I got my first chance to actually talk to Wraith the other day. I'd seen him before and exchanged a greeting or two, but never really had the chance to actually meet him.
Wraith is a blond guy with hair that's cut pretty short, at least compared to me and some of the other Masks. Medium length I guess. That length that you and your friends think looks great but that makes your parents and grandparents ask when you're getting it cut. He's got that "stick figure" build, quite a bit of height with long and gangly arms and legs. He wore a skinny pair of jeans and a shirt with a black and purple flannel pattern over a white t-shirt.
I heard the sound of an acoustic guitar playing from one of the bedrooms and knocked on the door, deciding to check it out. "Come in," came the voice. Wraith was sitting on the bed, guitar in hand. "Oh, hey Kenny."
"Hey. Wraith, right?"
"And your motif is...."
"The Quiet," he answered as I tried to remember. He started picking out some notes on the guitar again.
"That sounds really good. What song is that?"
"You wouldn't know it," he said. "I wrote it."
"Yeah. It's not finished, and I need to come up with lyrics yet. I think I have an idea, but I'm not sure yet."
I nodded and sat quietly, listening until he finished the song. "You're really good," I told him.
"Well, thanks. That means a lot. But I'm not that great. I mean, I try, but...there's always someone better. You know that feeling, right?"
He set the guitar aside. "It's just hard, especially in an industry like music where you've got so many great professionals. I listen to them and think 'man, if only I could play or sing like that.' It's tough, you know?"
"So you want to be a professional songwriter, then?"
He smiled. "I'd love it. I'm just worried it's never going to happen." He leaned back against the bed for a bit. "What do you know about the Quiet, Kenny?" he asked.
"Not too much. The Fear of nothing, right? It doesn't seem too bad." I realized who I had said that to. "Erm...sorry, I didn't mean it like that...."
"It's fine. I wouldn't expect you to understand. It's like...have you ever stared up into the night sky and seen all the stars, knowing that they're billions of miles away and knowing that something that far away is dozens of times bigger than the Earth? You know what I'm talking about, right? That small feeling you get?"
"Yeah, I...guess I do."
"Well, that's how I feel all the time. Like I'm insignificant. I'm just one person on this planet our of billions. What do I matter? What will I accomplish? Who's going to remember me after I'm gone?"
"I'm sure there are people who'll remember you. I will."
"And what about when you're gone? We're all just temporary, Kenny. I'm sure you could name a lot of...say, the founding fathers of America. And you could look more up. But who else from that era do you know? Writers, politicians, some musicians...they all get remembered. George Washington is going to live forever in the memories of every single American. But those regular people? Who are they? They're nothing. They're gone. They're lost to the void." He sighed and shrugged. "I'm nobody, Kenny. And that's what terrifies me. The fact that I'll spend my life as nobody."
Something that Lily always used to say popped into my mind, and I repeated it for Wraith. "I've never met anybody who's nobody."
"Thanks, Kenny. That's...very optimistic and idealistic of you." He picked up his guitar again. "You can stick around and listen to me practice if you want to. If not...I guess I'll talk to you later."
"I'm going to talk with a few other people," I told him. "But I'll see you around."
He nodded and waved as I slipped out the door. "Thanks, Kenny."