“Why are you sad?” she asked the boy huddled in the corner. He gave her no verbal response; instead he tucked himself even farther into the corner.
“I-I can help you.” The girl offered. She didn’t know what to say, but she knew she wanted to help him.
He stared back at her. Or at least, she thinks he was staring. It was hard to see his eyes through the small slits between the hair that hung over his face. He didn’t move. She didn’t either. Like statues they were, not one of them budging.
Her, begging to help him.
Him, not budging in reply.
“Why won’t you let me help you?”
“It’s hard to explain.” He said in a voice that came out as a rasp. She jumped at the sound of it, he hadn’t spoken in days.
“Well . . . You could at least try to explain. And I’ll try my best to understand.”
“I don’t know the words. I don’t know how to explain. I’ve tried to explain this before. I’ve tried. I’ve tried. Again and again I’ve tried. But no one’s been able to help. Do you know how exhausting that is? How exhausting it is to feel this bundle of vicious emotion inside you and not be able to explain it to someone? Heck, to not even be able to understand it yourself? I don’t understand myself. I don’t know myself. I don’t know how to once and for all get out of this death pit.”
Now it was her turn to remain quiet. She tapped her brain, reaching into the depths of it. Searching for a reply, searching for one that was well worded. Well enough to convince him he wasn’t alone.
“Yes.” She finally said.
His expression softened and eyes grew wide, but only for a second. “What?”
“Yes.” She began to explain. “I do know what that’s like. Yes, I do know how exhausting it can be. Do you think you’re the only one? Of course, this is different depending on the person. But in the end, isn’t it all the same?”
“What do you mean?”
“We all feel that way. Every person on the earth has felt that way. For some it’s a short phase, while for others it lasts for days.”
The boy uncurled himself a little. He leaned forward, “How do they deal with it?”
“They find their medium. Some people find it comforting to talk to others. Some enjoy being alone, either at home or exploring the world on their own. Some listen to music, others write it. There are those who write poems or stories. Others paint or draw. They all may feel the same things, but the way they express it is completely unique.”
He stared at her for a moment, then looked to his clasped hands. He seemed to study them for a while. In the smallest voice possible, without looking up, he asked, “What’s mine?”
She smiled to herself, feeling satisfied that she was able to reach him. Able to help him realize that the road to brighter days was right in front of him, he just hasn’t noticed it yet.
“Well,” she began, stepping closer to him, “I guess we’ll have to figure that out.”