A Sensual Novel. THE MIRROR

A Sensual Novel. THE MIRROR

The Mirror is Chapter 7 of my first novel, a sensuous romance published in 2017 as Traveling True. As powerful as the road, the mirror is a symbol that reflects, absorbs, distorts, and transports.


Wow, a wise designer created her gauzy dress for this stifling interior. Long and large, of a straight cut, with high slits on both sides for Mim to lift and prop her legs on chairs, or tuck them under her bottom. A garment that facilitates her quick peregrinations to the kitchen to fetch lemonade.

Her moist skin’s balm smells divine, oozing shy through the flimsy fabric. Oh, Mim would not stand a woolen touch, to suffocate her pores, so she dismisses any accord between black wool and skin. Stefan must be sweating, smug pig, in his dramatic gala costume, conversing at a festive table, reminiscing his high school years, buried in thoughts.

The researcher

The photos at his parents’ home showed Stefan a winsome adolescent, with dark hair cut in a thick fringe above eyebrows and huge dewy eyes complementing a sensuous mouth. His mother’s mouth, bounteous, which no longer suits him. So incongruous with his present haircut, his logic, and deep reasoning, inspiring the grotesque in Mim.

Stefan reasons too much and her whims and incertitudes never enrage him, which gets on her nerves. Ha! Mim, the object of his thorough research. She tries an overwhelming feeling of being stalked. Yeah, a researcher in the word’s genuine sense, who meticulously plans his expected results.

It disappointed and bemused her that Stefan’s prodigious reasoning should have pushed him to err. On what grounds did he not take Mim to his graduation anniversary? Was he keeping her indoors as you did a convalescent? Or a base motive drove Stefan, that she might not rise to the occasion?

Well, he knows not that her wardrobe screams with exclusive garments she herself designed. Mim turns heads whenever she joins events, so his misjudgment was ridiculous—and unfortunate—and deserves retribution.

The teen designer

Mim has never been much into casual clothing. Shimmery attires and low-cut necklines were at the center of her designing endeavors, ritzy garbs for the parties where she envisioned herself going. Over an entire year she geared up for summer by putting together a trousseau complete with beachwear, evening wear, dancewear. Years were visionary time lags when the teen expected the train that would transport her family to the skyline and chimeric sensational raves.

By day, Mim was a diligent schoolgirl and played with kids, while by night planned her future exhilarating existence. Starting with the following summer, through many successive summers to the top, to success and celebrity. Each nocturnal session ended in impending reversal, irrefutable, accepted. With no goal left, she concluded her illusory, but far-reaching, journey.

As a student, she once wrote an essay in French about wisdom, la sagesse. Well, when you lived it all, you reach stop Terminus and become sage, composed, quiet.

Each outfit was an eclectic fusion whose spirit Mim carried with her, so everyone goggled, wondering whence the nymph surfaced. She resembled the superstars in glossy pictures of magazines, so Stefan was out in his mean calculations by miles. His malevolent rationale will turn against him and his much flaunted love for her. Mim will punish the scientist and leave home too. She will see Anton.

Everything makes sense now, and the two days ahead have revenge written on frontispieces. Mim rises from among the piles of papers, gets dressed, takes one decisive look in the mirror, equips her purse with the minimum necessaries, switches the key in the lock, and flies off.

Fleeing back

In no time, she reaches Anton’s front door. Outside, a benign sun shines for everyone, so she presses the doorbell button.

“Mim!” Pale and confused in the dim slit, his features start all at once.

But Mim does not read displeasure. “I’ve popped in to see you,” she says in one breath.

He lets her in and shows her to the main room, where she regains confidence. With Anton’s mood cheering lightly, Mim feels pretty again.

As Anton is to-and-froing about, Mim sits on the bed. But hardly has she done so when she hears his voice.

“Will you make coffee?”

She flinches. “Yes, sure.” And off she flits to the kitchen.

Three stools make up a provisional table, and a rustic bast-mat covers the rugged concrete floor. She recognizes the smoky Jena cups in the old apartment and tries enjoying it here. The tender moment shatters in ruins, though, as Anton walks in; to grind coffee beans.

Their closeness tastes familiar. Mim would hate the smell of burning gas were it not for the tangy heat that permeates the interior. Anton dashes out and in again, getting cups ready to receive the hot drink, livelier on Saturday afternoons, when city residents binge.

Mim recalls how he used to observe her with alert exigent eyes, making chores difficult for her. What a relief he let her loose now. She removes the pot from the ring and as she tilts it to pour coffee, his approaching voice startles her.

