The White Mask: Part Five

Dylan is in shock to find out that he killed Dan. He can’t believe it. His heart is pumping like a speeding train, and he can’t seem to control his breathing. He looks down and sees the white mask in his hands. He quickly throws it across the room, then he looks at Cupid. Cupid tilts his head to the right and smiles ever so slightly at Dylan. Dylan finally gets control of his breathing and says, “Please, tell me that I didn’t kill Dan.”

Cupid’s smile widens. He tilts his head to the left, laughs and whispers, “Oh, you killed Dan. I saw the whole thing, and it was honestly a work of art. The passion and the drive you showed was breath-taking. It was kind of romantic.”

Dylan shakes his head and says, “No, I just put that mask on a couple of seconds. There’s no way that I killed Dan. There’s no way that I could ever do such a thing. I don’t remember doing anything like that.”

Cupid chuckles and responds, “Well, that’s good because you weren’t supposed to remember anything. However, if you don’t believe your blood-stained hands, change of clothes and that bloody knife in the bathroom, I would be more than happy to go in detail of all the torturous, sick, twisted things you did to Dan.”

Cupid slowly tilts his head to the right. He continues to smile at Dylan, but it’s freaking Dylan out. Then, Dylan gets up to see if there was a bloody knife in the bathroom. He gets up and walks to the bathroom. Dylan’s hesitant to peak in the bathroom, but Cupid yells for him to take a look. Dylan exhales, and he’s disappointed to see a bloody knife in the sink. He drops to the ground, and he starts crying. Cupid starts laughing and says, “You know, it’s interesting seeing you be so regretful in killing Dan.”

“Why is it interesting?” Dylan asks.

“Because you enjoyed every minute of torturing and killing him. It was fun for you, Dylan. In fact, watching you murder Dan was like listening to a song. You were killing him softly, and I loved every minute of it,” Cupid says.

Cupid smiles as he reminisces about the brutal, horrific murder he witnessed minutes ago. Dylan looks at Cupid, and he’s frightened by his look. Cupid quickly snaps out of his daze and says, “Let’s not forget why you did what you did to Dan. Remember, he was a monster that mistreated your beloved Melanie. You saved her, Dylan, and now you two can be together.”

Dylan realizes that Cupid is right, and he can finally be with Melanie. Her husband can no longer get in the way of their love for each other. Dylan thought to himself that he was going to have his Juliet. There’s a sense of relief from Dylan, then Cupid gets up and heads for the door. Dylan asks Cupid why he’s leaving, and Cupid responds, “Oh, you don’t need me right now. You’ll be fine, but don’t worry, I’ll be back in a couple of months.”

Cupid opens the door, but Dylan stops him and asks why he’ll be back in a couple months. Cupid smiles, looks at Dylan and says, “Just to check on you and keep you motivated. Also, I want to visit you on my favorite day of the year.”

Dylan frowns and explains that Valentine’s Day is next year. Cupid chuckles and says, “Valentine’s Day? I can’t stand that day. No, I’m talking about Halloween. Something tells me that it’ll be an interesting Halloween for you and Melanie.”

Dylan asks Cupid what he means, but Cupid only smiles and doesn’t answer his question. He quickly leaves and disappears into the night. Dylan locks the door, looks to his left and sees the white mask lying on the floor.  He goes to it, picks it up and stares into it. Then, he shakes his head, takes it to his room and puts it in a box. Dylan hopes he never has to see the white mask again, and he can just put it behind him. He smiles because him and Melanie can be together finally with no interferences. He would have his Juliet.

A few months passed, and Dylan was still having a hard time getting closer to Melanie. Dylan understood that Melanie needed time to figure things out, but he was still hurt that she didn’t try to make an effort with him after some months passed. He would text her daily, but he would barely get a response from her. Most of the time she would reply a day or two late, and it really bothered Dylan. Also, he was buying her flowers, chocolates, perfume and food, at least two or three times a week. Sadly, it still didn’t make a difference. He didn’t understand. Why couldn’t she see how much he loved her? Why couldn’t she see how much he needed her? Dylan starts to think to himself that she’s not taking their relationship seriously, and it’s a problem from him. Dylan killed Melanie’s abusive husband. He saved her from a monster, but it feels like she doesn’t appreciate everything he’s done for her.

