There I was

23 years old standing in the doorway of my childhood home

My mother, she ran to me and spoke faster than I knew she could

Are you hungry? How’s the job? How long are you staying? Are you in love?

Are you okay?

And in the barrage of questions, I got stuck on the last

You see I’ve been pretending

Pretending so long for a while I forgot that I wasn’t


I wore my façade of a perfect life so well

The mask became my skin

There were days if felt great

But then came days where I had to wear the mask that wouldn’t fit

And I felt caged beneath it

I pushed every dark day beneath a broken smile

And began to move so quickly I didn’t have time to think

To think about everything I let the water wash away every morning down the drain

If I stopped for just one second it would crash down like a wave

So I ran.

I ran from the chaos inside my own soul

I ran from the people that think they know

And that worked

For a while.

I could laugh and smile

I could be okay

For a while.

But now I am standing in the doorway of my childhood home

And I can feel myself drowning

But I straighten my mask

And I offer to cook

And I speak of the promotion she didn’t know I took

I stay for the weekend and tell stories of the boy back home

But I still don’t know if

I am pretending.