Categories > Original > Sci-Fi

Behind the Mask

by fruit_addict 0 Reviews

Rala suddenly and unexpectantly has the power to see behind her friends' masks, their facades if you will.

Category: Sci-Fi - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Characters:  - Published: 2009/03/04 - Updated: 2009/03/04 - 1502 words - Complete

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could see who people really are? If the façade people wear was pealed away, if the mask they hid behind was cast to the side? Well, I had a taste of that recently. It was temporary but it was an eye opener none the less.

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February 12, 2009
As I walk through the halls of Owyhee High School my head spins. I am eighteen! I am an adult! Suddenly life is that much more impending, that much more, well, frightening. It is almost like as soon as you become an adult you are thrown out into the world to fend off the unexpected alone. My breathing quickens and I have to pause in order to regain control of myself. It is just another day. Nothing is different. I am still the same person. With my books clutched to my chest I take three deep breaths and continue toward my first hour class.
In my concentration to maintain my self-control I am unaware of my friend, Lara, approaching me. We collide and my books fly out of my hand.
As Lara bends down to help me with my books she calmly says, “Careful, Rala. You okay?” She hands me my books and brushes her long, flowing hair behind her right ear.
Lara Thompson. Five foot four, average build, black hair, green eyes, sixteen years old. Strong willed, confident, caring. And, my closest friend.
Lara examines me with caring eyes. I look back into her eyes and am suddenly filled with sorrow. Thoroughly unexpected and unexplainable sorrow. I am thankful for my sunglasses I constantly wear to hide the odd colour of my irises. They now conceal the anguished look in my eyes. I hope the rest of my face does not betray this sudden feeling as well. Suddenly the anguish I feel is displayed on Lara’s face. I hear a small dripping sound and look at the floor. A small circle of crimson blood stains the otherwise white floor. My eyes follow the path that the blood traveled and I see Lara’s shirt hiked up past her elbow. There is a cut across Lara’s left wrist, oozing blood. I gasp. Lara’s eyes follow mine and take note of the cut on her wrist. Suddenly I am filled with anger, disgust. I watch as, at the same time these emotions fly into me, fire ignites in Lara’s eyes as she stares at her injury. Her lips tighten into a thin line then twitch into a snarl. She quickly looks away from the cut and spits to the side.
I look at the floor, blink twice then look back at Lara. Her face is suddenly back to the small smile that she usually wears and the cut is no longer visible. Her navy blue sleeve now reaches down to her wrist. My mouth hangs open slightly and it takes me a second to regain myself.
“Rala, are you okay?”
I swallow, nod and turn away from her, rushing to my next class before she can inquire more.

February 13, 2009
It is another day of school. The stress of being chucked into an adult life is dulling but is still blatantly there. As I walk down the familiar hallway I pass Cal, who smiles and waves.
Cameron Levi. Six feet even, scrawny, red hair styled in spikes, bright blue eyes, sixteen years old. Optimistic, cheery, honours student and proud of it.
As Cal waves, a piece of paper escapes from between two text books he is carrying. I bend down to pick the paper up and take a glance at what is printed on it. It is his report card. Every one of his marks are in the eighties. Of course, it is Cal. I look at Cal and lock my eyes with his stunning blue stare. Shame. I watch as Cal slowly looks down at his feet and an expression of failure crosses his face. I struggle to keep my head up as well. I glance down at his report card and take note of a dramatic change. His social mark that was previously eighty percent is suddenly fifty percent, barely a pass. His science mark, an eighty three percent, is down to sixty percent. His English, eighty five percent, is now sixty five percent. His math mark, which was previously eighty nine percent, is seventy percent. Without any warning Cal’s hand shoots out and grabs his report card out of my hand and rips it up, letting the pieces float to the ground.
I close my eyes and shake my head. When I open my eyes the report card is still in my hand and Cal has returned to his cheery persona. He looks with confusion at the shock scrawled across my face. I hurriedly hand him the piece of paper and abruptly turn and leave.

February 14, 2009
The events of the last two days have left me shocked and confused. I am glad that there is no school today. Without school hopefully there won’t be any more “incidents”. I slept in today so I now have to rush to get dressed. I throw on some clothes, though I am not sure if they are clean, and throw down a quick bowl of miniwheats. As I am putting my bowl in the dishwasher our doorbell rings. I walk to the door and open it. There stands my boyfriend in all his glory.
Alexander Stimp. Five foot ten, well built, blond hair pulled back into a pony tail, grey eyes, seventeen years old. Self confident, proud, egotistical.
Alex smoothes his hair with his right hand and with a sly smirk pulling at his lips asks, “Ready to go?” His left hand is propping him up as he leans against the door jam in a relaxed pose. As usual he is dressed for success in a stylish Italian suit.
I smile and for a second am lost in his mysterious eyes that always seem to be hiding something. Then suddenly the mystery disappears. Alex stands up and drops his arms to hang limply at his sides. The smirk leaves his face and his confident aura is nowhere to be seen. At the same time my own self confidence is sucked out of me. Alex’s clothes turn to dirt stained jeans and a t-shirt. Both the t-shirt and jeans have holes in them. The muscles that used to show under his clothes deflate so that he is an awkward, weak and skinny boy. The chiselled features of his face soften and become more rounded. He examines himself and tears rise to his eyes. He looks at me as if he isn’t good enough for me, hangs his head then leaves my house without a word. This breaks my heart, obviously.
I hang my head and tears spring to my eyes. Again I am thankful for my sunglasses. I look up and see exactly what I expected. Alex is standing before me with the same confidence and mystery that has been his trademark for as long as I’ve known him. I quickly lunge forward, give him a hug and tell him how handsome he is.

February 15, 2009
Today is Sunday. That means church. Surely the recurring nightmare of the last three days cannot happen at church. As I walk into the lobby I see Lara and her boyfriend, Joe. I smile at Joe, who is carrying a large, heavy box to the kitchen.
“Do you need help with that?” I ask.
He shakes his head and winks. “I’m a big boy. I can handle it.”
Joseph White. Six foot four, very strong build, short brown hair hidden under a black Stetson, dark brown eyes, seventeen years old. Independent, strong, confident in his skills.
I reply to his wink with a small laugh.
Suddenly Joe is struggling to hold the box. His strength seems to be weaning. He mouths the word ‘help’ then drops the box. The sound of glass shattering fills my ears. Joe collapses to the ground and hangs his head. Sobs shake his shoulders.
“I need help,” he mumbles. “I can’t do this on my own. I’m too weak. I need someone, anyone to help me. Please.”
Shock widens my eyes momentarily. I squeeze my eyes shut to stop this insanity and sure enough when I open them Joe is standing, holding the box, of what I now assume are glasses, as if it were a box of feathers. A look of concern crosses his face and all I can do was turn away and enter the sanctuary.

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Ever since Joe’s true self was revealed I have not encountered another experience like it, thank goodness. But having the outside skin of my friends’ personalities torn away made me realize that even the people who seem to be shining their true self and claim to be hiding nothing do in fact have a mask.
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