My Masks

by Hannah Bauer

Almost every day,
I am fake.
Not in my beliefs,
or my personality,
or even my body.
My emotions are fake.
The ones that I choose to display, that is.
Or, I should say, the mask that I choose to wear. 
A mask?
What does my mask look like?
Well, it looks something like this.
Strong. Happy. Confident. Independent. 
In control. Smiling. Lighthearted.
Life is good. 
No one would guess that all of this is fake.
And do you want to know the 
thing that I wish most
for people to do?
I wish that they would see behind
the mask. 
I wish there was someone who can
see my true feelings.
Who can see the depression in my smile.
The anger in my silence.
The weakness in my confidence. 
The frailty in my strength. 
The need in my independence.
I need someone who can not only
see these things,
but is willing to talk to me about it.
Whose willing to not just
watch me wilt away
and force myself
to struggle on my own.
I need someone who will slap
me in the face and tell me that
I am not alone. 
I don't have to fight this by myself.
I don't need to hide.

there is no one like that.
Not for me. 
All that people see is
the happy, benevolent girl who
always smiles at everyone she sees.
I need someone who can 
see the expertly concealed anguish
behind the constant, cheerful mask.
I need someone to rip that smile away and show me that I don't have to hide. 

I fear for that person to come.
I desperately need my mask to stay in place.
I can't let people down. 

I can't let down their expectations. 
I can't show them that I really am not happy.
I can't disappoint them. 
And so, I desperately wish no one
will see behind my mask.
It's a paradox.
I need someone to see
yet I fear for my life
if they do see. 
I wish my mask would burn in

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