You can’t tell from looking at her because every day she puts on her mask. The mask is part of her daily uniform, the one that keeps her safe while she is out in public. It gives her the appearance that she is happy and easy going. But deep down inside, everything aches. Deep down, she is numb.
She hears people talking about being sad. Oh does she ache to know what sadness is. It seems relatable, normal, and best of all temporary.
On days when she has trouble hiding, she would prefer to stay at home, in bed, or deep in a different world like a video game. But sometimes the world calls, so she ventures out. Only to find that people say things like are you okay? Do you need a hug? Do you want to talk about it?
But how do you explain something you barely understand yourself? And people who don’t know, they don’t know. Their assumptions are based on their experience, for many sadness is just one of many emotions.
People often confuse laughter and smiling signs that things are okay. But while many people stay in a world of happy and content, laughing and smiling are fleeting. They come, but you can’t hold them, you can’t keep them close.
She knows how to get by even though getting by is bleak. But it is a way forward and onto the next day. For now, she’ll keep putting on her mask, if only to keep people from asking too many questions.