the outline of two eyes. He stared at the canvas for a long time. Finding himself stuck of what to do next. His mind kept on wandering back to the mirror, there was something so familiar about it, something that made his tummy fill with butterflies every time he thought about it. Unconsciously, Reed Van Kamp dipped his paintbrush in the green paint and started filling in the colour. Green eyes.