You’ll notice it when she’s fumbling her fingers or when her eyes don’t seem to glow. You’ll find there’s hurting, loneliness, or both when you see her staring blankly full of thoughts. You’ll see it when she keeps quiet and just nods along to your stories. You’ll hear it from her shaky voice she tries too hard to mask. You’ll see her smile disappear when she thinks you’re not looking. You’ll feel it in your gut even when she just starts speaking.
This is the girl who won’t say out loud that she’s not okay. This is the girl who would rather keep it to herself than tell you she needs your comfort. This is the girl that doesn’t want to burden you with her yammering or tell you that her thoughts are eating her up.
This is the girl who’s hurting. This is the girl who’s fighting everything but just had to take a break. This is the girl who tried to keep everything together, but somehow things fell through the cracks and she couldn’t take it all in. This is the girl who cries herself to sleep and hopes everything will be better in the morning.
This is the girl that needs a hug. This is the girl who needs you to hold her in your arms and just get lost in your scent for a moment. This is the girl that needs to know that at least one part of her life is still okay because it’s in your presence.
Let her go through it but keep her in your arms for however long it takes for her to redeem herself. Hold her, keep her close, listen to her if she talks, or just keep silent if that’s what it takes to soothe her.
But if you get the chance, tell her it’s going to be okay. Tell her it’s fine to let it all out in a cry. Tell her you love her. Tell her that you believe in her. Tell her you’re proud of her. Tell her that it’s okay to rest. Tell her that it’s all going to be worth it. Tell her you’ll be there for her no matter what and mean it.
She may just nod, or keep silent, or sob in between snots, but she hears you. She listens because you’re her stronghold. It’ll probably take a while before she calms down, because that’s also how long she tried to be strong until this point. Your words will make her feel like everything’s going to be just fine, even just for that moment. She will draw the strength knowing she has someone who will support her and catch her when things get rough. She is just the girl who had to pause to breathe, to stop what she was doing just to try and collect herself. She will sigh in relief, breathe, sob some more. But she will get back up on her feet, face reality, and stand her ground. She will be okay. And she needs you more than ever.