I don't remember the year, I just remember standing in the bathroom, combing out my hair. We were visiting the area near the coffee plantations. My Great Grandmother used to own a huge plantation there. She sold it when she decided to go to California. The rental cottage was in an area of the Panama Mountains, called the Volcan. I think the spelling is correct.
I remember the ice cold mountain rivers, and the blackberries by the side of the road. It certainly didn't feel like you were still in the tropics. We were enjoying the cool temps, and the beautiful green of every direction you looked.
The cottage was small, and it had just one bathroom. We had been driving for almost four hours. Sitting in the back of an old Volkswagen bug, was uncomfortable in itself, but the windows were broken, and you couldn't roll them up. The driver apologized every time the sky opened up, and the rains fell. I got soaked, my hair was blown into a knotted, frizzy mess, and we were stuck in a one bedroom, one bath cottage.
There were five us on that trip, and I was cranky. Standing in front of the mirror. My hair was going to take a long time to fix, and one of my relatives was busy pounding on the door saying "I need to go to the bathroom, get out!".
The hair brush was being held under lukewarm waters, and I grumbled at the thought of sleeping in such small quarters with so many people. Shaking the water off the brush, I yelled out " Give me five more minutes ". I heard my Uncle stomp away.
My eyes stared at the tired girl in the mirror. It had been such a long day, and all I wanted to do was comb out the worst of the knots, and go find a spot to sleep. At least-in the bathroom, I had some amount of privacy. I was on the pity train pretty deep by this point, and I pouted at my image in the mirror.
I dragged that brush through my hair, as gently as I could, but it hurt. I felt the tears start to well up, when I had to tear through some sensitive areas.
" Don't cry " I heard a little girl say. Quickly, I turned around. There was no one in the bathroom with me. I yanked open the bathroom door thinking someone was watching me, but no one was there. I stepped back into the bathroom and closed the door. Puzzled, I went back to the sink. I hadn't sensed any kind of entity in the little cottage, but they can camouflage their presence at will.
I had just picked up the hairbrush, when I looked at my image in the mirror. A young girl stared back at me from behind my left shoulder. She was so close, I could have reached out and poked her in the eye. Of course, it was an ethereal being, and she wasn't a physical body any longer.
Her face, let me describe what I saw. She appeared to be maybe ten years old. Her skin, there was something wrong with it. It looked yellowed, withered and paper thin. I could see veins behind the discolored skin, and her eyes... Bless her heart, it seemed like they were sinking into her eye sockets. I think she had died from disease...cancer, maybe?. I know that she looked at ill, and she smiled at me as she backed away. Too quickly, she was gone.
Stunned, I turned and searched the small room for signs of the girl. Of course, there weren't any tell tale signs she had ever been there. I went back to combing out my hair. Maybe she would return, but she never did. We were in the cottage for 6 days, and no one mentioned seeing a sickly girl around the cottage, or in the mirror.
As we were packing up to leave, the caretaker of the cottages came to retrieve the key. I took him aside and asked him about a little girl. Maybe someone had died there at one time?...He said the cottages were only eight to ten years old, and as far as he knew, no one had died there.
As he was walking away, he suddenly remembered something, and he turned back to tell me. There used to be a residential facility nearby... It housed leprosy patients, but had been torn down when the new owners bought the land under it. The residential facility had been vacated some thirty years prior to the land being sold. Many patients had died there.
At least I got some answers. I prayed, the Ghost girl in the mirror, would find the peace she deserved...