Some souls on this planet are not one person, but two.
They wear masks, voluntary or no, they are there. Floating over the surface, moving flesh, morphing thoughts and feelings and lies, they stir. They fool easily. And we are all made fools for it.
I am one of them.
The first time I met him, it was there. I didn’t see it for what it was, I should have, but I didn’t. I saw only the swagger and the cocky smile and the sarcastic self-assurance of one who is used to getting his way, used to winning. And I was alright to let him win, perhaps, every once in a while. This one is open, confident, and daring. He is intoxicating, and I want him more than I crave my next drawing breath.
But then the sun comes up. And that person is gone. He leaves with the morning rays without a trace, a fragment, or a memory. I move and he tenses. I freeze, flinch, and draw back. Don’t you remember, I ask. Don’t you remember wanting me? Don’t you remember the things you said? Don’t you…
A fraction of the smug grin whispers “Sure, the important stuff.”
It’s anything but.
The other man is quiet. He is self-degrading, uncertain, and has a skill for evading answers that outmatches anyone I have ever met. The man that greets me in the morning is shy and skittish, avoids the connection we share.
One is softer.
The other is anything but.
One I want to strike out at.
The other brings tears to my eyes.
And it is the one that is darkest that I crave. Not out of fear, or danger. The high I feel is not from any adrenaline rush of terror. It is the way that confident one undoes me with one look, torments me with only a word, and brings me to my knees with a single smug fucking grin. It is the monster I want. And it is the monster, I believe, to be real.
It should frighten me. It should disgust me. And yet I feel none of it. Every thought is dominated by that wicked mouth pulled into a smirk, eyes regarding me darkly, and that voice calling out my name in the dead of night. He is depraved, and somehow, he is all that I desire.
Others try to rationalize it. I am meant to save you, they say, that is all. I am driven by that need to pull you back from the edge of damnation and return you to your life and love. But if saving you means destroying that person, I want no part of it. Not a single damn bit. If this makes me monstrous, then so be it. I go to hell gladly, defiance in my eyes, and head held high.
But which is mask and which is truth? Is it the confident demon, or the uncertain man?
I’m not sure which of us is insane, and which sees the truth.
But I think it’s both, both of us.
Monster and mask alike.
This piece is what happens when ElSea doesn't check her assignments list and realizes that she has to write a flash fiction piece for class the following day. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, its a bit more creative non-fiction than I am used to working with. Yet every time I edit and read it over again, I like it a little bit more.