When you walk past me, you will see a blonde haired, blue eyed woman. Make up applied and a determined yet friendly face. Sometimes a small look of pleasantry, not for anyone, but it’s part of the mask. Sometimes I wear a smile for someone I see who needs a smile, that is differenced by the expression of the eyes. It is for those who haven’t had anyone smile at them for as long as they have needed it. That smile is for them and a little for me. It is still part of a mask, but it is the compassionate and understanding mask.

I wear those masks most days, except when I am in the comfort of my own home where I can take them off and let the true expressions of her hurt, fear, disappointment, and anger which can be seen in my mirror. There are less than a handful I would ever remove those masks for.

If you are one of the very few that have walked this unpaved, single-person trail through the woods of pain and fear with me, without judging, or pushing too hard; but just walking beside me quietly, you may see me without it.

My masks have fooled many and made them believe it would all be okay. I would be okay. I had my life together and was ready to take on whatever was thrown down in my single-person trail.

I also live in a house of sticks. Carefully placed and camouflaged. From the outside it looks like a house of bricks and stones, held together with the strongest cement. There are no bricks and there is no cement. When the wind blows too hard I have to carefully replace those sticks so they don’t collapse and there is no longer even a house of sticks.

The ficaud of bricks and stones is meant to keep others away and deter them from peeking through the sticks, disassembling them to see what hides beneath…a girl with her masks.