Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Face (F2R)

Alexandra, sat looking into the large illuminated mirror, felt a single tear move away from her left eye. She watched as it trailed down her cheek, to her chin, only to fall away, never to be seen again. She’d spent nine months perfecting the illusion, the game, allowing herself to become attached to the situations, the people, the circumstance and daily endeavours of her new life. In one moment, it was all gone.

She picked up the cotton, starting to remove her make-up, as she brought back the memories of the night. She’d said the wrong thing, at the wrong time, to the wrong person and then, the situation cascaded as she knew it would. One moment in time, one word, with the results being felt across her very consciousness. There was a chance that she could recover from the situation but, as she knew, when you lived within a perfect life, any mishap would be remembered forever.

She dropped the cotton items into the bin, just to the side of her, as she moved her face closer to the mirror. Placing a finger onto her left cheek, moving it down ever so slightly, she looked for a possible sign of a line, or two. Nothing. The face was absolutely perfect. Blemish free, angular, the perfect symmetrical impression leaving most people blessed with her beauty and presence.

She placed her left hand onto the other side of her face, as she straightened her fingers to press gently. Ever so slightly, she rotated her hands a few degrees and the seal broke. As she moved her fingers and palms away from her skin, the face fell into her opened hands and she immediately threw the mask into the bin. Done. Over. No longer needed.

Her replaceable face, no longer required.

Opening the drawer, to her left, she reached in and brought out her actual, normal, original face. Her eyes scanned the item. Withered, lined, the weathered surface warming her heart ever so slightly. She placed the face onto the surface, where the previous face sat, then gently pressed with her hands. A few moments escaped, as she twisted slightly. The seal applied itself and, finally, she was her old self again. She smiled a fake smile, as her face looked back at herself in the mirror.

Now, more than ever, she’d require a new face, a new identity, as she would never make it in life if the face didn’t fit. Partners would jilt her, parties would exclude her, all for the surface and shape of her face. A small amount of anxiety rose within her chest, another tear appearing from the same location as her previous face. Broken, within. Failing, outside. Knowingly confused, most of her life.

She wished that she could simply be who she was but, truth be told, she’d lived three lives so far and now, she simply did not know whom or who she was. The personalities, the fake faces, the auctioned words of vapid connections and more that threated to break her mind. She’d laugh, smile, dance around the room, if even a small spark existed within her soul. Her joy, long gone. Any peace, a moment of the past. Her self-love, a fictional character within the play of her own making.

She wiggled her nose, moving it left to right, up and down. The original, the face of her birth. Her Mother would not agree with the way her life had evolved, but this was the way of things. Surface charm, trivial moments in time and shallow happenings behind closed doors. The entire world finally, fully, forgivingly, embraced within a cacophony of endless posing and preening.  Personality once was. No longer.

She stood from the small chair, switching off the mirror’s vanity light, as she turned and walked to her bed. Moving the covers aside, she turned and sat, lifting her legs into the bed, returning the covers once she’d found her calm. She looked at the ceiling, still moving her nose. None of her other faces felt the same. Not one. She could tell from moving her nose, as she’d done a lot as a child because of hay fever. The other faces felt alien, strange, plastic and fake, just like her life.

A few moments of inner-silence moved through her mind as she, finally, realised that she would no longer wear another fake face into the world. She would be herself. She would be herself if, eventually, she realised who she was. After all, she knew that the cover of a book only told the smallest of stories, with the face of things being just that, a face.

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