by Andrew Z.

   John was excited when he got in to work the day after his surgery. He was excited to see all of his colleagues' reaction. Although he already had an idea of what they would be. He felt unique, which was rather ironic... considering that it was practically no longer socially acceptable to not have undergone the surgery. Unless however, you were too young, for it was a sort of rite of passage.

   There did, however, remain functioning members of society that did not partake in the rite. They were often thrown looks of disgust and were excluded by many. Some days this bothered these people, others it filled them with a sort joy, being strong enough to stand for what they themselves believed in, instead of falling into the sea of the unoriginal ones who wasted hours getting "fixed".

   John didn't mind, and he was tired of all the looks. He wanted a better life for his family. His aging wife and two beautiful girls and a single ambitious son. He only wanted the best for them, so as soon as his surgery was finished he made appointments for the rest of the family.

   He was so proud. He finally fit in. He finally belonged. He was finally like everyone else, but what he hadn't realized was that he always had been like everyone else.

   That the deep slit running from one ear to the other, passing right above his chin and right below his nose changed nothing. His pain still slumbered in the deepest reaches of his heart, awoken with every word spoken and heard. That he had joined the ranks of an army of facades. Left to hurt and be hurt not as one, but each individually. Their slits didn't connect them, but only distanced them further.

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