Her chest heaves as she sits in her room, trying to silence the sound of her sobbing. She doesn’t want anyone to know; not yet. Crying is painful, sometimes more so than the actual emotional pain that causes the tears to flow. Her stomach hurts, and a headache forms at the base of her neck as the tears continue to run down both cheeks, cutting through her makeup like knives.

She hears a knock on her door.

“Honey?” her mom asks, “Are you okay in there?”

“I’m…fine,” she replies. Her raspy voice raises a couple of notes on the word ‘fine.’

The door opens a crack and her mom steps inside. Mom sees the tears, and swiftly and gracefully glides to the bed to throw her arms around her daughter.

She buries her face in her mom’s embrace, and fully lets her emotions pour out. She and her mom sit on her bed for a long time, long enough for her tears to dry and her headache to subside a bit.

“Do you want to talk about it?” her mom asks.

“I don’t know if I can. It just hurts so much. I’m so confused.”

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