The Mask

The Start

Love?

Is it a like a dessert?

Does it taste good?

Do people have to feel it in order to taste it?

As we grow older, we experience a great desire to love and to be loved. But does love the same?

I grow up in a very loving family, who accepts me and treat me like a jewel, a very precious jewel like no other. My family owns a barn, and as we speak we live in a country side, very far away from the busy city I’ve never known. I was used in living in rural area, that’s why I never had any knowledge what it is like to live in the city. But I wasn’t curious at all. My mother told me that urban areas are very dangerous place to live with, many different kinds of crime happens almost every day, and most people there are liberated and they don’t have any respect to others, it’s like living in a lion’s den.

But as we speak, I prefer living here in the country side with my family. I graduated college at our small town with little friends I know. After sometime I got a job at a small financial firm near our house and everything was going great in my life not until the most unexpected day come and change my whole life forever.

“Isabelle it’s very great to see you, after all those years!”. Marina exclaimed.

I was also shock myself, who would have thought that my very own childhood friend came to see me after 5 years.

“Yes! I’m also glad to see you again Marina”. I replied, while forcing a smile.

Truth is, we maybe childhood friends, but when wew were in college we were not close as what we were in our childhood days. She changed, and she never see me like a friend anymore more like an enemy and a rival, so I stayed away from her from all those years, and now she just show up out of nowhere and pretends to be a friend.

“I can’t believe I will be able to come here again in San Diego, I was so busy with my work that I almost forget everything about here”. She still wears that fake smile of hers.

“Y-yeah, I almost forgot about your face too”. I said in a sarcastic tone.

“Now, c'mon Isabelle, we have been together since childhood, don’t be so cold to me”. She said with a pity a eyes.

“Marina, it was long ago, now I can’t even look at you in the face”.

“I-I'm sorry okay, it was a mistake, I shouldn’t have ignore you back then”.

Now I have a bad feeling about this. Marina is not a type of person who would apologize without something in return.

“Now Marina, I know you’re hiding something, whatever it is I won’t do it, and please leave okay, I’m a busy person”. I said and I stand up to get my coat as I open the door to my office.

“Isabelle, please just listen to me this once, it’s only a small favour, can’t you just give me this one time?”. There she goes again with her pretentious pitiful eyes.

I turn around with a cold face.

“I knew your plotting something, I told your whatever it is, just save it”.

“No! This is my lifeline Isa!”.

And now she’s calling me by my nickname. I just can’t stand her.

“I know I’ve been a selfish bitch in the past, but that was when I was still immature, I’ve grown up now, I won’t do such things anymore, so just please Isa, please save me!”. It was like she’s begging for life, and I just can’t believe she kneeled down in front of me, I was taken aback. I don’t know about her story but she’s so desperate about it, but I also don’t want to put myself in trouble again because of her.

“Whatever it is Rina, I don’t want to involve myself with you, involving myself with someone like you give me trouble all the time, even when we were still kids, and I want to live a peaceful life now, so just please stand up now, don’t embarrass me in front of my colleagues”. And when I was about to leave I was shock when she grab my hand while kneeling down. Like what’s wrong with her.

“No, no, no please I’m begging you Isa, just this one time, please help me, I’ll do anything you want me to do!”. She’s crying her heart out, like her life’s on the line.

I let out a deep sigh. I just can’t bear to see someone crying in front of me. Well, I guess I’m still that old Isabelle from the past I haven’t changed at all.

“Stand up, let’s sit”. I help her get up and we both sitting at each side of the sofa.

It was a very long silence. No one cares to speak first. I feel awkward.

“If you have something to say, say it, you said it is your lifeline”. I started.

She clears her throat before she speaks.

“You see, I leave San Diego to pursue my career in New York, at first everything was going smoothly, I earn big salary, I bought a house for myself and for mom, I was promoted at work, and living the life I always dreamed of”. She paused for a second and started to wipe her tears.

I thought she was living the life she dreamed of, but how come she’s crying now.

What really happened?



J Reese

Edited: 16.10.2020

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