MASQUERADE: Masquerade By Miriam Rose Mancuso


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By Miriam Rose Mancuso


I couldn’t focus on the masquerade-themed story we were reading in class because Baekyun looked just to firkin irresistible. Yeah, he can’t speak English to save his life. Yes, we barely know each other. Yes, I’m aware I’m not so commonly traditionally beautiful to steal his heart, but I’ll try.  I just hope he hasn’t noticed the “B+H” inside an arrow heart on my left wrist.  I looked over with a sea of blind admiration in my brown eyes that glowed to a chestnut shade. He smiled at me with his impossibly white teeth. God, he’s gorgeous.

“Ka-nee-chi-wah!” I waved. He laughed at my incorrect, horrible pronunciation. Teeheehee.   I wish I knew Japanese so I could talk to him and ask him about Japan. Is it really as amazing and Hello Kitty centered as the TV depicts it to be?  No, I’m not a weeaboo who wants to become a Japanese person. I just wanna possibly date and marry one in particular.

“Sorry, I’m late,” I heard a familiar British accent at the door. I took a good, long stare at Joe Wilshire, our aqua-eyed English exchange student.  Ok, confession time. I, Hinkley Roberstein, want to be a British girl and Joe’s girlfriend. I am of British descent!

Wait! What about Baekyun? I guess I have some deciding to do!

“Oh, Joe, seat behind Hinkley for today!” Mr. Monroe instructed.

“Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” I whispered to whichever God is up there. Maybe it’s a sign from them saying me and Joe are meant to be together!

“Hi, Joe!” I muttered. “Cheers, Joe!”

I really hope that’s what ‘Hello’ means in England!

“Oh, that’s kind of a ‘goodbye’ thing to say. But thanks for trying!” Joe smiled at me warmly.  He corrected me. But he spoke to me! He also smiled at me! This is a very good sign!  Gee, I wonder if he likes me…Maybe, I should try talking to him!  I turned around and that caught his eye.

“Hello again!” He smirked.

“Hi! Um, have you ever been to a masquerade before?” I had literally nothing not-forward to say to him so I compensated with relating our conversation to our class.

“No. Is that an American normality?” He queried.

“Not really. I thought they’d have all sorts of parties and balls in England! It’s a cultural wonderland!” I gushed. I hope I didn’t come off as a 4 year old to him.

“Oh, is it? Seems like all rain, tea, and exams to me! School sucked,” He sighed.

“So you don’t miss the UK?” I frowned, trying to show some support.

“Not as much as you’d think. Terror attacks happening in London every other week? Kind of terrifying. I also have never had good friends. Everybody I knew was fake,” Joe bit his bottom lip to the point of redness. I assume it’s to numb the frustration on to distract me from life itself.

“Well, there isn’t a lack of fakeness here in ‘Merica, either! But if you need a friend, you have me. I’m not fake. Oh my God, what a fake person thing to day! Ugh!”

He laughed. I blushed.

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