Like a child peering from behind a curtain
I stare ahead
Like a black widow would
Beneath her veil of false grief
She’s afraid of being caught
So she wraps her veil around her
Harder…tighter
She weeps as though bereft
Yet her bitter half died by her hand

I rose early, staggered quite literally out of my bed at 0500hrs to be there on time. On minute late and I’d lose my chance…they come once in a lifetime here at the rest.
I want to look official yet casual… we don’t want to make the conversation awkward, now, do we? Besides, I do not even know her! I am normally lackluster at dawn, so I spend forty-five minutes in the shower. Though fresh as the daisies outside my hostel, I still dress in a white V-necked T-shirt and jeans while still perched high up on my bed on the upper bunker. I chow down my breakfast, brush my fangs and leave, out in the morning breeze which whips my hair as soon as I step out. Unlike my fellow mates who are running for their 0700hrs classes, I am going for a 0730hrs appointment, so I can walk a little bit slower than they. As more and more of them pass me by, I cannot help wishing I was normal, like them…happy and carefree. I arrive at 0714hrs, to await her arrival so we can start our session.
As I step into the immaculately polished building, I spot the secretary I’d met the previous week. She was the one who set my appointment. She instantly smiles as I approach her.
“Hi dear! How was your night?”
Did you hear that?
I was taken aback.
“Fine! Really great! I slept well!” I lied. I actually spent an entire forty minutes in a trance with the devil himself and a host of his acquaintances. I swear, those are scary.
“I’ll take you to see the counselor. This way please!”
As we walk along the hallways to the Rest, I cannot hear our heels. I am busy commending myself for being on time for this meeting, for once. I am also hoping the uncomfortable warmth I am feeling right now is not due to anxiety but because of the rapid oxidation of the highly refined bread I had earlier.
Soon enough, we are ushered in, and I am shown a seat across a very pretty lady. She is well into her twenties, but once she starts speaking, it hits me that indeed, appearances are deceiving. She is actually more the teen than I am. As her warm voice rings in my troubled mind as she says hi, I almost forget how sad I feel. I smile back at her, even though mine does not light up my face.
“I’m Claudia.”
“Hi, I’m Hazel”
That was how it started. I whined out my issues and she freaking listened to all of them without batting an eyelid like did most of my fair weather friends. We actually had a real conversation, and as time went by, I feel lighter. The knot in my throat actually dissolves.
She gave me a list of options that I could use to help myself out then she concluded as follows:
“I get the feeling that you are going to make it. You are a strong, smart, loyal and kind person…”
WHAT!
For a minute there I had to strain to keep my face straight. I thought psychologists can read minds and pick out liars, terrorists and downright cheats! She should know that the creature seated across her is no dolphin, but a viper! I might as well be the meanest, most uncaring savage trudging the face of the earth this century. I am not really smart; I mess up a record five thousand times an hour. Herein, now, I get the feeling I am about to mess up again…I’ll do something very silly and demeaning to my character. Plus, I sincerely hope she has not seen my physical chemistry test script and is mocking me to my face. If she sees it, she’ll have a massive coronary.
Loyal? Me? Even with my crew-less clueless life? I ain’t even loyal to my goddesses who warned me to study hard and ignore that hot player guy and I totally ignored them! Now my head is spinning like a globe from the resultant heartbreak.
She really does not know the viper. Neither does mum nor dad nor all my other friends and classmates. Especially those who say they have a crush on me. They all think I am an angel, very innocent and clueless. They know not my mind, my murderous cognitive processes. I am far from perfect. I am not thinking irrationally. It’s just my virtues and bust that keep me from slithering and biting. I pray that God continues to inspire me with His Spirit like He always has. He helps me to struggle with chemistry, and apologize when my viper head peers out. He grants me love, so I can love truly like I do mum, dad, my brother and all my friends irrespective of their weaknesses. He instills joy, so that I can smile when depression crawls by. No one must know the viper. No one.

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