She was the kind of girl who always wore a mask, slipped it on carefully over her make-up first thing every morning and topped it up religiously throughout the day. Her mask was well constructed to exactly fit her face, a perfect match that smoothed out all the worry wrinkles and all the fearful frowns.
The mask enhanced her smile, giving her a hint of one at all times though she never really smiled behind it at all. The mask gave her a brightness of appearance too, one that wasn’t real at all. She looked quite gloomy in reality truth be told. Not that anyone much ever saw the reality, the true face behind the mask, the one that was went to bed with in the evening and woke up with in the morning.
The mask was powerful it must be said. It took her places she’d never have dreamed of going to otherwise, places like boardroom presentations and functions of one kind or another like Christmas party nights like these. The mask was doing its duty tonight, staying securely in place all through the mulled wine and mice pie starters, the buffet meal and the disco afters. It never flinched for even a fraction of a second no matter who she was waving at or talking to or dancing with.
She was in the bathroom now double checking that it was still in place, her reflection looking lovely in the mirror if only she could see it, pleading with her to remove the mask and face it head on, to finally see how fabulous she really was, to forget the nonsense in her head telling her that she wasn’t as good as the others, convincing her that she hadn’t a hope without the mask.
But she wasn’t listening to her soft spoken reflection. She never listened to that, choosing instead to pay heed to the terrible taunting voices that mocked her mercilessly any chance they got. Their names were low and self and esteem and they had her for their prisoner for as long as anyone could remember. Her real reflection hated them for the damage they were doing her, was planning to put out a call for help for her sake in the New Year. This mask nonsense had to stop before it was too late. It really did….