About the Book
A Courtroom of Ashes
Last week I had a mirror wall installed in my bedroom. Call me a narcissist, but watching myself full scale in a mirror feels pretty great. I can check the results of my Pilates classes and the effort is certainly paying off. Just look at those legs!
I’m still getting used to the mirror, though. It doubles the size of my room, and although I love the fake sense of space, it seems overly…empty. Well, ‘lonely’ is the better word. This might sound weird, but sometimes I have the feeling of being watched from beyond the mirror, that it’s not just me and loneliness around. But it only lasts a second.
Complete nonsense. I’m sure this will stop once Craig and I become more intimate and he starts coming over.
Craig is a cute Wall Street broker I’ve been going out with—wait, just ‘cute’ isn’t right. Craig looks like a freaking Adonis, with perfectly defined muscles and a flowing black mane suited for a shampoo commercial. We’ve had two dates so far, but things are looking good.
Not to sound like an obnoxious, self-absorbed ass, but I’ve earned the right to a guy like Craig, and the mirror wall, and my fancy apartment near Times Square. When you’re one of the biggest criminal lawyers in New York, you deserve the sweet cosmopolitan lifestyle that comes with the package.
It’s not all fun and money, though.
Last week, I won three pro bonos that made some families in need very happy. I didn’t get a dime, but that’s okay. Giving back to society is enough. A part of me wonders if that’s because I’ve wronged it so many times…but it doesn’t matter.
No one cares.
After checking out my perfectly Pilates-shaped body one last time, I drop over my bed. It’s been a hard day’s work, like any other.
I spread my hands over the silky purple sheets, and my reflection does the same: that honey-eyed beauty with black hair tied into a long braid that cascades over her chest.
Seeing myself in a T-shirt and sloppy shorts is unnatural, though. I spend so much time at the office that anything other than business clothes feels out of place. But something else is wrong…
Something is off with my reflection. She stares directly at me, but I’m not staring directly at her. She widens a long smile and adrenaline shoots through my body, because my reflection just smiled. I didn’t.
The woman in the mirror keeps staring at me with a crooked smile that isn’t mine.
What the hell is going on?
I’m alone. With her. Cold sweat beads on my forehead. The muscles in my legs tighten, but I shouldn’t run. This is a hallucination, it has to be. I raise my hand and arch an eyebrow. My reflection follows my actions, as it should. She doesn’t smile, because I’m not smiling.
That was weird…I must be too tired; anyone would be if they worked a twelve-hour day. I should spend less time at the office.
Seeing things in the mirror can’t be a good sign.
Perhaps a good night’s sleep is all I need. Falling over the comfortable sheets and wrapping them around my body, I doze off as easy as counting one, two, three…
“Santana Banana, wake up.” The whisper cuts through the darkness, but I ignore it.
“Banana,” it insists.
My best friend Barbie used to call me Banana. As kids, teens, and then Ivy Leaguers, we were inseparable. But when she slept with my boyfriend five days before graduation, well, that was it. We never spoke again.
I blink at the mirror. My reflection stands, but I’m pretty sure I’m lying in bed.
Rubbing my eyes, I mumble, “What on earth?”
“You know, I really like dreams,” she says with my voice. “People are less rational when they dream.”
“What do you mean?”I sit up straight.
“You’re talking to your reflection. Doesn’t that seem strange?”