It’s the summertime for Matthew, but it is hard for him to enjoy the summer. He had moved from another state last year, and he had a rough year at his new school. It was the sixth grade for Matthew. He had a hard time making new friends and adapting to his new school. Although Matthew wasn’t bullied or rejected by others at his new school, he found himself tormented by his past at his old school.
At his old school, Matthew was bullied because he was different from others. The kids there would hurt him physically and verbally, and teachers could not or rather would not do anything about it. One kid in particular that pushed Matthew to the edge was Bryan. Bryan was like most of the kids at Matthew’s old school, but he had red aviator sunglasses that made him stood out from the rest. These red aviator sunglasses with a silver lining made Bryan royalty among his peers, and he was adored by them. Bryan would eventually cross paths with Matthew, and he would hurt him in ways that pushed Matthew towards vengeance. Matthew would eventually have his revenge, but it would come at a cost. Matthew would lose his innocence, condemn Bryan to a terrible fate and bear the red aviator sunglasses.
Now, Matthew is walking alone in his nice neighborhood. He sees nothing but a red world around him thanks to the red aviator sunglasses. For Matthew, it’s a blessing and a curse having these sunglasses. He constantly sees the true, dark colors of his world, and he can ever forget the truth. Even when he doesn’t wear the glasses, he still remembers the truth. It’s imprinted in his mind, and he longs for the red world to be out of his mind. Sadly, it’s impossible for Matthew. He can never escape the red world because of his experience at his old school. Matthew can only hope for a miracle to change his perspective of the world.
As Matthew is walking, he can’t help but think about Bryan, the reason he had these red sunglasses. Matthew recalls how Bryan was scared of getting suspended and being home. He cried that his father was going to kill him, and he was begging for forgiveness. Matthew didn’t care about his tears because he wanted his revenge. Now, Matthew worries about Bryan because he realized that Bryan had a genuine fear of his dad. Matthew didn’t know all the details, but he knew that Bryan’s father wasn’t a good man. He was a father that would hurt his son in unimaginable ways.
Matthew continues his walk, but he quickly notices that he’s about to pass Sal’s Ice Cream Shop. He loved the ice cream there, and he knew that he had to get a large, vanilla cone. He walked towards the ice cream shop and noticed there was a long line. Matthew went to the back of the line and excitedly waited for some of Sal’s ice cream. A few minutes later, it was finally his turn to order a vanilla ice cream cone. Matthew ordered a vanilla ice cream cone, paid for it and received it in seconds. Matthew took his ice cream cone and decided that he wanted to go to the park. He was considering to eat his ice cream at Sal’s, but he saw that he was making some people at the ice cream shop uncomfortable. So, he just decided that it would be best to eat his ice cream somewhere else.
Matthew walks to the park and notices right away that no one was there. He was thrilled. He was excited to have the park all to himself and to be alone with his thoughts. Then, Matthew goes towards the swings and decides to sit down on a swing. He starts swinging a little back and forth and continues to enjoy his ice cream. As he finishes it, Matthew hears the laughter of other kids having fun together. Matthew thinks to himself, “It must be nice to have friends.”
As the sun starts to set, Matthew takes off his red sunglasses and begins to cry. He tries to stop himself, but he can’t. His tears are uncontrollable. Matthew can’t understand why he’s crying all of a sudden, and he hates it. He despises the tears that are coming down his face, and he wants them to desperately stop. Matthew starts to have a hard time breathing. He can hear his heart pounding rapidly in his body, and he doesn’t know how to stop it. Matthew closes his eyes and prays to God. He prays for God to calm him down and help him pull himself together. Before he can finish, a hand touches Matthew’s shoulder and says, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s no need for that, I promise you. I got you, bro. Just relax and take a deep breath.”
Matthew listens to the child-like voice behind him, and he starts to relax. Suddenly, a wave of relaxation and comfort flows through Matthew in ways he couldn’t imagine. Matthew decides to take a look behind him, and he sees a little kid. The little kid is around the same age as Matthew. The little kid is wearing some yellow tennis shoes, blue shorts and a yellow T-shirt. However, the little kid was wearing a tiger mask that was covered in yellow. It was weird and bizarre to Matthew, and he gathered in his head that this kid’s favorite color was yellow.
After Matthew takes in all the yellow the kid was wearing, he thanks to the kid for his advice and for helping him calm down. The kid responds, “Oh, it was no problem, bro. I’m happy to help. Do you mind if I sit next to you on the swing.”
Matthew tells him that it’s fine, and the kid proceeds to sit next to him. Then, he says, “By the way, my name’s Goldie, but a lot of people just call me the kid in the yellow mask.”
This is the end of “The Green Mask: Part One.”
Also, be sure to check out the short story “Red Aviator Sunglasses: Parts One and Two” on the Dark Colors series, if you haven’t already. That short story will provide great context for this short story, and each part can be found in the Table of Contents page on the Warfield Zone.
I will be posting part two of “The Green Mask” on Thursday.