Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Why did I ever sign up for this? I’ll never know. Well, at least I’m home now. Home, where I can veg out in front of my computer alone and eat junk food for the weekend.
What. The. Fuck?
Why are all the lights on? Why is my computer on? Why is there a person sitting in front of my computer laughing at the latest episode of Modern Family which I was going to watch? Why does she have streaks of green in her hair, just like mine? Why does she look exactly like me?!
Wait a minute. Why am I sitting in front of my computer when I am also here standing by the door? What is going on? Is it the stress getting to my head? Am I hallucinating? I must be, right? Even though I’ve never even touched so much as a cigarette in my boring 26 years of existence, I must be having some sort of hallucination, there’s no other explanation for it. Have I finally descended into the pits of lunacy?
Phil Dunphy says something really funny on screen. I laugh. Or should I say, the girl who looks just like me laughs. God, do I sound like that when I laugh? That is not an attractive laugh at all. What do people mean when they say someone has a musical laughter? Mine probably sounds more like a dying cat struggling for breath.
Shit. I’m getting sidetracked. I’m still standing here, seemingly rooted to the ground as I stare at the doppelganger in my chair. Are doppelgangers even real? Why is this happening to me? I just wanted a relaxing weekend by myself. And now, this.
I close my eyes. And then I rub them really hard. To hell with wrinkles, I’ve got a more pressing matter at hand. I open my eyes. Nope, still there, still watching the show intently. It’s like she doesn’t even realise I’m standing 10 feet away from her. Her, me. I don’t know, this is all terribly confusing and more than a little upsetting.
I back away from the doppelganger and slowly shut the door behind me as I step back outside. I need to call someone. I can’t deal with this on my own.
“The number you have dialed cannot be reached. Please try again later.”
“The number you have dialed is out of coverage area. Please try again later.”
Shit. No one is picking up.
I text my best friend, Mel. She lives 8 hours away by plane and is probably fast asleep at this time but I’m desperate.
“I’m freaking out!!! Are you there?!”
What do I do, what do I do?
Do I go back in and see if she’s still there? Do I run off somewhere and wait till someone gets back to me? It’s 11pm, where do I even run off to?
Taking a deep breath, I steel myself and walk back towards the house. I’m clenching my keys so tightly they’re sure to leave a mark later. As I push open the door once again, I hear Lily engaged in a banter with Claire. Show’s still playing. And Ms. Doppelganger is still in my chair. Except now she’s no longer watching the show. She’s looking straight at me with a most peculiar expression on her face.
I stand there frozen, my heart is beating so painfully fast in my chest I fear it’s either going to jump out of my throat or just stop altogether. Normally, I fancy myself quite a calm and collected person who’d know not to panic in the face of an emergency. Now I know that all I’d do is just freeze. Impressive, I know.
I swallow in an unsuccessful attempt to wet my suddenly bone dry mouth.
“Who are you?” I croak.
She continues looking at me, giving no indication that she even heard me at all.
“What are you doing here?” I try again.
Again, she sits there staring at me, as if I’m a mildly interesting specimen she came across in the museum. And then, she smiles. And God, it is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I expected her to look just like me when I smile, a little flash of teeth and the playful crinkling of the eyes. But her eyes are void of any semblance of warmth and in place of teeth, there are these scary looking fangs that look like they could rip my neck wide open.
When she finally speaks, I hear my own voice talking back to me.
“Hi there,” she says.
“What’s going on here?” I ask. If there’s one thing about me, I am persistent. I need answers. I can’t be going crazy. This feels too real to be a product of my imagination.
“I’m here to replace you,” she smiles that freaky smile of hers again.
She takes a small step forward and I don’t bother staying around to hear further explanations.
I bolt. And trust me when I say I’ve never ran so fast in my life. Not even that time in school when I was trying to outrun my crush in a race in order to impress him. Weird logic, but I was a kid so don’t question it. I jump into my car and jam my key into the ignition. Breathing a small sigh of relief as the engine purrs to life, I look into the rear view mirror and watch as she walks almost leisurely towards my car, all the while not wiping that smile of her face. That smile is going to haunt me for an entire lifetime, I’m sure.
I floor the engine, determined to put as much distance between me and that creepy doppelganger as possible. Fumbling with my phone to set my GPS, I try searching for the nearest police station.
“They have guns, they’ll shoot the shit out of that thing if she appears,” I reason with myself as I try to ignore that nagging voice in the back of my mind that wonders if bullets are capable of stopping her.
Just then, my phone rings. I almost cry out in relief as the screen lights up with Mel’s number.
“Oh my God, Mel! I’m so glad you called. I’m so scared right now!” I cry.
What I hear next chilled me to the bones.
“Game over,” I hear my voice on the phone says.