The Doppelgänger

It had been a long day at the amusement park. Dad and I had probably ridden every ride twice! I
couldn’t help but smile at the man holding my finger: His sandy hair lifted by the wind, while his blue
eyes concentrated on moving duck targets. I couldn’t see much of what was going on, but he was
winning, no doubt. His blinding smile said so.
Dad was in his early 30s but women often mistook him for a 20 year old spending time with a strange
child. I looked nothing like him. With my brown eyes, dark lips and bushy black hair, neither of us were
surprised when people accused him of abduction or charity.
He wasn’t my biological father…but that never affected our relationship, nor did society’s criticism. He
was my dad, and I was his daughter, and that’s all that mattered. I let out a long yawn, slightly losing
balance- but catching myself before the fall. I scowled at the moving beanstalks. As much as I loved
spending time with papa, I was tired. Tonight, I would fall deep into my mattress, cushions and blankets
to keep me warm while I cuddled with Bun- my soft toy and my most valued possession. I tightened my
grip on Bun, but where I should have felt a cotton creature, all I felt was my fist clenched. My eyes
widened as I turned to the crowd in search of him. My heart beating hard against my chest, looking for
him. And there he was. 6 feet away- at the entrance of a striped tent. Without a second thought, I
pushed through the crowd. Their smelly coats and excessive perfume made me gag, but Bun…was
nowhere to be found! He was no longer at the entrance of the tent, but inside it. I felt a strong push,
before the curtains closed behind me. What was going on? Getting up, I looked at my reflections. A lost,
confused child stared back. All I wanted to do then was cry my eyes out, but I gulped down my tears, for
dear Bun’s sake. Pulling myself together, I kept walking. Surrounded by mirrors. My head turned right,
then left- but all I could see was a scrawny 5 year old who needed sleep. That’s when I heard the tip-tap
of her footsteps. A girl tilted her head in from behind one of the mirrors, her black hair tied in ribbons,
colored the same pink as her fluttering skirt. We had the same outfit…and the same face. She grinned,
before disappearing in the blink of an eye. “Hey! Wait!” I yelled. The only reply I got was from hurried
footsteps and giggles.
“Stop! Who are you?!” I asked, running behind her.
“I’m you silly!” A cheery voice answered.
I halted, catching my breath. “That’s…not. That’s not possible.” I muttered with my hands on my knees.
My eyes searching for a response. But instead, I found Bun, lying right ahead of me. His head turned to
an unfortunate angle. I ran towards him, gliding the half way as I enveloped him in a tight hug he
couldn’t escape. “You’re never leaving me like that again.” I whispered in his long ears. Our reunion was
interrupted by the loud sound of a light- directly falling on me. “What-“ Before I could complete my
question, echoed laughs muted me. My hands on my ears as I shrieked for mercy. But it was too loud.
My eyelids gave in, refusing to take another minute to see the pink sandals ahead of me or who was
wearing them. I fell asleep.
“Liana! Liana!” I heard dad yell. Scratching my eyes open, I looked around- I was still in the house of
mirrors. “Liana..?” I heard him again, this time closer. “Dad!” I said, picking Bun up. He came forward, a
huge smile on his face as he opened his arms for me. His warm embrace was enough to make me want
to sleep again, but I didn’t let it happen. Shaking the feeling off, I looked at him again- to make sure it
was dad. His smile never failed to reassure me. I closed my eyes again- maybe because I needed to
sleep, or to escape her…but whatever it was, I was safe.

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