Yeah, you. Don't give me that look. I'm just talking to you, amn't I? You look sad, and I thought telling you I'm sad too would help. Or that everyone around you is crying secretly.
I know that your life is hard, but you're not the only one with some heartbreak. Everybody has some thing that they keep locked inside, something that breaks them down.
Don't believe me?
Fine. Let me tell you some stories.
See that girl over there? The pretty one with the blonde hair and blue eyes, small nose, tan skin? Carrying her math book, talking to a small posse of laughing girls? They're heading for the benches, and they're smiling like they don't have a single worry. She's one of the popular girls, isn't she? Therefore, she must be the happiest girl on earth.
Actually, she's not.
Look at her. She's skinny, right? A bit too skinny. You can count her ribs, can't you. It's because of what her mother said.
She called her fat, you know. That girl took it to heart, and she's starving herself. Have you ever seen her eat lunch? She sits and smiles and pretends she's just fine, she's just not hungry at the moment. Breathing is hard for her, and even walking exhausts her. She's not going to eat, however. She can't afford to get fat, because then her mom will make fun of her again. She has to pretend she's happy, so she does.
That boy. Him, with the red hair and brown eyes, and really pale skin. He's a jock, good at running. Decent grades, funny, loud, everyone loves him. The class goof, the one who can make anyone laugh.
He's the product of a fling his mother had. His adoptive father hates him, his mother cries at the sight of him, his sister blames him because because of him, their family is falling apart. His parents are filing for a divorce soon, his sister doesn't talk to him. He cries himself to sleep every night, trying to reassure himself he couldn't control it. But it doesn't work, and every day, he puts back on a mask to lie to everyone around him, even if he doesn't know he's doing it.
That other boy. Blonde hair with brown lowlights, green eyes, a nose on the big side, freckly. He's tall, and reading a Dungeons and Dragon book, standing by the doorway, trying to tuck himself into a corner where he won't be seen. His clothes sag on him, but he's slightly chubby. His skin is pale, like he never goes outside.
He doesn't have any friends, really. He spends his time gaming and pretending. People don't see that to him, games are real, and something that he can connect with. He doesn't do much on weekends. Sits there at his computer and plays on line. He doesn't go outside or hang out with someone, because everyone makes fun of him.
When asked by people if he's okay, he gives them a grin, holds up his book, and says just daydreaming, because daydreaming is the only escape he has.
And that girl. Over there, in the baggy white t-shirt and dark jeans. Her hair's a messy brown-gold, tied into a ponytail at the back of her neck. Gray-blue eyes, a small scar on her nose which is covered in freckles. She's reading a copy of New Scientist, and she's built with muscle, not so much as petite as strong.
She puts on the hard untouchable act, like nothing you say will have any affect on her. She laughs and talks and smiles, but she doesn't want to be here. She doesn't like social events, because people make her nervous. She's use to them yelling at her or telling her that they hate her. She doesn't know how to act around anyone because she's used to doing things on her own. She says she likes people, but in all reality, they scare her, because if you get too close, they'll break you. And she doesn't want to get hurt any more.
She doesn't know where her fear comes from. She's been a loner since kindergarten, and she's jealous of anyone who can form a bond with someone without breaking it as abruptly as she's broken the ones she has had. She doesn't know how to react to anything that involves people.
And that girl, sitting by the New Scientist girl. Dark brown hair, brown eyes, freckled skin, glasses. She has an open face, although right now it's carefully blank. She has good grades, and her athletic ability is high. She's very thin, and muscular. Dark bags underline her eyes.
Her brother is a druggie and a drunk, even though he's only fourteen. He's already been arrested three times, and her parents fight every other night. She and New Scientist girl are friends in a vague sense, because they can share what happens when the family's mad. She acts like it doesn't matter, like she doesn't care, but it's breaking her up. She really loves her brother.
The strain of pretending she's just fine is wearing down her mental health, and she suffers from bad headaches because of it. She's exhausted. Her family yells for most of the night. She studies during this time, trying to drown out the noise. Her grades are so good because of it, but is it worth it?
Their secrets are not as big as some. They are not beaten, they are not deprived from almost anything, they don't even cry until the strain forces them too.
