Wide-eyed, I felt my jaw, slack with shock, involuntarily close, but I could not stop staring at myself-her-us-? It was all too much, too confusing, and I began feeling woozy again.
“Whoa, steady there,” my doppelganger rushed over and grasped my arm, clenching the sinews to keep me from collapsing. She laid a hand on my shoulder and squeezed gently, whilst my chest heaved, the adrenaline rush forcing my lungs into overdrive. After a minute or so, my heart rate had descended to normal and the fuel that seemed to surge through my veins had dwindled.
“Thanks,” I whispered hoarsely, turning to face my doppelganger. “No problem,” she replied, averting her gaze self-consciously. “Apr- I thought you might need some help.” She stood up, flicking dust off the seat of her pants, and held a hand out towards me. I reached up to grab it, but paused, suddenly reluctant to take it. She seemed to sense my uneasiness.
“It’s alright,” my doppelganger reassured me, “We may be the same, but it’s only skin.” Cautiously, keeping one eye trained on her face, I extended my arm and lightly touched her palm, expecting something, a jolt of electricity perhaps, but finding nothing. I exhaled, feeling the release of tension in my chest, and grasped her hand fully, staring at our hands which were identical save one detail. My palms, though usually somewhat cool, were damp with sweat, whereas hers were ice-cold.
“I know they’re cold,” she replied, seeing the look on my face. “It’s just a-a side effect. But don’t worry about that now,” she added, “right now we need to get you to safety.” She began to walk forwards, but stopped when I failed to do the same. Those blue eyes bored into mine, like my reflection in a mirror had done as long as I could remember. Except now when I blinked, the eyes staring back remained open.
“I just have one question,” I looked at her face, her hair, and then back at her eyes. “What do I call you?”
An indiscernible emotion flickered across her face so quickly I almost thought I’d imagined it. “Eris,” my doppelganger whispered, so faintly I could barely make it out.
“That’s a pretty name,” I told her, smiling faintly in the gloom. “It’s about as nice as the person who gave it to me,” Eris responded, before turning and leading me away from the darkness.
“Where are we going?” I was confounded as to how Eris could see anything in the utter blackness. “Home,” she replied, her voice cracking on the e. “We’re going home.”