Matter by Kendall Conway

This story is one of the March Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.

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Which one shall I wear tonight?

It doesn’t really matter. They’re all the same anyway. They’re all sewed up at the corners to conceal what’s underneath. They’re all pretty, and all of them would attract the attention of others. It doesn’t really matter.

My fingers drag along each choice that I have, not really sure which one would be an acceptable attire for the occasion. Because tonight, everyone was going to this party. There would be beautiful girls without a care in the world, draping themselves across other people as their substance-influenced minds danced a land of fantasy. I want to fit in too. I want to look just like them.

This area of my mind — the one I’m currently standing in — is like a room. It’s filled with all these options that could be a possible suitor for the night. But it’s overwhelming. It’s too difficult to choose when they all look the same. I don’t know which one to wear. Which one will help me be just like everyone else? Which one will help me act like I’m fine?

I turn round and round in this room. I am looking around the crowded room, searching for the one face I hope to see. But everywhere I look, it’s the same thing: Me. My reflection is in every place on every inch of the ground. Mirrors. The mirrors will decide which face I wear tonight.

But it doesn’t really matter.

This one is sewed up at the corners, just like all the other ones. It will conceal what’s underneath, just like all the other ones. And it’s pretty enough to fool everyone, just like all the other ones.

It doesn’t really matter.

I wear the same mask every single day. Sometimes underneath, whatever it is that’s being hidden and concealed, I change. I change from depressed to enraged to empty. But it’s alright. Because the masks are good at what they do.

I just need to get out of this room. It’s full of so many mirrors. So many mirrors that reveal the truth about my real face. They surround me. I’m trapped. I can’t escape from what I truly am. I’m terrified. I’m going to shatter completely if I can’t get out.

I try to run away from all of the reflecting glass, but in every turn and nook and cranny, there’s another. It seems like wherever I go, there’s my shadow, my reflection, following me. I can’t get away from what reality figure I am. No matter how hard I try to hide from the mirrors and get away, I can’t. It’s the first, true situation definition of impossible.

And so I scream.

A blood-curdling scream is emitted from my throat. The mirrors completely crumble and shatter to the ground in bits of themselves. Tears sting my eyes, but I can’t make them stop like I usually can.

My knees hit the ground, deep sobs wrenched from my chest. My face hides into the palms of my hands, since that’s the only place I can seem to keep my features tucked away. I feel the skin on my hands become soaked in a salty liquid kept inside of me for years.

This is me. This is what I am. I am pain. Corruption. Depression.

But then again…

It doesn’t really matter.

 

 

Kendall Conway
13
USA
Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.

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