White Mask

October 12, 2013
He held my white mask in his hand and I tilted my head down, letting my hair fall down in front of my face. A unconscious habit. My hair falls in front of my face, covering my scars. The scars that have been there since that horrible fire. I tilted my head down to hide my face from the ones who like to stare then turn and whisper. From the ones that like to point and pass judgement.

A hand, rough and calloused and strong, caresses my cheek. The hand brushes my hair behind my ear. My face felt hot and I turn away.

"Why do you do that?" He asked me, his voice quiet and full of sympathy. I cringed at his voice. I didn't want his sympathy.

"Because I'm ugly," I answered bluntly. I knew I was. Even when people would try to make me feel better and tell me that I am beautiful, I knew that I was ugly. I was ugly ever since the day that half my face was burned.

Out of his throat came a small groan. I glance up at his face. It was scrunched up in between his eyebrows and his eyes were shiny and sad.

"Stop looking at me like that," I suddenly screamed at him. Frantically, I backed away from his touch as if it hurt me to be near him. His eyes widened.

"Like what?"

"Like I'm a lost, lonely puppy! Like I need to be taken care of!" I took more steps away from him and soon my hand was on the door knob. Another hand grabbed my arm.

"Please," he pleaded. "Don't go."


He took a step closer, not letting go of my arm. "I just can't understand how you don't know that you are beautiful."

I scoffed at him and in the process hot tears rolled down my cheeks. "I'm not. I am an outcast, never to be accepted by your society, again. All because of what happened years ago, I am forever scarred and forced to always hide my face so I don't make your people uncomfortable." My hand tightened on the door knob to cease its constant shaking. "That fire killed my parents and left me half dead. Why couldn't it just have killed me? Instead it left me alive and ugly. It left me in the hands of cruel and judgmental society that would never accept me!" My face was hot with rage and my vision was blurry from tears. I couldn't see his face any more but I could guess what it portrayed. Pity.

"I wear a mask," I pointed to the white face in his hand, "to hide my ugly face from the beautiful people whilst I serve them their five course meals. And what makes it all worse is that I'm serving you. You, whom belongs to the beautiful perfect people. You, whom stands back and gibe at us 'common' people.

"I've lived my whole life hiding my face from people like you. And..." I blinked away the last of the tears and took in a shaky breath. "And you have the nerve to ask me how come I do not know that I am beautiful." He gaped at me. His hand still tight around my wrist. Slowly, I pulled my wrist from his grip. His hand fell limply by his side.

I backed away slowly and turned the knob on the door, my mind set on leaving with what dignity I had left. I pried my mask from his hand and moved to put it back on my face.

"I don't care." It was barely a whisper.
  Lowering the mask, I looked back at him. "What?"

"I don't care," he announced louder. "I don't care that you are not 'perfect'. I don't care about the social classes or the who's perfect and who's not." He took my mask from my hand. "All I know," he breathed quietly, "is that I care about you."

I heard the mask hit the floor and felt his lips on mine

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

holly1999 said...
Oct. 28, 2013 at 6:47 am
I really liked the idea and the message this story sends. It's relatable, too. However, I would add some more detail and description to allow the reader to imagine the scene more effectively. Overall, I really liked this story :)
Carly_Elizabeth replied...
Oct. 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm
Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
AnInkling said...
Oct. 26, 2013 at 10:12 pm
I really liked the idea and how you wrote it! It was vague which made it easy for the reader to relate. However, it would have been nice to see some more descriptive words, and the last part of the last sentence is more distractive. I think it might be nice to leave it at "I heard the mask hit the floor" or something about the mask shattering.
Carly_Elizabeth replied...
Oct. 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm
Thanks a bunch for reading and thanks for the advice. And yeah, I had no idea how to end it so I kind of just winged it and forgot about using more descriptive words. But thanks again for reading!
The_Capricornian said...
Oct. 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm
This is pretty good.  However, the first two paragraphs feel awkwardly worded and have unnecessary repetition.  I would suggest reading it aloud to yourself to see what I mean.
Carly_Elizabeth replied...
Oct. 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm
I just read the first paragraph out loud and I totally get what you mean. I do tend to repeat things. Thanks for pointing that out for me and thanks a bunch for reading.
The_Capricornian replied...
Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:15 am
No problem.
theblondechick This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm
I really this and the meaning behind it. It's very relatable! Nice job!
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