They were mirror images of each other.
That’s what everyone told them and to be honest, Oliver believed it. They both were the same and yet they were the complete opposite of each other, just like mirror images of each other. Oliver was quiet, withdrawn, was always nose deep in books and never garnered any attention. Eugene on the other hand was rather loud in comparison to Oliver, social, preferred learning by experiencing and was always in the limelight. Eugene was the perfect child, Oliver was not. It wasn’t that Oliver thought he was anything less than better put together than anyone around him, but he often wondered if Luella and Martin would have prefered a more outgoing child like Eugene, being outgoing themselves.
Eugene and Oliver were each other and at the same time, they were everything that the other was not. Oliver was born a strong PK user and Eugene a perfect medium. Oliver needed Eugene to use his PK but Eugene didn’t need Oliver to communicate with the dead. And it relieved Oliver that Eugene was as fascinated by their abilities as he was. They agreed very seriously that if the other were to die, they would research what they could. They were weird that way. But Oliver was never more glad that there was someone as passionate about psychic research as he was. They devoted their lives to it.
And then the mirror broke.
Oliver clearly remembered the day as if it were yesterday. He picked up Eugene’s shirt and unintentionally dipped into Eugene’s world. He remembered falling so fast into the void. He had fallen backward, not having been prepared for the pull of psychometry. He had broken a mirror and it was only weeks afterwards that he remembered that breaking a mirror meant seven years of bad luck - not that he believed that rubbish. The pull of his own powers and Eugene’s spirit were so strong he couldn’t avoid it. He ended up with a cut on his forehead and his legs were numb for hours afterwards.
His parents mourned his twin.
But Oliver felt empty.
The Japanese police were useless . Oliver had to find Eugene before he wouldn’t be able to figure out any useful information from his brother’s dead body. Luella and Martin were reluctant to let him go, having just lost one son. But Oliver didn’t let them stop him. Oliver had only one goal in Japan and that was to find Eugene. His broken mirror image. Oliver ended up finding looking at mirrors odd. It wasn’t as if he thought he could see Eugene there. That was ridiculous and Oliver wasn’t stupid. However, it was strange, realizing he wouldn’t see the smiling, laughing and expressive version of his face anymore.
It didn’t matter anyways, the mirror was broken.
And Oliver met Taniyama Mai.
She was almost what could be personified as his broken mirror. She was Eugene and everything Eugene was not. She was an orphan, a mesmerising esper, sympathetic, drove Oliver absolutely crazy and used that stupid, stupid nickname. But she was also herself and not Gene. She was loud, stupid and lacked Eugene’s charm. Very befitting of a broken mirror image.
Oliver didn’t even know why he was comparing someone he didn’t even know - someone he wouldn’t meet again after he found Eugene’s body to his twin brother - but suddenly Oliver wondered what it would have been like to have had Eugene there and meet Mai. Was it a strange sort of nostalgia, or maybe he missed his brother? Absolutely ridiculous.
Finding Eugene’s body had been anticlimactic. The body was so badly damaged already, Oliver couldn’t even ask for an autopsy. Useless, useless Japanese police. Oliver couldn’t see his face. He couldn’t see his face in the mirror anymore.
But Taniyama Mai existed and being around her was like being around Eugene. A warped version of his mirror image. He gravitated back to her as if she were a magnet, returning to Japan even though he thought he would never return. She smiled and laughed and cried and Oliver saw Eugene in her sometimes. But he was starting to realize, she was nothing like Eugene. She was her own whole and unique person and Oliver really wasn’t sure how to deal with such a realization and he put it on the back shelf in his mind.
However, being by her let him see Eugene again. Eugene was attached to her as if to force Oliver to find some kind of new answer in someone who was not his twin. Oliver saw him in the hideous mirror windows of that house and suddenly he was more relieved than he had ever been in his life. He could look into a mirror again and know that that it wasn’t just his own face. He had never felt that way before. Although the connection was weak, Oliver could still press his fingers against the glass - against Eugene’s fingertips - and use his PK. Eugene was still as stupid as before and Oliver couldn’t help but smile. They really were weird.
After the case Oliver stood in front of the mirror in his office and stared blankly.
“Naru?” That stupid nickname. “Are you alright?”
“I got myself checked at the hospital. I’m perfectly fine,” Oliver told her.
“I didn’t mean that.” Mai put a cup of tea on his desk. “You must have been glad to see Gene again, huh?” She smiled softly. “I was too.”
Then she walked out of the room.
And Oliver realized he had mourned Gene’s death.
The mirror had broken, but it wasn’t gone.