“Let me do that for you.”

Well, he knows better. Childlike Mim is, of course, inexperienced. She cannot help relinquishing the kettle. If she insisted, he would infer she was dying to perform a wife’s demonstration before him, but that’s the last thing on her mind. Plus, the word wife is off her vocabulary and sounds vulgar. So Mim steps aside to let him pour coffee, then scurries away with the tray and places it on the joined stools.

Mim was in love, but Anton never suspected the causal relation between love and awkwardness. To him, love meant drilling about like a machinery, a woman, cunning and dexterous, laboring nuts for her man. Quick on the trigger, my woman should be if she loves me.

Canvas mirror

To break the embarrassing silence, Anton asks how things are going. Well, nothing much—working on her diploma paper. And, oh, she is staying in town, never left, told him before. Yes, he remembers. Mim feels sick, nauseated by the spurts of flat words between them. How could they pretend to be pals chatting?

“What about today? How come you didn’t rush to visit your parents? It’s a Saturday.”

“I just didn’t.”

“Not to see me, I gather.”

“No. As I sat at my writing desk, don’t know what got into me—dressed and left. I live nearby.”

Anton tries his best to be neither too cold nor too warm toward her. More subtle than his usual histrionics. Oh, that vile vein leading to an off-putting barrier of abrupt resolute gestures and blunt retorts. Or sometimes the contrary, word strings uttered in phlegmatic capital-city accent.

“I decided to become a true artist, you know?”

At hearing this, Anton’s countenance brightens. Enchantment sends his attention to the canvases exhibited on the walls. Smiling a secret smile to himself, Anton raises one arm to the white horses signed by a university friend of his.

Mim twists her torso to consider the maned phantasms neighing above the bed. That hypnotic representation of racing used to enthrall her. Mim’s spirits sink. She will never impress Anton.

“Look, painting,” he says with exultant emphasis while directing his gaze to another canvas.

What? Splatters of mud. A twig fence of a weird conception and impact, imposing such warped perception. Violent strokes in drab tones cutting through a violet brume that convey nothing. Except brutality, maybe. Impotent barbarism rather than violence pure. A hail of lashes charges at Mim, in a ridiculous animation, offensive, activated by her mind’s apprehensive side—debris from the past.

“I’ve just bought this. You dig it?”

Appreciative words will not sprout, so Mim offers a fake contemplative gape.

“You grasp the idea?”

God knows what Anton makes of that piece and Mim dare not inform him what she does. “It is … experimental,” she says. A facetious lie.

Mim would sooner tell about herself, describe the tangle of shapes and colors she splashes on blank canvas. If only he knew Mim is ripe to unleash forces suppressed since a child.

Never, ever willed Anton to discover the child in her. For him, Mim was a child pure, l’enfant parfait. “You can’t understand,” he said often. But was he curious to meet that child? No. Whereas Mim searched with ardor for his childhood. She fantasized about him capering in his grandparents’ yard in the far northern Botosani land, him being dressed by his mom, having his fair locks combed, him coddled. Mim even re-created his grandmother’s portrait in mind, or his father’s, mounted on a black steed, ready to set out to solve vital matters. Mr. Arvinte, a man of deeds and powerful will, whom his wife venerates and waits upon with zeal.

Childhood mirror

Mim revealed to Anton secret games she played with her brother when kids. The girl adored tramcars and their silent glide along shiny infinite tracks. When visiting relatives, she locked herself in the bathroom, sat on the throne, and maneuvered the arms of the towel holder, buzzing and fancying driving a rail vehicle. He found nothing entertaining, not even her entrepreneurial game of the produce dealer. Anton perhaps reminisced about his toys while Mim exposed her child’s self to him.

How she loved exerting herself as a borsh seller. Mim filled milk bottles with tap water and placed them on the sill of the summer kitchen’s square window. When she tired of selling fermented soup base, she upgraded her trade to vegetables.

In feverish earnest, the kid rubbed hands against the bottom of a tin basin that substituted for scale dish, imitating women vendors. She loved the marketplace and used to gawk at the spectacle of palms wading through heaps of raw vegetables. Those women’s mannerisms and laconism fascinated Mim.

Potatoes were her preferred merchandise, closer to satisfying her dirtiness standards. Earth under her fingernails was never enough. But tarnishing her physique set the ground for the stupendous makeover to follow. The urchin in rags would stun everyone. Wow, is that the greengrocer?

