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And she’ll lay down at night and wait for everyone to go to sleep, wait for the silence to feel heavier than her broken heart, and then she’ll cry. She’ll cry for every opportunity she had to say something and didn’t, for every time she denied herself and lost what she wanted in the end. She’ll cry until her throat is hoarse and her body is sore.

And then she’ll make herself some coffee, get ready for school, and face the world like she possesses the power of gods. She’ll smile at the one who broke her so he won’t know how damaged he made her, and she’ll maintain the courage to fight back the tears when they spring to her eyes at the mere thought of him and what they could have been. She’ll drive him home that afternoon and watch him disappear into a tiny speck in her rearview mirror, and she’ll punch the steering wheel and scream in agony and frustration and lust. She’ll compose herself in the driveway and walk into the house to tell her father she got stuck in traffic instead of in her emotions.

And then she’ll lay down that night. Wait for everyone to go to bed. For the silence to be heavier than her broken heart. And she’ll cry. For tearing herself apart inside with a vision of something that will never exist. For stoking the flames of a false hope just because it keeps her from the brink of insanity. She’ll cry until she’s dehydrated and exhausted. And then she’ll shower, wash away the guilt and the shame and the salt. And she’ll go to school to face him once again. And he’ll never realize what he did to her because she’ll smile at him. And she’ll hold back the emotions with a battered flood gate. Hold them back… just a little longer….

And she’ll lay down that night. Wait for everyone to go to sleep. For the silence to be heavier than her broken heart. And she’ll stare at the ceiling because she’s too far gone to cry, lost between a girlish fantasy of love and the cold reality of isolation. And she’ll get up to drive to school. And her hands will go numb as they press the gun into her temple. Click. Bang. Crash.

She’ll be lowered to her final bed that night. Black tie affair. A closed casket. And he’ll be there. Oh yes, he will be there. Because no, he didn’t know he broke her. But he understood all too well.

Because he was broken too.

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