Today, it’s Halloween. Dylan is not working his typical 2-11 shift, but he’s working a 9am-6pm shift at Sam’s Club. He comes in 30 minutes early, and he’s excited to be spending time with Melanie. They have a date today. When he arrives at work, he walks into Sam’s Club with a dozen roses and a wrapped present for Melanie. He’s feeling bold and excited today because he’s finally gonna have lunch with Melanie again. It’s been four months since their last “date,” and Dylan’s ready for his special Halloween date with Melanie.

He puts all of his things for Melanie in his locker. He thinks about his sweet Melanie and texts, “Hey beautiful, I can’t wait to see you for lunch. I’m so excited! Also, I have a surprise for you that I know you’ll love.”

After he texts that, he closes his locker. All of a sudden, he’s confronted by Elijah. He tells Dylan that he needs to talk to him. Elijah and Dylan go to the break room, and they find a table to sit at. Thankfully, it’s empty. Dylan urges Elijah to tell him what’s going on. Elijah sighs and says, “Okay, you’re doing too much with Melanie, man.”

Dylan doesn’t understand. He asks Elijah how he knows he’s doing too much, and Elijah adds, “Because she told me, Dylan. You’re making her very uncomfortable with the gifts. She told me that she’s been trying to be nice to you, but she’s close to telling a supervisor about you.”

Dylan thinks that Elijah is lying to him, and he doesn’t want to hear anything else from him. Dylan says, “Then, why is she having lunch with me, Matthew? If she didn’t want to be with me, then she wouldn’t agree to go on a date with me.”

“Bro, it’s not a date. She’s just trying to tell you what I’m telling you. She’s honestly hoping that you listen to me, instead of her telling you when you have lunch with her,” Elijah explains.

Dylan shakes his head because he can’t believe what he’s hearing. Why is Elijah trying to sabotage his relationship with Melanie? Elijah says, “Listen, I understand that you…like her, but she doesn’t feel the same way about you. No amount of gifts or text messages is going to change that. She’s not interested in you, man. You need to let her go and move on.”

Dylan is angered by Elijah’s words and replies,”I’m not giving up on her, Elijah. I’m a hopeless romantic. That’s just who I am. I’m giving her my all because I love Melanie so much. I’m sorry that I can’t be all nonchalant and hide my emotions like you do Elijah. I want Melanie to know how I feel about her. I’m not afraid of embarrassing or exposing myself to girls like you are. I feel bad for you Elijah because no girl is ever going to love you because you’re a coward that doesn’t know how to take a chance on love. It’s pathetic and sad.”

Elijah is a little hurt by Dylan’s insulting words, but he gives a chuckle and responds, “You know what, have fun on your date? It does take a lot of dedication and wasted time to be obsessed with a girl that doesn’t want you. In fact, you give everyone here at Sam’s Club something to laugh about. It’s funny, for four months, you’ve been harassing a newly single mother that recently lost her husband. You’ve been making things uncomfortable for her at work with your stupid gifts that she just throws away in the trash. So, I can’t wait to hear what precious gift you got her for your little date. It should be interesting to hear from her because she does like to talk to me. She’s a real fast responder too, but you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

Dylan is silent and angry. He wants to punch Elijah in the face, but he controls himself. Elijah laughs and walks away. Then, he turns around and yells, “Oh, and happy Halloween, Dylan. Have fun on your little date, you piece of trash.”

Dylan couldn’t believe the words that Elijah spoke to him. A few minutes later, he gets a text from Melanie. He’s excited to see the text message, but he’s disappointed to see that it reads that she won’t be able to have lunch with him because something came up. He doesn’t understand. Dylan asks why she has to cancel, but there is no response. Ten minutes later, he clocks in. As he’s walking to the backroom, he stumbles upon Melanie. She arrives an hour early to work, and Dylan sees this as the opportunity to get close to her. Dylan says hi to Melanie, and she replies hi back. Then, she asks Dylan if Elijah talked to him, and he responds, “Kind of, but look. I actually got you a present that I think you’ll love.”

Before Melanie could object, Dylan begs her to see the present he has for her. She says fine, and he rushes to his locker to get the roses and the special present for her. Dylan makes it back to Melanie as she groans at the roses and present. Dylan tells her that she’ll really like this present if she just gave it a chance. Melanie sighs, takes the presents and opens it up. When she opens it, her mouth drops. She can’t believe the present that Dylan gave her. She simply responds, “Oh my God.”