But it's big enough that it's hurting them, big enough that their hearts are forever damaged in some way. The thin blonde will have damaged her health for life because she's not eating now. The jock boy will refuse to get close to anyone. The gamer will be lost in a world where he's accepted and no one can touch him. The loner girl's never going to learn how to deal with people. The brunette will no longer remember her family with any fondness.
Yes, you've got a sad story. It's killing you to keep pretending you're happy, but you're not the only one. Everyone has something that they keep hidden, a part of them they don't let anyone else see.
I'm not saying you should write your story off as unimportant. Everyone's heartbreak is important, because it's defining us. Not it itself, but how we deal with it.
The blonde girl will eat soon. The jock will find someone who loves him no matter what happened to his family, maybe reconcile with his sister. The gamer will find someone, eventually, who can talk to him about his games and have fun with them. The loner may someday learn that not everyone is out to hurt her. The brunette's brother will realize what he's doing someday, and his parents will forgive him.
It's easier to handle these heartbreaks if you're willing to move past them. Just let them go. Or not let go, but learn from them.
People will help you if you let them, after all.
And if you want...I'll listen.
Because I cry too. I laugh so hard my sides ache. I dance when there's a song I love playing. I blast music until someone yells at me to turn it down. I sit in my backyard and watch the sunset paint the sky the most fantastic colors. I call up my friends and invite them to the movies or to go swimming. I cry at sad movies, I laugh so hard I choke when I read something funny.
And I'm sure you do the same. Or something close to it.
I never spoke to you before, and you never talked to me. We passed by each other, and we never noticed each other's pain, or anyone else's for that matter.
So why am I sitting here, talking to you?
I'm hurt too. Maybe not as badly as you are, or maybe I was hurt worse. It doesn't really matter. I'm healing. It's a slow process, but I'm healing. I'm never going to be completely fine, but no one ever will be.
I'm not saying we should be best friends or something. But if there's something you need, someone to listen, someone to help with something, or just someone to talk to, I can listen. Because it's not fair if only a few people learn that they're not alone in this.
Recess is almost over. Are you going to forget this conversation, or will you remember it? Please don't just write it off. Someone said something similar to what I've told you a while ago. Many people have. And they told me their stories. They weren't alright either.
But they worried for me. They cried for me. They laughed about things with me. They taught me to smile, without forcing it. Because if I forced it, they knew that I was lying, and the whole process of listening, and crying, and helping would start all over again.
Even those people, the one's who's stories I've told you. They will be helped, or already getting helped. The beautiful blonde's friends are noticing her weakness. They're packing her favorite foods into their lunches. Look, one of them is offering her a brownie. She's smiling as she takes it, and slowly bites into it. She chews it, swallows her bite, then takes another. Her friends give each other small smiles as she finishes it, and then offer her a blueberry muffin, which she accepts gladly.
And the jock. Look at him. His sister's running up to him, holding his lunchbox in her hand. He must have forgotten it. He's giving her a sheepish smile as he takes it, and she hits the side of his head affectionately. She's smiling as she turns away. Maybe she doesn't hate him as much as he thinks she does.
And the gamer. Over there. Some guys are asking him for advice on how to beat a game. He's grinning as he talks, and they're all laughing and smiling. One of them slaps the gamer on the back and both of them laugh.
Loner girl. A bunch of little kids just ran up behind her and covered her eyes from behind. She's trying to guess who they are. She's smiling as the kids shriek with laughter when she guesses wrong. Some older girls follow behind the little ones, and as they pry the smaller kids off, they apologize to the loner. She smiles, says it's nothing, and then asks them about what they thought of last night's history reading.
The brunette is listening in on the conversation between the loner and the other girls. She looks slightly sad, when suddenly one of them turns to her and asks her her opinion. She blinks, a bit startled, before saying that she liked the reading, but there was so much of it. They laugh and begin a story of what happened during class last week.
See, they're all smiling. Their healing process has started. It was small nudge, but it was something. I think they'll only get better.
They were fallen angels, broken and crying in the snow. They were lost in an utterly frozen wasteland, their wings broken, their halos cracked in half. Tears streaked their cheeks.
But the sun began to shine. Snow melted. Their wings are still broken and trailing on the ground, their halos hanging limply on their heads, but they're watching the sky, not the ground. Their wings are healing, and although they're still crying softly, they're smiling.
They fell. They might continue to fall. But they might also heal and go back to flying towards the sky and reaching for the bright sun.
Don't fall. Go back to flying. And don't look down.