SCARRED

A long brownish-red mark runs along his gaunt face, from the right cheekbone to the bridge of his nose and all the way diagonally up to the corner of his temple. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when his face was like that of a commoner and his tan skin was at peace. Though fine lines defined his forehead and harsh pink spots stained his cheeks without order, he blended in with the ordinary. Now, there is not a person who passes him that can forget his violated face or more specifically, his unsightly scar.

The scar didn’t grow in stages like the stain of an ink drop does on a piece of cotton cloth. It was imprinted on his slender face in a fraction of a second and has stayed with him since. When it first appeared, it didn’t look like it does now. It seemed as if his skin cracked open and divided his face in two. Blood oozed continuously without stop.

What happened after remains in his memory in fragments, much like puzzle pieces that don’t fit together to form a whole, no matter how hard you try. The only thing he remembers with certainty was a blurred white coat closing in on him until all the light seeped out. When he woke up, the first thing he noticed after the blinding flashes was his reflection on the metallic surface of the drip stand by his bed. In it, he saw the fine work of a seamstress on his ripped face. It took a while for the imprecise bright red line to slowly turn into a sorrowful shade of maroon before darkening further into the color that it is now.

Not many care to know the story behind the scar. Of the few who ask, none has ever come close to knowing the truth. He simply continues his deafening silence, the only sound that now escapes him, and sits motionlessly while looking blankly into the distance, as if unaware of the words that were just uttered.

Every now and then, in the solitude that has engulfed him, the past flashes vividly in his eyes as if it were yesterday. In the still darkness at night, he can see her standing just a few steps away with the rusted scrap of metal in hand, clasped tightly in between her vengeful fingers. He can see her eyes consumed with rage, blue-black from the force of his knuckles. He can see the burns of his cigarettes tattooed on her dark lips that he wanted shut, except they are screaming with anguish as she charges at him to repay her debt to herself.

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