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Truth Masquerade

It burns, to guard my own heart. To flaunt false openness when all I reveals is nothing. That all my cool kindness freely given, that kindness so beloved, is not real at all. That all I want to do when I see someone hurting is to hold them tight and cry with them. But I can’t. I can’t be me anymore, I can’t show such honest human emotion. I have to protect, I have to be strong. To serve my people a façade, even if it is all for their gain, for their protection, hurts. Beyond what I could have ever imagined. But I have to keep it up. It is all for the greater good, after all.

I wish I could speak my mind – but the truths I keep close will only hurt those I’ve been charged to care for. I know better than most how words can be weaponized. How much a syllable could stab so deep, that the wound left behind could be better described as a chasm.

I knows the bite of my own words, the frigidness of my brutal honesty. God, so I wish I could offer kinder words, but the only balm I can have is the knowledge that my cold measured kindness is saving my people from a worse fate.

It’s surprisingly easy to hide your own truth. To keep a face blank, to make my eyes cold and empty. To hold myself with a soldiers discipline. Back straight, feet planted, hands both loose and tense, ready to act at the slightest inclination or order. It is easy to pretend to be the perfect servant. That I am as emotionless and undisturbed by calamity as I claim. That under my comforting fake smiles and sharp eyes, I feel nothing. That I am unbreakable like the sword and shield I wield.

It is easy to pretend I have no feelings. No opinions to give outside of cold logic. At least, when there are no prying eyes present. Alone, in the silent dark, when there is no one but myself and my thoughts, it is a different matter entirely. Though she supposes it doesn’t matter. No one will ever see my heart, no one will be able to question and prod me, if I show them nothing to question. If all they see is a statue, they have no reason to look for cracks.

So no matter that I must remind myself daily, after the tears have dried in streaks down my cheeks and the ache in my chest has settled back to something manageable, that I am doing this for my people. For the betterment of everyone. That through my own isolation and internal suffering, I am making my world, my home, a better place.

I am the lock to the box cradling the treasure. The guard and protector of my home. I am the first and last line of defense to the people. I am a sword and shield — I am not me. I am not breakable.

I will keep my true self under lock and key, hide my emotions even from those who care for me, for it is, despite the agony, for the betterment of my people. And I am nothing, if not loyal to my people. Loyal to my home.

Even if in the end, I will be left with nothing. A sword and shield doesn’t get to have friends or family or even a lover. A sword and shield just needs to be useful, for as long as it can.

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