Where has that creative innocent girl gone? She used to be so friendly, so alive!

So untroubled...

Is it my fault? Did I scare her away with my corruption and bad habits? The addition of evil and deadly thoughts, did they make her flee? I want her back, I miss her.

This girl perched smugly in my mirror, I cannot identify her face, her laugh or that glint in her eyes. All I feel from her that is familiar is the pain inside.

She too suffers from not being able to speak. She too suffers from being corrupted and she too cannot be saved.

Her heart drops as I smile at her and she smiles back, so fake, so damaged. She tries to laugh, brush off the silvery truth falling rebelliously from the corner of her eye because she mustn't show emotion.

No, she must be strong.

I feel the twist of her stomach as she tries to control herself, stop herself from lurching forward and falling to her knees. All she wants to do is cry but she knows she can't.

All she must do is laugh and smile and be strong for those who need her most. Her friends; her family; her mother.

The slight twitch in the corner of her mouth as she thinks of them reveals to me that they are blameless. She involves herself in those problems to feel loved and wanted, to feel like she can do something valuable.

I can relate to that.

They don't have a clue how she feels but how could they?

She doesn't allow them any knowledge or understanding of her truths. They notice the dark obtrusive circle beneath her eyes but of course she is an 'insomniac.'

Nothing more to it, she doesn't need sleep. That's all.

Forget the fact that sleep means dreaming and dreams reveal the truth. Forget the fact that tears fall for the remainder of the night until dawn breaks and her mask must be replaced to cover the cracks that the night's revelations have made in her perfect complexion.

Others must come first no matter what.

It doesn't matter that she is slowly suffocating beneath her disguise, it will not be removed until the hours of twilight, the time between sleep and waking when she has no boundaries, when she needs no valid reason to cry and scratch and cut.

The girl in the mirror sinks to the floor and I do too so I can remain at her level. She wraps her shaking hands around her knees and rocks like an infant, lips trembling under the pressure of her self control.

"It's OK," I tell her, "you can show yourself to me, I'm here to help!"

She raises her head swiftly and her eyes widen. The tears have stopped and she shakes her head. She had forgotten I was there until I spoke.

"No," she whispers in a semi-rational voice, "I'm fine."

And so she stands and retrieves her mask from the floor, brushing off the dust and polishing it to perfection before returning it to her head.

She throws one last counterfeit smile in my direction and she is gone. Back to her world where she is always smiling, always laughing, always dancing and singing and helping in any way she can.

This is the way it must remain.

A/N: There isn't much of a beginning to this, sorry. I did have something else but it didn't seem to fit so I deleted it. Please review and let me know what you think.