After I had calmed down a bit from my conversation with Angelique which had annoyed me greatly - although which part of me it annoyed more, I wasn't sure - I started to feel awful about the way I had acted. I wanted to find her and tell her I was sorry, but I hadn't a clue where she had gone off to.
I still did not even see her again the next morning, although someone told me they had seen her being escorted out of the graveyard by Iantha's little brother, Colin. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to find anymore out because the teachers had begun to assign jobs to girls for the castle cleanup before Parents' Day tomorrow. Having finished class at noon as per ordered, I was sent up to the ballroom where Mme. Boncoeur was supervising; she put me on scrubbing duty, which meant I had to clean all the mirrors and windows I could reach on that floor.
Scrubbing away mindlessly at the grime buildup on one of the several hundred mirrors I had cleaned, my mind began to wander. My hand slowed down from becoming tired and my eyes started to wander. I was thinking about the real Cordeila when I heard a light tap, tap. I looked all around, but there weren't very many girls around me, and those who were, were scrubbing the floor boards and wiping clean the old wallpaper.
Tap, tap, tap. The sound was coming from in front of me, from the mirror. I looked, but only saw my own blue eyes staring back at me. Shaking my head, I started to pick idly away at a corner of the mirror where it seemed as though someone had once squished cake into the frame. After several minutes of intense cleaning and direct ignoring the looking glass itself, I stood up straighter and wiped my forehead with the back of my hand. Out of the corner of my eye I was sure my reflection was not doing the same motion. Deciding to investigate, I looked more closely at the mirror. It was me staring back, but as far as I was sure, I wasn't smiling, but my image was. The other me had her hair piled on top of her hair with a few escaped ringlets resting on her satin-clad shoulders. I closed one eye slowly, she did not. Rather, she gave me a slightly confused look from what I could see out of one eye. I started to make faces at the mirror, to which, my reflection seemed to laugh mutely at. Suddenly, she smiled somewhat affectionately, but seemed to be looking through me.
"Well this certainly is a switch."
I twirled around to see George standing behind me, grinning. Had my reflection been smiling at him?
"What do you mean?" I asked. I thought I had offended him in some way the last time we met, and I had been quite certain he'd never speak to me again for fear my insanity would rub off on him.
"You, cleaning. Well, actually all of you cleaning," he replied. "Does a domestic's heart good to see the higher ups doing some work too." He was smiling jokingly at me.
"We certainly can't expect you all to clean this place in time for tomorrow." I was a little mortified that he had referred to us girls as "higher ups." Did all the staff think that way.
"I suppose not," he remarked thoughtfully. "I saw you making faces at yourself in the mirror there." He nodded at the mirror. "Were you having a contest with yourself?" He was back to making jokes.
"Yes," I answered, "I think I won." I certainly had; she wasn't about to make any faces at me.
"Good, glad to hear it." He looked down at the box he was carrying, as if he was trying to think of a way to linger a little longer, not that I didn't want him to. "Still having your funny déjà vu thing?" he asked suddenly, looking back up at me.
"I was, but not lately. Iantha Craven gave me some special flowers for it; said it would keep the dreams at bay." I bit my lip hard when I realized I hadn't told anyone but Angelique and Iantha about my dreams up until this point.
"Dreams, eh?" George's eyes had a far away look to them. I looked down at my shoes. "Crazy Craven, they call 'er," he said, breaking the silence, smiling again. "She's a good egg though, from what I know o' 'er."
"I think so," I replied quietly. He smiled once more. His body jerked for a second, as if it was urging him to carry on his original mission.
"Well, I, ah, better get going. The cook's gonna want this," he said, shaking the box slightly. I nodded.
"I'll see you around, then."
"Turrah," he said, turning around to walk down the hall. The other girls had just noticed him and began to have a fit of giggles as he walked past them. He looked back and smiled mischievously at me before rounding the corner.
I turned back to the mirror. She was still there, now glaring at me.
"What?" I asked her. "What do you want from me?" A sad smile broke out onto her face before she sighed soundlessly. Suddenly I was looking at myself in the mirror as if she had melted away or morphed into me in the blink of an eye. Standing in a hall of girls talking around me, I instantly felt quite alone.