Negative Relection by John Kujawski

February 13, 2012 Comments Off on Negative Relection by John Kujawski

I knew Sheila was trouble even before she started wearing the mask. I think things were pretty much doomed by our third date. I was driving us around that night, and we were headed to dinner. I started to get tired of talking, so I turned on the radio, and then before I knew it, an old song by The Motels came on. Sheila blurted out right away that she loved the song and made me turn the volume up. I wished I could have turned it off.

I didn’t care for the fact that she loved The Motels. I figured I was the only one around that liked them, and I was happy with leaving it at that. It was hard to be totally annoyed though because Sheila looked so pretty in her green dress, and she was the kind of redhead that I always loved.

I had a hard time loving her in weeks to come, though. She would order the same thing I did every time we’d go out to eat. The other problem was that she seemed to have gotten rid of her green dress in favor of a black one. I suppose she wanted us to match because I always wore black, but I just did that because I didn’t know what else to wear.

Sheila understood fashion and was very visual. Mostly, she did artwork, and I was relieved when she decided to spend one weekend just working on a project while I went off and found a few music stores I had never been to. The problem was, I didn’t like what Sheila created over the two day period.

The damn thing bothered me the minute I saw it.  She’d made a papier-mâché mask of my face. I hated it. I didn’t even like it the first time she showed me it in her apartment. The damn thing sure looked like me and it was horrible when she put it on and started laughing. I just stood there looking at her with her black dress and the mask and the poster of The Motels she had on her wall behind her.

Imitation may be a form of flattery. My friends kept saying I didn’t get the joke. They also said if she took the mask off, she was a pretty girl and that I should just get used to it. That was impossible though because things got weirder and weirder with her.

The strangest outing we had was when I tried taking her to see a movie and she insisted on wearing the mask in the car. I was so upset that I couldn’t stand it. Plus, every time I looked at her, she’d just start cracking up.

I wasn’t laughing the next day when I heard a knock at the door. I had a package delivery, a gift from Sheila I just wanted to break. It was a giant mirror for my apartment.

© 2011 John Kujawski

John has interests that range from guitars to the Incredible Hulk. You can find some of his other stories on websites such as Flashes in the Dark and The Fringe Magazine. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and still lives there to this day. You can hear him on the weekly podcast at

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