Racing... Wind through my hair as I push harder with my legs -- running towards what? Rushing towards...
*BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP!*
The high pitch scream from across the room tore through her dream, ripping her back into reality.
Groaning, she raised her head and looked at the clock. 6:00 am
It was a Monday. Time for School.
Blinking the weariness from her eyes, she tried to start-up her brain but it didn't work.
Sitting on her folded legs beneath her, she glanced at her sheets. They were off to one side, probably from getting up, but the white cotton sheet that kept her cool and comfortable was twisted.
Sighing, she came to the conclusion that she probably had another running dream.
She rarely ever remembered her dreams anymore. She knew what they were by her sheets; if she had a good dream, filled with friends and family, and the usual crush, then they'd be still and as they were last night, tucked in tightly with care. If they had a painful dream usually consisting of going to into hospital operations without any pain medication, then they'd be only slightly crumpled up from the sleep-convulsions.
Checking her caved-in pillow, she saw no darker spots that represented tears long soaked into the fibers, and concluded that it was probably a silent dream, because most of her noise ones had people she liked at school mocking her to the point of tears, which would then transform into a Black injected sadness.
Moving her legs from beneath her, she braced herself for the cold carpet floor as her calloused feet felt the rigid fibers of her pale floor.
She slept in the basement, half of the ceiling in her closet was unfinished, so she was used to the cold fingers of early spring that wrapped themselves around her warmth, slowly dissipating the comfort from her clothes and toes.
Turning on her Ipod, which shut off the impatient alarm, she scrolled through her lists of albums until she found a suitable soundtrack to listen to, touching the album cover to turn it on.
Smiling as the intro started up, chasing the remaining cobwebs from the dark recesses of her mind, she turned to her closet.
As her eyes flickered over the arrangement of jeans, T-shirts and V-necks, another part of her mind ticked off her school schedule for the day.
Nothing too worrisome, except for P.E. in 3rd period, so she decided she should probably go for the casual side of fashion, digging through the piles of pants until she found her favorite pair of pants, well-worn and soft from multiple Saturday's filled with doing laundry, and a plain dark blue T-shirt that was also a regular, that a random girl in the halls had said brought out her eyes last week.
After putting them on, she went to her dresser and found the deodorant she knew that she had a double of in her P.E. locker, so her smells wouldn't clash.
Turning to the mirror that hung on the back of her bedroom door, she inspected herself. She'd need tennis shoes, because coach had said that they'd be doing the Fitness Gram Testing, including the mile, and she didn't want to run the Mile barefoot on the Football track, because that's what coach would do to anyone who wasn't dressed properly for the day. She found two socks -- not caring if they matched or not -- then tied her shoes, enjoying the security they brought when she tightened the laces.
Realizing she needed to brush her hair, she reached for the brush and combed it through her soft locks, loving the feel of the teeth as they caressed her hair down through till the tips, and then again until she was satisfied.
Glancing half-heartedly to the mirror, she made sure that everything was in order, as it was.
"Are you coming? You're going to be late!" Her mother's impatient bark seeping from underneath the door.
"Yep!" Turning around to her dresser, she pulled out the first drawer.
Faces. All exactly alike: same eyes, nose, lips, ears, and eyebrows, but each showed a different emotion. There were faces stacked on top of each other until you almost couldn't open up the drawer, some with make-up, some without. Some with glasses, others with contacts, making the eye color different for each face. Each similar in their own respect, but each with a trained eye, very different. There were labels under each face, labeling the emotions for the few who ever would come into the room, and open the drawer.
There was happy, eyes sparkling, the dimples showing, teeth shining, cheeks rosy, ears lifted. Confidence shining through each pore -- even through the layer of dust that covered it.
Sad, with eyes downcast, faint wrinkles under the eyes, mouth in a faint arch, complexion dark and pale.
With the inexperienced eye, you would've thought it was another happy, with eyes staring ahead, not focusing on anything in particular, but there was a wall behind the color, you noticed the eyes cold and unfeeling, the smile to be forced and rehearsed, an expression made to be unnoticed.
"Just let me get one thing!" She called over her shoulder.
Now which will I be today? She thought, reaching into the drawer, hoping that maybe today someone would see through the carefully made masks, to really care that she had a mask on.
Carefully sliding her fingers under the chin of one of them, she felt the warmth of emotion through her skin as she lifted it to her face, sighing as she felt the familiar tug as the mask snap perfectly to her cheekbones, chin, and forehead.
* * *