This is the end of “The White Mask: Part Five.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The White Mask: Part One

Dylan is patiently waiting in line at a floral shop. He has five stemmed roses in his hand for a special girl on his mind. They’re having lunch together for the first time on this Saturday, and Dylan is anxious, nervous and excited about it all. There are only three people in front of him, and he is in no rush at all. He’s in his uniform because he has work in about an hour at 2:00. He’s working a full eight-hour shift at Sam’s Club as a stocker. The floral shop is only a few minutes away from it. He’s excited because there seems to be a pretty, attractive girl at the register. She’s a brunette with blue eyes and a pretty smile. Dylan tries to look at her nametag, but he can’t see the name on it. He needs to get a closer look. Eventually, it’s his turn in line. The girl smiles at him with her perfect white teeth and motions for him to come to the register. He approaches the register, and he can finally see that the girl’s name is Emily. She says, “Good afternoon, sir, how are you doing?”

Dylan smiles and responds, “I’m doing alright. I’m just little anxious, nervous and excited, so a pretty good combination.”

Emily laughs and asks why Dylan feels the way he feels. Dylan explains, “Well, I’m taking this pretty, amazing girl out on a date for the first time today, and I’m so scared. I just want it to be perfect and for us to take things to the next level and all.”

Emily nods her head in understanding Dylan, and she says to him that all he has to do is be himself and everything will fall in to place naturally. “Plus, you’re on the right track too with the roses. I know that she’ll definitely love them. I wish guys at my high school would give me roses, but they just want to ‘shoot their shots on IG or snap,’ and it’s just so lame. You know what I mean?”

Dylan shakes his head and explains that he doesn’t have social media. He’s really old fashioned. It came to a shock to Emily, and she asks him how old he is. Dylan responds that he’s 30 years old. Emily is impressed that he doesn’t have social media, then Dylan smiles and asks, “So what does shooting the shot mean? Is it like a bucket or something?”

Emily laughs and says, “Oh my gosh, you seriously don’t know? I mean, it’s something like that. Hold up, let me get my phone out and show you what I mean.”

Emily gets out her nice iPhone and shows Dylan some messages of guys “shooting their shot” with her. He got close to her and saw all kinds of weird messages and pictures on her phones. Dylan shakes his head and says, “Ok so let me get this right. Guys send you messages about how ‘bad,’ ‘delicious,’ ‘exquisite,’ and ‘fine’ you are, and if their compliment is good enough to you, then you proceed to talk to them?”

“Yeah pretty much, romance and chivalry are dead,” Emily says.

“Whoa, whoa, don’t say such things. Yes, there are guys that are no longer chivalrous or romantic, but there are a few of us that are hopeless romantics in this world. Don’t worry, your knight in shining armor is coming to save you.”

Emily appreciated the words, and Dylan paid $18.50 for his five roses. He thanked Emily, looked at his roses and handed her one of the roses. Emily smiles at the sweet gesture and thanks him for the rose. Dylan smiles and says, “It’s no problem young lady, you’re absolutely gorgeous and deserve all the roses in the world for your sweetness.”

Emily blushes, and Dylan for a second thinks about asking for her number. However, he changes his mind because he already has a special girl waiting for him.

Dylan heads to work with his four roses, and he makes it to Sam’s Club with 30 minutes to spare. He walks in and says hi to a few people along the way. Then, he finally makes it to the back room and sees a few people eating their lunches in the break room. He looks to his right, and he sees the only black person in the break room, his coworker and friend Elijah. Elijah is listening to music on his phone and scrolling on Facebook. Dylan sees Elijah and yells, “Yo, what up my brother?”

Elijah hears Dylan, pulls out his headphones and looks at Dylan. He shakes his head, chuckles and says, “Hey what’s up man.”

“Nothing much, just happy and excited to be here. Happy to be alive, what are you listening to ?” Dylan asks.

“That’s what’s up, man. And I’m just listening to J. Cole’s ‘No Role Models.’ Such a good song, man,” Elijah responds.

Elijah starts singing a little bit to Dylan, but there’s a little part that’s weird to Dylan. It’s part of the chorus, it’s “Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.” Dylan didn’t understand that part. Then, Elijah asks, “By the way, what do you got in your hands? Do you have a secret admirer or something?”

