Paper faces on parade . . .
Hide your face, so the world will never find you!
(Masquerade – Phantom of the Opera)
(*TRIGGER WARNING* you can leave now)
They had been floor mates several years ago, and were still on “saying-hi-when-we-run-into-each-other” terms.
“Hey! How have you been?”
“I’ve been alright, how are you?”
“How’s the team doing?”
“Oh, um, I quit after last term- (“Oh, sorry, I didn’t-“) No, no, it’s okay, I haven’t told a lot of people- but yeah, I have a lot more time now which is nice!”
“That’s good then!”
“Yeah, how are your classes treating ya?”
“LOL, stressful as usual.”
“Yah same, I feel ya.”
“Haha, well I gotta go now, I have a 12. We should get a meal sometime!”
“Yes definitely! I’ll see you around!”
He walked back into his room and popped open another bottle, his fourth today. Ironic how getting kicked off the team had made it even worse.
She headed off to class, pulling at her sleeves, under which hid fresh scars. She knew she’d fail the quiz again today, and cursed herself for not studying for it like she knew she should have.
She looked up at the sky. He sat down on his bed.
“I have never felt so alone,” they thought.
How many of us are secretly losing the fight?
Hi friends. Apologies if this is a little jarring to read. The circumstances are fictional, not based on my experiences or anyone around me. I’ve just been thinking lately about how little we know about others and how little others know about us sometimes, and this little thingy is a reflection on that. We’ve all had this generic conversation many times. What do you hide? What are the things left unsaid? On the other end, how much do you really know about the people you see in passing?
I have more questions than answers about the façades we hide behind, and this isn’t a finger-wagging implication that we should never have these masqueraded conversations. I simply wanted to bring them to light so that you, dear internet, can puzzle along with me.***To anyone who feels like they’ve got a mask that doesn’t come off anymore, or are going through something similar to the things mentioned in this article, please know that this isn’t meant to diminish your experience in any sense. You are not alone, and there are people who can support you, either around you, and/or through other resources. Please reach out for help if you need it! Some resources you can text or call for help are the Crisis Text Line or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline***