Yes, you're eyes aren't playing tricks on you, it IS me... i was surprised as well when this shortie fic just popped out, but anyway-a huge thank-you toFae (from Eric and Fae) who pushed me into writing a Glinda scene (conclusion- you can NEVER write one scene without having a whole fic at hand...) and of course to msgalinda, my swankified and faithful beta reader!

enjoy... and review... please? LOL

yours, T.M

Masquerade

title taken from A. L. Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Glinda's character belongs to L. F. Baum

Glinda took in the familiar surroundings; the castle-like vine draped buildings, the trees that were probably as old as Oz itself, the great lawns that were loaded with students on their lunch break… Shiz University was at its best in springtime. It had been a known fact for years. Glinda could hardly believe that she was back there, and as the guest of honor of all things. It was the university's 300th anniversary, and she had to be there, as the present ruler of the country, but most importantly, as a former student. She was a model for the young and ambitious students. Everyone wanted to be like her, and why wouldn't they, really? She was, after all, Glinda the Good, the ruler of Oz. She was beautiful, popular and worshipped, she had a wonderful family, and she was practically perfect. There was no doubt about that.

Glinda slowly followed her husband, who was walking along the path which lead to the main offices. They were engaged in a light conversation about their children and the fine weather. Glinda took an active part of the conversation, yet she was very much distracted. The campus hadn't changed much since her graduation. It was still as breathtaking as she remembered it. There were so many people there… all these young faces… her gaze wandered from one group of students to another, until it fixated on something farther on their path… and it made her freeze on the spot.

Two young girls, students probably. They were walking arm in arm along the same path that she and her husband took. They walked slowly, as if nothing else existed but the two of them. Once in a while, one of them would throw her head back in a wild laughter. Glinda was completely transfixed by the familiar image. She closed her eyes as memories flashed through her mind.

Everything else faded away, and the two girls were suddenly different from the girls on the path. They became familiar. One was petite and blonde; the other was much taller, and green. They were Elphaba and herself, on their way to that class or another.

Oh, Elphaba…

She thought about Elphaba a lot lately, for a reason she couldn't quite explain. It had been nearly two decades since their ways had separated so abruptly; since Glinda lost her again after she had just got her back. From time to time, she was still amazed at how fast the green woman became such an important part of her life. She couldn't even tell exactly when it happened. She did know that she had a special place for Elphaba in her heart, and it would always be there. No one would ever fill that place. Never. It was Elphaba's forever. All that was left for Glinda were faint memories, glimpses of their long gone past. As the years went by, the memories slowly faded, but her yearning for Elphaba became impossibly stronger, like nothing she had felt before. It was even beyond tears. It made her so upset at times, so unlike her usually cheery self, that she was afraid that split in her personality would make her go mad eventually. She became a master in concealing her true emotions behind a thick Galinda mask while she was attending public events and giving her famous "good conquers evil" speech. The truth was, that deep in her heart, she was still mourning Elphaba.

She was secretly mourning Elphaba for nearly 20 years, she suddenly realized.

And she got pretty tired from hiding it.

She opened her eyes to stare at the two girls again. They looked so carefree and naïve; it nearly broke her heart because she knew better. They still believed in goodness as it was, whereas she knew that there was no such thing as pure goodness. She doubted there was even something as close to goodness at all. As far as Glinda was concerned, goodness was an illusion, a children's fairy tale. It flashed in front of her eyes when she was merely a child herself. It forced her to grow up so fast, faster than she realized at the time. She could not allow that to happen to them, she would not allow it, she had to tell them, she had to…

Her husband's voice put an abrupt end to her reverie. They'd better hurry, he said, the reception was about to start. Glinda slowly nodded, and managed a small approving smile. When she looked at the path again, the two girls were no longer there.

They would learn the hard way, she told herself as she kept following her husband. Just as I did.

As he opened the door for her, her cheerful mask was already plastered on her face. That time it was a little more difficult, though. Glinda was tired of pretending. She felt terribly old all of a sudden, as they walked along the endless halls. She felt haunted by the ghosts of her past.

Nessarose… and dearest Fiyero… and Elphaba… all gone forever.

And she was left behind to grieve.

At least, she thought as she entered the headmistress' office, she still had some memories.