The Anon Storybook: MASKED
“You guys are perfect.” “Awwwnnn I want.” “Aren’t they a beautiful couple?” We get these comments ever so often. My reaction is expertly executed each time. The embarrassed smile, with my eyes, turned down before turning them on my husband, ending with that tiny lift of my shoulders before responding with, “What can I say? We’re blessed.”
They always fall for it. Every single one of them, including my husband. He’s innocent in all of this. He truly believes he’s blessed with the perfect wife, a lovely home and amazing kids. I’m the one who holds the secrets that will surely kill him if they get out.
23 hours and 30 minutes of each day, I wear a mask. The only time I take it off is during my nighttime routine, in the shower. For those 30 minutes, I shut everyone out. I would have put the children to bed, locked up for the night, and arranged things for the next day. Night showers are my personal time. They all know not to bother me. It is only in there that I can take my mask off.
Between those tiled walls, I can allow myself to feel all my pent-up emotions. Beneath that waterfall, I can let go of the tears that continually threaten and feel a deep sorrow that I keep buried. I allow the water to mingle with my tears as it runs down my body, knowing that my conscience cannot be washed clean. Every night, I step out of the shower no cleaner than when I went in; heavy with regret and shame.
My mask returns to its place as soon as I open the door. It’s back to being Mrs wonderful. If only Ken knew the sham that our marriage is. Ken, my kind, loving husband. He doesn’t deserve any of this… How does he look into my eyes and believe me when I tell him that I love him? I’ve never loved him. How can he not tell that the children are not his? They clearly don’t look like him or anyone in his family. They’re Thomas’. His best friend. Our best man. I’ve loved him from day one. Ken has never suspected a thing. He trusts Thomas with his life just as he trusts me.
Behind my mask, I am the evil in my home and the poison in my marriage. I should be thankful that Ken suspects nothing but I’m not. I wish he would somehow discover the truth so I can be free from this mental torment. Until that day, I’ll keep on pretending that I’m his perfect wife and the best mother for his children.