Dylan didn’t understand, but then he realizes that he has the four roses in his hand. He forgot to put them in his locker. He quickly ran to his locker making sure he was hiding the flowers. He didn’t want them to be seen. Then, he opens his locker and places the roses in his locker. Then, he rushes back to the break room to Elijah. He’s out of breathe, and Elijah asks him if he’s alright. Dylan tells him that he’s fine and begs Elijah to not tell anyone about the roses. Elijah promises to keep the roses a secret, then he asks Dylan about the roses. However, Dylan doesn’t want to say. He doesn’t want Elijah to know who he’s taking out on a date. Elijah asks him how come he doesn’t want to tell him, but Dylan tells Elijah that he’s just not comfortable in sharing information about the roses. Dylan expects Elijah to persist with the questions, but Elijah decides to drop it. This is a relief to Dylan, but then Elijah adds, “I don’t understand why flowers are so romantic to girls sometimes.”

Dylan frowns and asks Elijah what he mean. Elijah continues, “I mean, flowers are the most inconvenient romantic gift ever to me. Like those roses you got probably cost $20 maybe $30 dollars top. Roses are just so expensive for no reason. Then, a girl now has to buy a vase for the roses because if she doesn’t then they’ll die. So, it’s not really a romantic gift if each party has to pay some money for said gift.”

Dylan just shakes his head and says, “No bro, like you don’t understand. You see a rose is like a delicate, sweet poem. It speaks a different language to a woman. It makes her feel loved and appreciated, Elijah.”

“You know what else makes a woman feel appreciated? Food, time, candy, chocolates, poetry, a love letter, hot Cheetos and so many other things, like where’s the creativity and ingenuity at these days? Flowers are just gonna die, and it’s such a waste of money. There are plenty of other things to give a girl than flowers, I swear,” Elijah exclaims.

“So, I’m guessing you’re never gonna buy a girl flowers then,” Dylan asks.

Elijah laughs and responds, “I’ll probably reluctantly buy flowers for my soulmate or something if they mean so much to her. It’ll probably be if we’re dating for years or something, never the first few dates at all.”

Dylan is confused as to why Elijah wouldn’t buy flowers for a girl on a first date. They both look at the clock and realize they have five minutes left till work. So, Dylan asks Elijah why he wouldn’t give a girl flowers on a first date. Elijah responds, “Well, excluding the cost and inconvenience of them, they bring off the wrong impression. They show that you’re desperate to impress someone with a gift and not by your personality. Also, you’re dependent on a material thing making you look good to a woman. And it sends off the wrong message to a girl in a way.”

“What message is that?” Dylan asks.

“In my opinion, roses are only given because of what you look like on the outside. You see, roses are pretty to look at, and you’re basically telling a girl that she’s pretty to look at with roses. I’m just speaking about a first date, by the way. It’s not the case if you’ve been with someone for years.”

Dylan just shakes his head and tells Elijah that it’s not true at all. Dylan explains that flowers are so romantic to girl, and Elijah just wouldn’t understand because he’s never experienced love. Elijah laughs and says, “That’s true, I’ve never been in love. Maybe you know more than me, and I’m tripping. Also, if those flowers are for a date, I would just do a single rose, but that’s just my advice.”

Dylan shakes his head and reluctantly thanks Elijah for the advice. They talk for a few minutes later, then 2:00 hits. They clock in, and it’s officially time to work.

Dylan and Elijah are working together stocking in their area. They do good work, and it’s eventually 6:00. It’s time for their hour-long break.

Dylan rushes to the backroom, clocks out and rushes to his locker. He grabs the roses and puts them behind his back. He’s about to leave the backroom, when he’s stopped by Elijah. Elijah asks him if they’re having lunch together, but Dylan explains that he has plans with someone. Elijah doesn’t ask any other questions and lets Dylan go. Dylan rushes out of Sam’s Club, goes to his car and waits patiently for his “date.” He’s holding the roses behind his back. A few minutes pass, and he finally sees the woman that’s on his mind. She’s walking to him with her Sam’s Club uniform on as well, and Dylan can’t help but show off a big smile. The woman eventually reaches the car and says, “Hey Dylan what’s up?”

“Hey Melanie, are you ready to go?” Dylan asks.

“Yeah, let’s do it.”

This is the end of “The White Mask: Part One.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

On Thursday, I will be sharing and posting part two of “The White Mask.”