Tearless

She had a love-hate relationship with her tears. Which really just symbolised her difficult relationship with emotions – well, any emotion that betrayed vulnerability. She did not fully comprehend tears. What purpose did it serve? Why, at their most emotional, do people leak from their eyes? It was laughable, perhaps ironically. She was proud of her inability to cry as often as most. Well, she found it difficult to understand, and often felt betrayed by it. So, she decided to claim it and learned to be proud.

But it wasn’t as simple as that either. The inability to cry made her feel alienated from people. They often decided that she was less affected by something than she truly was. She wasn’t going to argue to prove that she was indeed not made of stone and expose her vulnerability, so, she chose to go along with the forced facade. Yes, she felt nothing.

Interestingly, she also felt alienated from and misunderstood by her own body. It was as if her body refused to believe her. It too believed that she felt nothing. How could a statue of stone cry? It refused to let her leak from the eyes. As ridiculous and inexplicable she found the act, sometimes, she needed it desperately.

So, one evening, one thing led to another and she felt it coming. All the signs and impulses were there. Of course, she wouldn’t do it in public. The absolute horror! (Now, now. Don’t try explaining to one with social anxiety how things like “saving face” matter less than mental health.) So, she commenced the journey to her room, holding it in the best she could. Her eyes teared up and her breathing hurried. Excited and miserable, she blinked it away, walking fast. It was an auspicious ritual, arriving once in a blue moon. Great occasions such as these required the right place and the right time. At last, she reached her questionably-safe haven and turned in the lock.

And then, she found herself in a place, she had often found herself before – all through her childhood and later still. The feeling of being a child surfaced in her mind not simply because of the familiar memory, but also because she felt so small. She looked at herself in the mirror and a pair of dry eyes stared back. It had merely been a misleading thunder. No chance of rain. She sat there as the sun set, feeling utterly lonely. She felt rejected by people, but that was okay. The thing is, she was rejected by her own body yet again. The traitor deepened her sadness while denying it all the same. She curled up like a snail on the inside, trying to find some sort of a shell. On the outside, she sat still. Like a statue.

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