Anonymity

Have you ever wanted to be someone else?

I walked down the enormous halls of a shopping mall. As I strolled steadily, my eyes flickered around at the myriad of store window displays. I’m sure that woman I passed thought I was a nervous young girl, walking around the mall by herself for the first time. Only I wasn’t. I moved a little faster, eyes now focused on the end of the hall. The man at that perfume kiosk probably thought I was a store clerk, late for the first day of my first job. Only I wasn’t. Then I stopped in front of one of those high end clothing stores, and gave a sort of expectant smile. That group of girls that passed me could just see the wealth and privilege radiating off of me. In their eyes, I was a spoiled rich brat on a thousand dollar shopping spree. Only that wasn’t quite true.

I practically waltzed through the halls, and with a flash of my eyes and a turn of my head, I became someone else. I was a college student taking a study break at last, or a girl who’d just moved here, and was feeling quite lost. Depending on where I lingered and who was closest to me, that little girl with the pigtails was my younger sister, and the older women across the aisle was my mother. I was a thousand different people, a million different stories, and at the same time no one at all.

I casually kept to the stores that still had customers as the day sinks into night. Gates rolled down store fronts and lights were switched off with a click. When the last lamp of day was finally gone, I took a deep breath and walked into the empty hall. The charade was over. The truth must always come to light, and now was the time.

You may be able to hide the truth from everyone, but there is always one person you can’t keep it from: yourself. I slip the comms earbuds from my purse and into my ears, then whisper,

Building’s clear. Time to roll.”