The days are getting shorter and the shorts are getting longer—you knew it wouldn’t last. Much like that Italian ice stand near the pool, your summer love will probably disappear by next week. The excitement’s gone, but that doesn’t mean you have to end on bad terms with your beach bum. Be as gentle as possible, and he’ll completely understand when you trap him in a mirror for all eternity.
Keep him where you can see him.
It’s not that you didn’t have fun, or even that you didn’t truly care about him. Sometimes people just need to move on with their lives, and in order to do that you have to remove a person from our world completely. But you also want to treasure the memory of your romance, by keeping him in a mirror where you can admire him always. It’s healthy to end things on your own terms. You’ll find someone else, a more permanent love that exists without the thrill of riding jet skis or a tipsy summer picnic, and you’ll be glad you ended things in a way that guarantees your ensured freedom from his existence, while still having the opportunity to check in on him by looking into his mirror when no one’s looking.
Don’t make it awkward!
It won’t be easy, but it’s better than making up some lie. Imagine telling him you’re too busy with work, then two months later he spots you on a date in the same temporal plane of perceived existence. Awkward! One of you would make the mistake of saying hi when the other person was just fine ignoring the whole situation. Avoid that whole headache by just being straightforward, staring into his eyes, and reciting the incantations until he tumbles into the full-length mirror in your attic, tumbling and tumbling through an endless mirrorworld from which there is no return. Love hurts sometimes!
A bittersweet compromise.
Sure, you may regret it. You’ll torture yourself thinking about how maybe it could’ve worked out. These questions linger any time you send someone to the Kingdom of Trickery. You can still cherish the memories you made, and you know he will because that’s all he has to comfort him as he spends the great forever navigating a strange, backwards dimension. You’ll always be reminded of the good times you two had on that ferris wheel when you catch yourself smiling and see him screaming and pounding on the glass.
Remember that you can always stay friends, once enough time has gone by and he accepts his fate as Jester of the Mirrorland King. If you’re both willing to move on, you can take the sheet off the mirror and have a genuinely nice conversation every once in a while. No need to rush it. You’ll need time to get back into the swing of things, and he’ll be busy trying to learn the reverse speech of the mirror people. Time will pass until one evening you’ll be looking at a full moon over the ocean and think that somewhere he’s living his life and looking at that same moon, or at least a version of the moon that glows a harsh neon blue and floats between two gelatinous discs moving in a way that reminds him of the waves that buoyed your kissing summer selves.
And who knows? Maybe some day, when you’re older and wiser, and he’s begging to be released, bloodying his hands as he stares into the world he’s meant to exist in, you’ll tell him, “?ton yhw, eruS” You’ll always have that option!