Mask

The evening was quickly moving into debauchery. The expensive alcohol was flowing, students were necking in dark corners, on couches or against walls, the music was thumping loudly. Sweaty bodies gyrating on the dancefloor to the latest pop chart.

“Isn’t it a-ma-zing?! I can’t believe Tana got her father to rent this building. I heard there are month-long waiting lists just to get into the club, but apparently her father knows someone who golfs regularly with the owner’s father and so here we are. Oh my god, isn’t that Diana? Over there, basically throwing herself at Jason. Poor girl, she reeks of desperation. Although, she let me borrow this cute top from Dolce. Don’t my boobs look fantastic?”

Hannah did not even listen to what her seat neighbour was saying. All Daniela really wanted was someone who looked like they were paying attention to her. That girl liked to listen to her own voice almost as much as maxing out one of her mother’s many credit cards on her infamous shopping trips throughout the high-end boutiques of Düsseldorf. But her ability to never be quiet was one of the reasons why Daniela was one of the top law students of her grade.

“So, how do you like it?”

“It’s so good!”

“Really? Are you sure? Because you didn’t look happy in the beginning.”

“Don’t worry, I love it!” The sentence backed up with conviction and a happy smile that reached her friend’s eyes, that made the girl lean on her arms contently on the picnic blanket. Both of them looked to the stage where a local rock band did a rendition of Stairway to Heaven.

This band and the previous bands so far had been so cool, Hannah thought. The atmosphere on the outdoor concert was relaxed. The descending summer sun shone over the nearby lake. Children were running around chasing each other.

“Oh, look Hannah,” her friend started to say, “they’re coming back. Took those guys long enough.”

Smiling, Hannah shielded her eyes. Staring into green-bluish eyes that were focused on her.

“…horrible in that outfit!” Daniela exclaimed. The sounds of summer were replaced by Kesha’s “We r who we r”. Blinking, Hannah stared at her friend, recounting disdainfully a fellow student’s party outfit. Joy was replaced by numbness. “I absolutely agree with you!”

With a deep sigh that nobody noticed, she let the party wash over her. 

Image courtesy of Baptiste MG.

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