my mask


John Brown University
University St
United States
36° 20' 52.7028" N, 88° 52' 24.3264" W

I drag my weary body off of the rock they call a bed, pull on my shit-stained boots, exhausted even though I must have slept. Slathering on make-up, I hide the bags and effectively put on my mask. My hands shaking, I open the door, exiting my safe haven and step into the harsh world. A fake grin hides the pain in my steps, pain that isn't physical but mental. Biology, such a relief. But you look at me, see through the facade, you see my anguish. After you dismiss us, you call "wait Amy, I need to talk to you!" I turn, dreading this conversation again.  The "how can I help you? I know what youre going through. I can help." I steel myself, ready for the onslaught. It doesnt come. Instead, you put your hand on mine, " I'm here," you say, barly a wisper. "You dont have to talk, just know that im here if you need to. You can take the mask off, I dont buy it. I wore the same one when I was in school. Cant say it'll get better, just that you arent alone." I turn without a word, scared that someone actually saw the real me, the sad me. But I am at peace now. You made it, so can I. At the door I wisper, "thank you".


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