“I keep seeing him,” Richard told his therapist. “I saw him this morning on the subway platform. He was staring straight at me with cold, dead eyes. He was completely expressionless.”
“Where else have you seen him?” his therapist asked.
“Everywhere. All the time. In store windows. At the park when I’m walking the dog. Standing outside of my house looking in,” Richard said.
“Is he anyone you recognize?”
“He looks vaguely familiar, like someone I should know or may have known. But I don’t know who he is,” Richard explained.
“Can you describe him for me?”
“He is about my height and weight,” Richard said. “In fact, he looks a little like me.”
“You told me you’re an only child, right?” the therapist said. “Maybe it’s an apparition.”
“You think I’m seeing ghosts?” Richard said angrily. “I’m outta here.”
Richard went to see his mother after leaving the therapist’s office. “Ma,” he said, “my therapist says I’m seeing a ghost. A ghost who looks a lot like me.”
Richard’s mother put her hand to her mouth. “Richard,” she said. “Your twin brother died at birth. It was him or you. Forgive me for never telling you. ”
Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Image credit: black-and-white-person-train-motion-42153 Pixel photo.