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The Deadly Mask
I put on some concealer, hide the bruises dotting my face. I put on some lipgloss, hide the deathly pale lips I own. I put on some mascara to hide my burnt eyelashes. I put on a mask, to hide the real me, to make them see a normal girl, not the one underneath. My clothing covers every inch of my body, or so it seems. It's a part of my mask, the clothes and the make-up. Now all I need is the personality.
I decide to practice on my way to school, and run down the stairs. I have to make it out the door before HE comes down the stairs. I have to get out, out, out, out. It's always the same routine: Get dressed, put on make-up, run down the stairs, grab a granola bar, get OUT.
I'm at the bottom of the stairs... HE is there. I slow down, grab a granola bar, then start to open the door...
“Have a good time at school. Your mother and I will be out when you come home,” HE says. I nod, a slight motion of the head to satisfy HIM . I run out the door, fast as I can. I gotta get away, I have to leave. I will not stay behind to let HIM hurt me.
My heart is pounding, my feet are hitting the pavement, shallow breathing, and I'm already exhausted. I didn't sleep at all, I was listening to yelling, screaming, the sound of a fist hitting another person. Now I was running to school, tired, and scared. What a way to live...
They're all just blurry faces now, nothing to look at. They blend in with one another, never doing anything outstanding, but I join them. I am the wallflower, hiding myself in blurred faces. I don't mind the constant hiding, the constant silence. It's all fine for me. I just need a place to escape, a place to get out.
School passes in a blur, just like the faces. I get good grades still though, even if I hardly listen to what the teachers say. Just copy the board, just write it all down, and there you go. The teachers try to talk to me, tell me I did a good job. Nod, that's all you have to do, nod, and they go away. I nod...
I start walking home, I feel tired. School was hard today, lots of questions in science. I hear footsteps behind me, and whirl around, not wanting to have someone following me. It was my lab partner in science, the one I didn't talk to.
“Hi Emmy,” He whispered, walking closer to me.
“Um...Hi,” I murmur. I'm quiet, don't like talking, and when I do, I do not want to be loud.
“So, do you know what the homework is?” He asks, voice at full normal volume. Just a friend, that's all he is, a friend.
“No, I don't, sorry,” I reply. I wanna get away. He's scaring me, he is getting to close. His hands are touching me. No, no, no, back away. I squirm as he grabs my arm.
“Just wanted to say hi,” He whispers in my ear. I push him away, start to run. He's following me. I run, run, run, it's deja vu. He can't run as fast as me, no, no, I'm to fast for him. Yet he keeps chasing me, yelling “Come Back!” “Come Back!” I will not go back.
I see my house, just a few more steps and I'll be safe. He's catching up. Faster I run, faster still. Mascara runs down my face, tears sting my cheeks. Lipgloss stuck to my hair, from it flapping in the wind. Concealer breaking apart, revealing my bruises.
Why can't I scream, why couldn't I scream? I needed someone to know he was chasing me. My voice is stuck in my throat, choking me. I'm suffocating, I cannot scream. I'm five feet ahead of him. I'm at my door. The key! The house is locked, I don't have my key. The scream comes out...
He is baffled, he did not think I would scream. My neighbors come out, they have never heard me scream, but they have seen me beaten. They are my barricade against the lab partner- Mickey Stuart. I back away from him, and find my key, open my door, and say goodbye. He can't do anything when 10 eyes are watching him. He pounds his fist on the door, after the neighbors go inside. I ignore him, and do my homework...
When I wake up, there is my father, and my mother. He is hitting her, pounding her fragile body. “STOP IT!” I scream, and he punches me. I fall down onto the ground, pain coursing through my face. It's just another day in my life. He hits me again, now dropping my mother. She is like a rag-doll, limp body, course hair, and dirty clothing.
“Mom...” I whisper, crawling over to her, and grasping her hand, as my father kicks me. I squeeze her hand softly every time he does. She cries onto my hand, and kisses it softly, my father leaving the room. It is a ritual...
My mom and I walk into my bedroom. We pull out two nightshirts. Then, we head to the bathroom, as we do every night. I clean her face and arms. She cleans my face and arms. We clean each other, get ready for bed, and she sleeps in my bed with me. We curl together, as we hear my father's car start up, and him drive away.
“Why is he like this mommy?” I ask, as I do every night.
“He used to be nice...” She whispers, as she does every night. It is a ritual. The ritual of mother and daughter. “I'm sorry,” She whispers. That is different, she has never said she was sorry about it. I kiss her forhead.
“It's okay mommy. It's okay...”
I preform my early morning rituals. And put on extra concealer. I don't go downstairs, I go to my mom's room. She went there earlier this morning, and I want to say goodbye to her. I walk into her room, tears fill my eyes, and the stench of death finds a way into my noses. She is dead, my father's pistol in her hands.
That's it, I will not be alone with my father. He will not hit me. I need my mother. I grab the gun, I touch the trigger...I need my mother, so I pull the trigger, I will not be alone with my father...
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"I know why everyone in this world is so desperate to find love."
"Oh yeah? Why then?"
"Because, it's the closest thing we have to magic."