She bathed, slipped on a dress of her mother’s, and walked into the woman’s pink pointy-toe heels. Mim’s favorites. Once she chose a pochette to match and hung pearls in her ears, she deemed herself fit to parade the length of the courtyard, eyes sparkling at the sound of heels clicking on flint slabs. But still not enough glamorous stuff, so Mim locked herself in, and facing the tall vanity mirror in her parents’ bedroom, lowered her neckline and put on red lipstick. The next step was drawing the table to the right focal distance and start a mock-professional photo session.

Vanity mirror

No backstage ever saw such a frenetic display of costumes, makeup, hairstyles, and jewelry. And lo! Mim, at the world’s focus, perched on that vintage wood piece. Snapshot, snapshot. She posed from ingénue through star to diva. Mim ended up spread almost naked on the tabletop, zipping sensual poses. And God, was she beautiful. Once the most glamorous pose clinched, she remained transfixed, knocked out of time, staring into her pupils until tears sprang. That shot would vanish, so her chest ached beyond shrills of pain. Transience was unbearable.

Mim rushed to her mother’s wardrobe to dig for black garments, crying. She reveled in grotesque grimaces: pouched, cleft, or cavernous mouths, and now squinting, next bulging eyeballs. The clown came to life to stir up a frenzy of paint she rubbed in gross amounts over her forehead, cheeks, eyelids. A ludicrous metamorphose that rendered her ugly and free. What more could she lose, ha, ha?

Before long, exhaustion brought her back among earthen fellows. No longer managing the self-created chaos, she raged at the mounds of nightgowns, sequined dresses, entangled swatches of chiffons, lace, and silks. She grabbed them one by one, folding and putting them back in places, bickering, the hag, and calling them names. On top of everything, panic seized her at the prospect of Mom’s imminent coming home to witness the mess.


Her mom never viewed the house in the aftermath of a debauchery session. She arrived, gave the obedient daughter a peck, and family life resumed duly. Her mother did not know her. Shocked was too slim to describe her reaction when Mim designed her first outfits and fled out to flaunt them. The woman gaped at the Gorgon and Helen of Troy in one. Little did Mom know Mim played fashion model, dancer, musical actress within the household’s walls.

Anton, too, had no clue about her flamboyant talents. Time had been narrow for frivolous revelations, and had she exposed the dazzling diva, it would have counted zilch. Anyway, it matters no longer, so why bother? Why, when only immediate facts pique his interest? Anton would rather she spread her legs than show him her canvases. For him, Mim is a girl, not an artist. Classy, well-bread, and pretty bright for her gender.

But her truth is cyclonic gales. He may have heard the howling, but refused to admit. For fear of spoiling the brat or because the artist is him. No, Mim’s undercurrents will never reach this individual’s heart, who now gazes at his art assets, cup in hand.


Anton springs to his feet and darts to the hallway closet to pick clothes, disappears from view, and soon reemerges geared to leave. She finds it befitting to stand up herself. If only he said something. And he says. “Mim, I have an errand to run. Play yourself music. I’ll be back shortly.”

Anton took off, with Mim still sitting in disbelief. Mim, home, as in their entrancing times. “I’ll bring over two friends: Roxana and Dan. You’ll like them for sure,” he said.

Mim played the latest Rolling Stones—black limousine … heaven … waiting … She then switched to Anton’s preferred singing duet: Streisand’s shrilling and Dylan’s substance. What could sustain life better on a Saturday, among his coffee cups in this lounge–bedroom featuring massive pieces of démodé furniture and original oils?

Mim resumes her crouched position, striving to figure out Anton’s trusting her with his home. Her visits are brief, hid from his latest company, so what on earth is the intruder doing here alone? Yet, what pleasant contentment Mim being his same dependable friend. Thank God she did not have to rise and go, sent away, hurt. Anton didn’t dismiss her.

How could he, when he once ran after Mim, crying out her name? Her tiny steps on the asphalt were killing her soul the farther she got from his voice. Anton, who asked her, pressing her body against a recess in his car, “Who do you love, Mim?” “Nobody.” She shivered like guilty. “Nobody? That’s my name, isn’t it?” He stalked her in a corner and held her in a tight grip, kissing her mouth to drain out the truth.

About the author

Solar Writer walking on the dark side to bring mind's secrets to light, in romances with a psychological edge. Next Woman blogger showing you how to use the power of SELF to stay young, confident and magnetic.