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The Man of a Thousand Masks

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Masks are a funny thing. People purposefully put a lot of work into them. From the golden etching to the molding to the feathers and gems, they all stand out in the crowd. But their purpose is the hide who lies underneath them. Maybe that is why I end up preferring a simple white mask with maybe some embroidery done at most. After all, if you wish to hide yourself, you don’t wish to draw attention. Yet the people at these masked balls appear to have some sort of thrill from their elaborate disguises.

To tell the truth, I’ve grown tired of such. The party goers only have to wear a mask for a night. Outside of the ballroom, maybe they wear a figurative mask that is less decorative. However, I am not sure many can claim to wear as many as I have.

As I walk about the lands and take in all the sights, I am always having to put on a new face. I find I am able to still express myself in similar ways from the interest in the science to helping those with their problems. Always though, I do not let people see behind my mask. See the soul behind my eyes or the depth of emotion welling each time I am with them.

That has started to change though.

He stands beside me, standing up on his tippy toes and lowering his feet back down. Does he not realize how cute he is when he bobs his feet like that? His mask is white like mine but with jewels that created the shape of a butterfly on his mask (She really liked doing that for him). “Sulvain! This is really cool!” Raziol says jovially next to me. “I wonder if I really won’t be able to tell who is who when we dive in there?” He looked towards me. “But I’m sure I’ll have no problem picking you out!”

My heart melts at his smile. Well, what heart is there anyway. I caress his cheek and do my best to smile warmly at him. “And I will have absolutely no issue finding you amongst the crowd.”

For he is like the brightest star in the clear night sky. No one cannot notice him, whether for good or bad. His hand feels so warm against my cold one as he drags us out onto the dance floor. I have to stop myself from gripping onto his hand for dear life. Wishing for just a bit longer of that warmth. Just a moment longer where maybe I can start to lift more masks off my face.

“Let’s have fun Sulvain!” Raziol grinned at me and quickly wrapped his arms around me. I can’t help but hug him back, my arms around his waist.

“Alright Raziol.” His name sounds like honey to me. Flows off the tongue and feels so sweet to say. Does he know that about his own name? Probably not.

Raziol lets go of me. My chest hurts at realizing one moment he was there, and he was gone the next. As quickly as he swept into my life, he was suddenly swept away. I didn’t need to breathe. In that moment though, I took deep breaths as if I did. Anything to calm myself down. Raziol hadn’t disappeared. He simply had gotten mixed with the rest of the crowd of masked party goers.

I start to look about the room. I slowly push through people. My eyes lock onto black locks tied back in a blue ribbon. I follow the person. I stop though once I lose them. I see yet another one with the same hairstyle. I had almost forgotten that the color black and blue aren’t really that uncommon. I frown before turning around and seeing Raziol just standing there all happy.

“There you are! I didn’t expect to get separated that quick!”

Were you able to sense my distress? Did you just know where to find me? Once I saw him though, there was nothing that could stop me from getting to him. Even when more people moved in front of us, seemingly to widen the gap, I kept my gaze locked on his. I walk towards him and quickly grip his out-stretched hand.

“Guess it really is to get lost in a crowd of masked people huh?” Raziol chuckled and smiled. “I shouldn’t have let go like I did if I had known that.”

I smile and close the distance between us. “It’s alright.” I rest my forehead against his. “Probably would be easier to find people and understand them without masks huh?”

The implication slipped past him I’m sure.

“Yeah, probably.” Raziol chuckled again. “Also just means I have every excuse to stay real close to you huh?”

My cheeks heat up and now I can’t help but laugh silently. “Yes, it does.”

I can’t resist the chance to be closer to him even amongst the large number of people.

Kissing him is like breathing in the life I no longer need. His lips are soft like petals. The spark he lights inside me is like an endless shooting star. As we pull back and he pants, I lower my mask.

“I bet it would be better without these.”

Raziol grinned. “Can get closer that way for sure.” He lowered his and we kissed again.

Maybe someday I will be able to lower every mask.

But for now, he inspires me to get rid of them one mask at a time.