Cyn Summers was all alone with herself in a dark
room. She sat in the corner in a state of half-crying. She was upset,
but she was forcing herself to cry, just in case someone came to look
for her. In fact, that was why she was curled up into a ball in the corner
with all the lights off and shades drawn; she was hoping with all her
heart that someone would notice that she was missing from the party and
come looking for her. She hoped that they would see how upset she was
and give her the attention she desired.
Cyn waited, alone with her thoughts. Once in a while, her special effect
tears would fade, and she would have to press them out anew, occasionally
touching her eye to get them flowing again.
Even if the tears weren't real, the emotions were, she told herself.
She doubted them, though. She often doubted her own emotions, wondering
where the act she put on ended and her real feelings began. Or maybe all
emotions were acts, and she was just the only one to notice it? Either
that, or everyone else was just better at fooling themselves. How could
her emotions be real, she thought to herself, when she can switch them
on and off? She demonstrated this to herself by stopping herself from
She immediately dried up her tears, put on a smile, and got up from the
corner, telling herself that since her emotions were all in her head,
it was silly to let them ruin her good time. Just turn off the unpleasant
ones and have a good time with all the others. She walked to the door.
She quickly huddled up in the corner again. She couldn't go out there
to face everyone knowing that her emotions were false. Oh, she was just
being silly. Her emotions were just as real as everyone else's. Fortunately,
she decided to let that thought go without analysis.
She thought about what had happened out at the cast party. She wondered
when they would be coming. She was sure that any second now, they would
come in tell her all about why she had no reason to be upset and how much
they felt bad for her and would do all they could to make her feel so
much better. Any second now. She was sure of it.
They would come in the door, and they would ask her what was wrong. Then
she would tell them everything that had been going through her mind the
past week. Then she'd tell them why what had happened that night had hurt
her so much. Then they would see what had been going on. They didn't see,
but they would, once they realized that she was missing and came to look
for her. If they cared about her, they would come. They would...
Cyn stopped forcing out her tears, and actually cried for a moment. Not
for too long, mind you, just a moment. As soon as she realized what she
was doing, she tainted it by thinking of how wonderfully sad she must
look. She spoiled her tears, and went back to her comfortable falsehood.
She cursed herself for ruining her actual tears. Then, she tried in vain
to use her anger at herself to spark a tear or two, but it was a futile
attempt. She knew it wouldn't work.
She thought once more of what had happened out in the living room of
her friend's house, and how apparently no one had noticed its effect on
her. She thought about how they were still in there, not noticing. She
thought of all the times she had not cried but tried to anyway. She thought
of the reason. She cursed it. She thought of how happy she had been before.
Before she knew it, her mind began to wander. She thought about the pressures
from rehearsing for the play, and how well opening night went. That song
she had sung this morning drifted into her mind. The TV show from last
night resurfaced again. Then a quick thought of the phone call last night
and she realized that she had gone off on a tangent, and snapped herself
back to the cloudy eyed present she had created.
Why am I so upset, she asked herself. She answered that she knew very
well why she was sad. She glanced at her watch, seeing the clock saying
nine fifty-three. She'd give them two minutes. If they weren't in there
by nine fifty-five, she would go back and give them a piece of her mind.
OK... fine, she told herself. It was nine fifty-five. Five more minutes,
and that would be their final limit.
Ten o'clock came and went. She didn't get up. She waited for them. She
knew they would not come. She told herself to forget the whole idea. Slip
out the window and go home, they wouldn't notice. They would never come
to look for her. She would be alone forever.
She heard a voice call her name, all of a sudden, out of the hall way. "Are
you in here?" the voice asked of her, as an accompanying head poked
through the door.
"Yeah," she replied, careful not to let any hint of sadness
creep into her voice. She quickly wiped away her tears with practiced
skill. The voice's owner would never know, she told herself.
"Why don't you come on out to the party?" it asked. The head
smiled at her vaguely.
"Ok," she said. As she walked to the door, she looked back
at the corner she had come to know so intimately. She had left her play
emotions there with her real ones, in hopes that no one out at the party
would ever find them.
She knew they wouldn't, though. They never did.