I’ve never had an imaginary friend, not even at my loneliest. I have, for as long as I remember, had a recurring apparition. She’s a reflection in rear-view mirrors, window panes, a shiny car door, anything capable of reflecting back. I don’t summon her. She decides when I need a look of reproach or, on rare occasion, a tear. She’s appeared at a handful of seminal times, never to comfort or validate, her striking green eyes always fierce.
She’s neither friend nor foe. She’s neither needed or unneeded; hindering or helpful. She is that feeling on the mirror side of the soul, when words, thought or written, can’t express feelings that can’t be spoken.
She is the sadness that washes over you when, peering into the eyes of a homeless woman, there is a flash of familiarity. She is that tear that won’t come. She is that heave, stuck in the middle of one’s chest; that sadness that can’t be shown, the friend one can never have.