'The strangness of my situation....compelled me, in more ways than one. Even as I move swiftly amongst the shadowed rooftops with the cool night air whipping across my face, the memories still burn with the same intensity of the day they were made. And how they burn.
I do not want to remember. The flashes of the past return only to pierce my already battered heart, the pain unbearable. Her voice, her smile....her eyes. Her dark eyes. They were enough to break the heat of the sun and still soothe the anger of a man. They were my strength in my darkest of times. How I would love to gaze into them and be lost amongst the calm tranquility. As if time would stand still and there would only be her and I. And I thought I could make it mine.......but I was a fool. As I always am. As I always have been.
Because what I had thought was real, was not really there at all. I possessed the brashness and impatience that only a young man could have. A slave to my frustration I eventually caused the very thing I had been fearing. Her eyes no longer gazed into mine. She had turned away.
Disgusted by my flaws, her anger waxed hot. And if there is something that can rival an army, it is the anger of a woman unleashed. She no longer wished to keep company with a wretched man such as I. Her tears flowed hot like lightning from the very clouds themselves.
And just like that, everything I had hoped for shattered like so many shards of glass. I had nothing left but to pick up the pieces. Alone. Just like before.
Which brings us back here. Back to reality. Back to the shadowed rooftops with the cool night air whipping across my face.....my face. Or is it?
My gloved hand which reaches up and tentively touches the smooth masque, tells me otherwise. Ahh yes, the masque. How could have I forgotten?
Its deathly paleness and emotionless expression tells me what I have become without saying a word.
The Curse. The Flaw. The Villian.
The hate I carry for it is nothing compared to the hate I have for myself. Not even the darkness of the shadows and the night combined could rival my self-loathing. And yet here I am, bound to the system...and the masque. Which is why I wait every passing day for the person brave enough to rid the world of the curse that I am.
But until then, I must hide forevermore in the darkness alone with my obsessions and the painful memories. And to face each night haunted by the unflinching gaze of the masque.'
excerpt from T. A. Emer's The Masque