Bad: A Memoir of Good & Evil
Couldn't Call It Unexpected
Cyn & Tangents
Lead Paint Double Date Set Diaries
Moving to Mars
New Roman Times
Saint Red
Suspension of Disbelief
What Fools


Cyn and Tangents

By Jordan D. White

Cyn Summers was all alone with herself in a dark room. She sat in the corner in a state of half-crying. She was upset, but she was forcing herself to cry, just in case someone came to look for her. In fact, that was why she was curled up into a ball in the corner with all the lights off and shades drawn; she was hoping with all her heart that someone would notice that she was missing from the party and come looking for her. She hoped that they would see how upset she was and give her the attention she desired.

Cyn waited, alone with her thoughts. Once in a while, her special effect tears would fade, and she would have to press them out anew, occasionally touching her eye to get them flowing again.

Even if the tears weren't real, the emotions were, she told herself. She doubted them, though. She often doubted her own emotions, wondering where the act she put on ended and her real feelings began. Or maybe all emotions were acts, and she was just the only one to notice it? Either that, or everyone else was just better at fooling themselves. How could her emotions be real, she thought to herself, when she can switch them on and off? She demonstrated this to herself by stopping herself from being upset.

She immediately dried up her tears, put on a smile, and got up from the corner, telling herself that since her emotions were all in her head, it was silly to let them ruin her good time. Just turn off the unpleasant ones and have a good time with all the others. She walked to the door.

She quickly huddled up in the corner again. She couldn't go out there to face everyone knowing that her emotions were false. Oh, she was just being silly. Her emotions were just as real as everyone else's. Fortunately, she decided to let that thought go without analysis.

She thought about what had happened out at the cast party. She wondered when they would be coming. She was sure that any second now, they would come in tell her all about why she had no reason to be upset and how much they felt bad for her and would do all they could to make her feel so much better. Any second now. She was sure of it.

They would come in the door, and they would ask her what was wrong. Then she would tell them everything that had been going through her mind the past week. Then she'd tell them why what had happened that night had hurt her so much. Then they would see what had been going on. They didn't see, but they would, once they realized that she was missing and came to look for her. If they cared about her, they would come. They would...

Cyn stopped forcing out her tears, and actually cried for a moment. Not for too long, mind you, just a moment. As soon as she realized what she was doing, she tainted it by thinking of how wonderfully sad she must look. She spoiled her tears, and went back to her comfortable falsehood. She cursed herself for ruining her actual tears. Then, she tried in vain to use her anger at herself to spark a tear or two, but it was a futile attempt. She knew it wouldn't work.

She thought once more of what had happened out in the living room of her friend's house, and how apparently no one had noticed its effect on her. She thought about how they were still in there, not noticing. She thought of all the times she had not cried but tried to anyway. She thought of the reason. She cursed it. She thought of how happy she had been before. Before she knew it, her mind began to wander. She thought about the pressures from rehearsing for the play, and how well opening night went. That song she had sung this morning drifted into her mind. The TV show from last night resurfaced again. Then a quick thought of the phone call last night and she realized that she had gone off on a tangent, and snapped herself back to the cloudy eyed present she had created.

Why am I so upset, she asked herself. She answered that she knew very well why she was sad. She glanced at her watch, seeing the clock saying nine fifty-three. She'd give them two minutes. If they weren't in there by nine fifty-five, she would go back and give them a piece of her mind.

OK... fine, she told herself. It was nine fifty-five. Five more minutes, and that would be their final limit.

Ten o'clock came and went. She didn't get up. She waited for them. She knew they would not come. She told herself to forget the whole idea. Slip out the window and go home, they wouldn't notice. They would never come to look for her. She would be alone forever.

She heard a voice call her name, all of a sudden, out of the hall way. "Are you in here?" the voice asked of her, as an accompanying head poked through the door.

"Yeah," she replied, careful not to let any hint of sadness creep into her voice. She quickly wiped away her tears with practiced skill. The voice's owner would never know, she told herself.

"Why don't you come on out to the party?" it asked. The head smiled at her vaguely.

"Ok," she said. As she walked to the door, she looked back at the corner she had come to know so intimately. She had left her play emotions there with her real ones, in hopes that no one out at the party would ever find them.

She knew they wouldn't, though. They never did.