Normally people like it when the others smile. It’s different with you. People hate it when you smile. They never say it but you can see it makes them uneasy. They can’t look at your face when you smile. They usually can’t look at it even when you don’t smile. You don’t want to know why. Maybe you make unwarily some stupid frown and they just don’t want to burst out laughing at your face. Maybe.
After awhile you come to the conclusion that it must be the frown. What else? You decide not to show any emotion for one day. No smiling, no unwary frowning. The nurses think it’s just your reaction to pills (but they must admit they feel there’s something wrong that you don’t smile). You don’t care about the nurses. You watch the other patients’ reactions. They still can’t look at you. It’s not the frown, then.
You haven’t used the mirror since… since gas, the school gym and one little match. You decide you have to look in the mirror. Because if it’s not the frown, if it’s not… anything, then what’s wrong with your face?
You prepare for this quite long. You consider every possible option before you choose to really, really do it.
It’s your big day. It’s very early in the morning and you go to the bathroom. You close your eyes as you move nearer to the mirror. You open your eyes.
What’s that? What’s that… thing in the mirror? It’s not you. It can’t be you. Your face… didn’t use to look like this. But there’s this faint memory of gas and a match and the school gym.
You start screaming desperately, unable to form any words.
They lock you in the seclusion room. You don’t notice, the only thing on your mind is that horrible face. No, it’s not a face. It’s just scars and eyes, scars and lips and even more thick scars.
You start shouting words.
“My face! My face!”
Later they put you on some sleeping pills. When you wake up, the memory of scars seems to be only a terrible nightmare. Something frightening but unreal.
Anyway, you never look in the mirror again. Just in case the scars weren’t a bad dream.