September 24, 2011
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He walked into the lunch room, the mask tied tightly over his face. It was an impressive mask to say the east, Running Back for the Varsity Football team, good grades, beautiful girlfriend, involved with his youth group and other charities. Others admired his mask, their own masks seemingly less impressive. However, he never let the others see him without the mask. The mask protected what was on the inside, and he couldn’t let anyone see that. If they knew how weak he was on the inside, they wouldn’t think he was so impressive. Now he walked with his tray in his hand toward his usual table, where he could already see his other friends wearing their masks the same as always. Suddenly, he paused. He looked over to the table next to the one he always sat at. There was a small group of students; the only people in the entire place, that didn’t have masks on. Each one had their hearts visible instead. On each heart there was a phrase, along with a scar. One boy dressed in black had a heart that read: Best friend killed himself. A girl with frizzy hair had one that read: Not beautiful enough. He looked at them all, what was written on their hearts made him want to cry, yet they were smiling, laughing even, without masks on.
“Why?” he wondered aloud.
“Because, God doesn’t mind.”
He turned to see a girl his age, she too, had no mask and her heart read: Mother left.
“God doesn’t care what’s happened or what we’ve done,” she said smiling, “so why should we?”
There was a slight pause as he took it all in. Could God really love him with a heart as ugly as his?
“You can sit with us if you want,” she said, “we just have one rule: no masks.”
He felt the whole cafeteria stare at him as he made his decision. Slowly, but surely he peeled off the mask that been there for so long, revealing his heart with a scar that read: Dad doesn’t care anymore.
The girl simply smiled, not even looking at the scar, and led him to the table. The cafeteria fell silent in awe of what they had just seen.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

RedheadAtHeart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Gorgeous. If this never gets published there is something seriously wrong with the masterminds at TI. Great concept, awesome metaphor, even better message.


Makes me think of a bumper sticker I once saw. "I used to be normal, but now I'm natural."

Meghan B. replied...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm
Thanks very much I'm glad that you liked it!
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