At the top of the stairs, a doorway opened to a room furnished only with a blue chair that faced a huge wall-mounted mirror.  Amazingly, the mirror remained undamaged by debris from the storms that now so easily pass through the room's shattered windows.


A large piece of bone had been placed atop the chair. The room's arrangement left me with few questions as to what was expected of me.  I could run, or I could take the seat and accept the inevitable visitor that was in store for me, terrible or benign.


It was no simple choice.  Taking that seat meant embracing a loss of control, something that I had made a science of insulating myself against.  I am not a man of faith, and I only really pretend to trust.  Yet, I held too much unresolved pain not to see this through.  I begrudgingly lifted the grim prize, closed my eyes, and waited.


My eyes opened to find a dark silhouette forming in the mirror. I did not dare to look behind me for fear that it would appear there, as well. I would have to face this trial on its terms, not mine.  As the shape found definition, it was her I began to see.


Her vivid image held fast, even as a man's voice began to sound from behind the mirror. "Ease up, boy. You've found me. Yet, I'm not who you were expecting."  Startled, I replied, "Who are you?"