Looking at the crumbled ruins of her palace, she did not know what she had expected to find.
Her shoes, not made for walking on broken rocks, were ripped to shreds, and her feet ached with every step she took. Every now and then, she would walk past a fakir or a bayadere slumped on the ground, eyes glazed not from wounds, but from the sudden yet profound loss that hung in the air.
Somewhere deep within her, Gamzatti wanted nothing more than to stop and fall to the ground like the wretches around her, but she knew that if she did, she would start screaming, and she wouldn’t be able to stop, not when she still remembered how her father and the High Brahim were crushed by a pillar right in front of her; how the Golden Idol, screaming with his voice so rarely used, disappeared under a hail of rocks; how Solor pushed her away from the huge slab of stone falling down on her, before it claimed him forever.
So she walked, and walked, and walked, letting the pain in her feet drown out her thoughts.
Until, she came to a stop. At first she thought it was another woman, reaching out to her from under the ruins, but as she made her way closer, she realized that it was a large mirror, half buried under the rocks. What she saw in the mirror, however, send a wave of coldness through her body.
No, she thought, clutching the edge of the mirror with trembling, white-knuckled hands, it cannot be. I must have gone mad.
Gamzatti-in-the-mirror, just like the real Gamzatti, was wearing her wedding dress, like the real Gamzatti, but unlike hers, it wasn’t torn and covered in dust. Every bead and stitch in that dress was perfect. Her headpiece was immaculate. There was not a stray hair to be seen.
Gamzatti-in-the-mirror was wearing a wide smile, something already so foreign to the real Gamzatti.
Her reflection was not alone. Solor, with a gentle smile on his face, had his arms around her waist, covering the left side of her face with kisses. Her right hand was occupied by a smaller, paler hand. Nikiya looked up at her with dark, adoring eyes, leaning her head against her shoulder.
Gamzatti-in-the-mirror met the eyes of her counterpart. A grin surfaced on her face as she turned her head, first to kiss Solor, then Nikiya.
The piece of rock at Gamzatti’s feet may not have been sharp enough to break the mirror, but it was enough to slit her wrists.