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Appearances are cheap when the emotions don't run as deep.

*Trigger warning for Nausea/Bile and Blood

Graphic by Sheridan Williamson Fraser (Graphic Designer, The Continuist) IG: @swilliamsonfraser

By Nayab Ahmar (she/her, IG: @nayabcreativespace)

Content Creator (Poetry & Fiction), The Continuist

it takes so much effort

to always smile, while

my insides ache like bile

is coming up my chest

I don’t want to lie but I do

it takes so much effort

to be.

am I strange for not caring?

for wearing this mask,

that became normal

to me.

I don’t want to save the world

or to make a change for the


I’m so small, so irrelevant

really tell me, what does it


whether I shatter and stain

the ground with my shards

blood is my only constant

everyone else comes and goes

everything else is temporary

a moment, a memory

So, is it worth it to wear a mask?

is it worth it to take up this task?

I’m afraid the reality is

without it I won’t survive.

So, I’ll keep smiling, keep caring

because I do, don’t I? care.

it doesn’t take so much effort

to always smile, believe me.


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