Afrah Yafai: SST9 Draft 2

18 Jun

Speaker 1:

The mask clings to her skin

It solidifies her features.

And she swore words didn’t torment her –

.

Speaker 2:

– They don’t

.

Speaker 1:

–  when I know they did.

And masks do a good job of hiding smudged eyeliner, and dried mascara

But they suffocate laugh lines and convert them into indentations of worry.

I’ve been there.

Tiptoed along the borders of my personality because I was never sure of who I wanted to be.

And I can see how she battles with her conscience,

trying to find the simplest route to integrate herself into adulthood

and the carnival that follows.

.

Speaker 2:

 

“You’re so pretty and tall, you could be a model!”

“I wish I had your body.”

“Oh my gosh, you have beautiful hair.”

.

Speaker 1:

But every compliment was drenched in petrol,

So they exploded every time a fire breather came near,

But she doesn’t understand that they never intended warm words to drive scars into her chest

where the inferno tongues of adolescence tore her open,

And the bullet eyes glared at the heart forcing life into a body that saw ‘UGLY’ scribbled over the mirror every time…

.

Speaker 2:

…Every time, I stand closer to my reflection,

I rub my eyes until a kaleidoscope appears,

Waiting, always waiting, for the image to become distorted until it’s hard to decipher.

My sister used to say that bra size reflected grades to minimise the emotional strain

So they could keep their D’s and E’s

.

Speaker 1:

Whilst I held onto those A’s

And I have to listen to her tell me that C cups are unacceptable,

.

Speaker 2:

And she doesn’t understand why I want to be bigger…

.

Speaker 1:

Like really?

But I know she fears walking too close by my side,

in case she is engulfed by my shadow

assembled when I have my moments in the sun.

.

Speaker 2:

And shadows are great for hiding,

But I can’t breathe when the shade devours my lungs.

But it’s better than my imperfections being up on display for my eager audience to enjoy.

Speaker 1:

But masks,

They don’t conceal the magic behind your eyelids,

.

Speaker 2:

But at fifteen,

Getting past acne, back stabbers and severe cases of the GCSE blues is priority

.

Speaker 1:

No amount of advice will guard her from flashes that will soon come to haunt her.

I can only be there to hold her when shivers pierce her spine,

And to collect the segments of her spirit that roll down her cheeks in perpetual rainfall.

I’ll trap each drop in a mason jar,

and promise to show her that even roses can bloom from within the deepest roots of her anguish,

And I will tear off each petal until she swears that she believes me.

.

Speaker 2:

And I do,

but a ghost train occupies my heart.

Identity running off the tracks into thick clouds of fog,

And the echoes of laughter ricochet within,

But I can’t tell if the cackles belong to somebody else, or if they are my own.

.

Speaker 1:          

I tell her,

some people will twist a grimace into a smile that you swear you can trust.

But some only want to touch the surface,

graze the delicate skin with hands dipped in gold to make you feel like you are worth something,

when in their palms,

they clutch every ounce of magic that defined you.

.

Speaker 2:

I wear a mask for protection.

.

Speaker 1:

But an untold tale is written in her eyes.

And I will be waiting for the day, she decides she no longer wants to hide.

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