I’m scared to look at the reflection in the mirror. She stares at me, taps on the glass and yells at me. Silent cries , silent pleas for help, she wants the violence that my own thoughts manifest into sharp words that cut and create invisible scars, to seize. She bangs in that glass every time with no hesitation, just asking for a chance to be loved by the person standing on the other side of her reflection.

Consider this. The Upside Down, when exposure is prolonged past a certain point, begins to tear at the very fabric of time itself for whomever is trapped within it. When El finally summons the strength within her to wrench open a new Gate back to Hawkins, it’s only faintly recognizable. One year has passed for her. Five years have passed in this dimension