Waking up with a headache had become commonplace for Harry. At work he wore the same placid mask of self-sufficient happiness as he had for the past few years anyway. Even though he was starting to change, the people around had no right to know about it. No one should be privy to the inner turmoils of his soul. So he just went on about his normal day, arriving at the office slightly early, pretending to enjoy a cup of coffee with indifferent co-workers and generally spending his time under the detection point of public attention.
It was 10:10 when the one who always seemed to be trying to catch his attention showed up. Michael had a way of staring at Harry when he arrived that made him want to shrink inside himself. Never mind which mask Michael was wearing, he always gave off the impression that he found everything extremely comical and therefore deserving of his various comments and jibes. Michael had a shady role in the company, he’d been there a long time, years before Harry had joined, but his job description didn’t really match what he seemed to be doing. Which was, well, mostly nothing.
Today Michael wore a fine mask of yellow and green, modelled after some kind of grinning japanese-looking mythological demon. He was the only one who dared and managed to pull off such a strange look in such a commonplace situation as an ordinary Monday at the company. Harry tried to ignore him, hard, but failed when Michael simply stopped by his desk and looked at him intently. Their eyes locked for a moment, Harry’s heartbeat going up and his breath catching in his throat, discovered. But then strangely Michael seemed to smirk and then continued on his way to his own office without a word. Harry had been expecting something else, but maybe he was reading too much in the man’s strange behaviour towards him during the last weeks. Maybe Michael was just taunting him like so many others had done before him. The demonic-features of the mask just made Harry imagine all sorts of complicated things.

Harry was uncomfortable though, as he didn’t know how much the other man could understand of him through his plain white barely-smiling poker-face mask. It had been designed by his own grandmother, initially as a joke for his Christmas present some years ago. The effect hadn’t been the one she’d expected. Harry had felt so comfortable with it that he had taken to wearing it almost full time, changing into something more fancy only when his family forced something else upon him for special occasions. He knew his co-workers looked down on him for it, but today he didn’t care. He’d started something new.

(This text is unfinished)