there was a little girl
with brown hair and green eyes.
when she was very young,
her family seemed broken,
and she became very quiet.
before long, she was able to forget
and as she became older,
she began to talk again.
she began to read,
and everyone told her she was gifted.
she could read far above her age
and she could easily retain knowledge
and could even infer things she had never read at all.
her family protected her
and kept her safe always
and yet, she was so sheltered
that she did not learn to survive
and as she grew older
others found her smart
clever beyond her age
but she was reserved,
and once more,
she became quiet
the world was confusing
and especially people
and she worried every time she spoke
that her words would be taken
in a wrong, hurtful way
she was afraid of being judged
but had nothing to be judged for.
amidst all this,
the girl was lost.
she did not know where she would go,
or what she would do,
or how she would make a difference.
when she seemed most lost,
she met a boy.
the boy was also alone,
and struggled with his words,
and feared being judged.
she did not notice him at first,
but he vied for her attention,
and soon enough,
the two admitted their love.
they grew closer and closer
and the girl finally felt,
for once in her life,
she had something to live for
someone to care about
and she finally found hope in the lonely dark.
she decided, on her own,
that she would do anything for him,
and would try her hardest to keep him safe,
and to give them both a life.
as she grew older still,
her resolve never wavered.
she faced many trials
learned things she never thought she could,
and overcame her own weaknesses
and made them her strengths
all in the pursuit of the happiness
she envisioned with the boy,
in some distant future,
that seemed not so far away.
she was finally proud of herself,
and became more confident with her words
and stopped worrying about being judged.
but she felt something was wrong.
she felt her soulmate was keeping something from her,
and when she asked, he fell silent, every time.
she screamed and yelled and asked what was wrong
because she only wanted to help, to understand
but he said nothing.
and every sleepless night
she would finally find respite
and say she was sorry,
and that it was her fault
the feeling never left her
but her infatuation kept her from realizing
that the fear was well justified
and she had known the truth all along,
but refused to accept it
because the hope of that future
could not ever be replaced
without losing something of herself.
when the little girl had finally found her way
and had overcome her struggles,
and became something greater
than she had ever once thought she could
the boy disappeared.
she asked after him and asked his friends,
and asked anyone she thought might know him
and know where he went or that he was safe,
mostly that he was safe. only that he was safe.
she met another, who echoed her concerns
but in the same manner,
that this person loved him too,
and she realized,
as the other did,
what had happened.
the girl, stricken in grief
over knowing her hope was gone,
lost as fast as it had sparked,
knowing things would never be the same,
finally found the boy again.
she told him she knew,
and she had accepted it,
but she wanted to know why.
he admitted everything,
and she believed him when he said
he did not think he was good enough
to be a partner to someone like her
and had fallen into his lies and deception
to stay with her for just a little longer
he was on the street,
and he had given up,
but she had not.
she was now stronger,
and she saved him from himself,
and despite the wrongs he had committed,
she still stretched her own willpower
as far as it could go
to save his life and keep him safe,
because despite shattering her heart,
and leaving it broken,
she still loved him,
if not as a life partner,
as they would never be, and never could be,
but as someone who had proven
that she could be loved
she still felt he had helped her overcome herself.
unable to bear him any longer,
she asked him to leave, for good
she did not want any repayment
she did not want him to have debt
she simply wanted him to move on
and find a better life, and to be honest
to himself, and to those he knew
and she hoped her kindness
would help the boy change
but she would never know for sure
because he was gone forever.
as her pain worsened and corrupted her,
she finally was unable to bear
seeing the dream she once had
broken and lost over and over,
painful and excruciating
in a place she wanted to call home
that instead became a prison
of her own self-deception
so, the little girl began to wander
in dreams and in flesh
and she found peace in nightmares
and sought dysphoria and introspection,
dancing with Alice and singing with Tina,
because she had lost so much of herself
she felt she had to journey to reclaim what was lost.
she searched every nook,
high and low,
but found nothing
and ran out of hope in the process.
after journeying as far as she could go,
she collapsed, and gave up.
she fell on her back,
and stared at the stars,
and wondered how she could possibly live
without the idea of him, not of what was, but what she hoped for.
but she knew it was over, and her dreams were gone
she stood up, one more time
and met her family again.
but this time, her fears were realized
they were broken, moreso than her
and with all she had learned
she could finally see it
and realizing this,
she knew she could not go home
and that there was nothing for her there
but she knew better.
she met many more people as she wandered
now aimless, and often kowtowing
to those she did not care for or respected.
she began to listen
and to hear their cries,
and their anxieties,
and their worries,
and their dreams,
and their fears.
and she realized
that all these people
were just like her.
they all had the same problems
the same anxieties,
the same worries,
the same dreams.
her final weakness had been conquered
and she understood others
often better than they understood themselves.
they were all a step behind
they still worried about and misunderstood
the intentions and assumptions of others
while to her, it seemed obvious.
and as the little girl listened and helped
and brought peace and comfort to many souls
who had no other way to find it,
she had forgotten about herself
and she began to slowly slip further and further
away from who she was, and away from who she wanted to be
until she found herself giving everything to help others
and never once helped herself.
when asked how she knew their worries so well
and could explain their fears and doubts
with such clarity and ease
she said she had felt it all before
many, many times
and rather than be defeated by them
she reflected, and pondered
and wondered why she felt this way
and with her gifts, of language and reason,
she could put her feelings to words
but never for herself, only for others
because she needed a catalyst to bring this talent to bear.
the girl became more world-weary
and became more alone
as her gifts were temporary and ephemeral
and she lost those she helped
she never became angry, or discouraged
she knew they had their own lives,
and she was satisfied if they had, even a little
appreciated her time, and her thoughts
which had all come from pain, and strife
that she had been able to survive.
as she lost the last of her friends
and lost the last of her hope
and finally crumpled, in a sorry state
and found her own strength wanting
after carrying so many others on her back
and after all that had happened,
and after all she had done,
and after all she had endured,
thinking of everyone she hurt,
everyone she helped,
every heart she broke,
and those who had broken hers
she finally found
somewhere in herself
the courage she had thought she lost long ago
and let herself cry.