I don’t know what to do. I’m alone with hundreds around me, my Mask, my facade. The weight of a thousand stars pulls me down.

This mask, so clever, no one else can see it, not as clearly as me. Everyone has their mask, mine black as night, those places not even the bright lights can light up. The coals and ashes inside of me, the ones nobody can notice on the surface, are all cold now. The embers are dead. 

Whispers in the air circle around me, around all of us. Others have masks, we all do. Many lighter than mine.

There are others, others with the black mask, others with the facade of a bright, glowing mask. We can see each other, the blackness, the true embodiment of our shattered souls, the lack of love, the lack of caring, the emptiness we feel. It’s always there. We can feel the darkness inside of us. Our black, lifeless masks.

The world around us is a dark, desolated, city. You can see it too, the ones with the glowing masks, masks with true smiles, smiles that aren’t a faceless tool to avoid conversation, confrontation. Laughs that are genuine, laughs that make others smile. Just open us up, it’s not that hard to see. 

Look, help the black masks. We are not far gone. 

Black and white, Smiling, laughing, talking with others, pain and torment is all that remains after, when we are alone.

At the top of this tower, there are two ways down, two ways down, two ways to rejoin the glowing masks, rejoin the genuine smiles and laughter. Two ways; jump down. Forget about it all and join them as fast as possible, it doesn’t last, nobody wants to jump down.

Help us take the second way down, join us on the long walk back down.  And help us.

The light is so close, you can almost feel it. warmth, color, smiles. It’s all there, a new dawn for some. 

The few things to look forward to, I can feel it, I’m almost there, I’ve almost reached that light, years I’ve spent walking down these stairs, slowly to the light, every bad thing dragging me back to the top.

I’m almost there, i can see it, i can feel it once again. I want it, I want it so bad. Alone I up and down, helping the other black masks out, and going back up. It’s my turn, my turn to make it out, alone, but happy again. 

Every mistake, every failure, every fraudulent, failed task i’ve preformed can be put behind me, this weight, this burden, everyday it holds me down. Finally all of it can be lifted, I felt it once briefly. Here I am again, like it was a sick joke. But this time, it will be permanent. 

I take one last cool breath and step out of that door, I open my eyes. Tears fall as color fills my world once again, I feel my mask, warm, it glows just like so long ago.

Here I am, I am free, I am happy. 

For the first time in years I feel a true smile spread across my face. My friends don’t feel so distant anymore.

I’m proud, I made it out. “I made it out.” I can barely believe the words as they leave my mouth, “I made it out, alone.” for once I enjoy a true laugh with my friends again. A painful scar crosses my back, the scar of a black mask. 

It is my turn, my turn to save the others.