She has been the sensitive, soft, sweet-hearted girl in the past. The girl who admitted how much she cared about a boy, and put all of her effort into making a relationship work with that boy, only to get screwed over in the end.
That heartbreak still haunts her. Every time she feels butterflies in her stomach around someone new, she is reminded of what happened the last time she felt that way. She hesitates to enter new relationships because the pain of her last love is still fresh in her mind.
Those past heartbreaks have turned her cold. Emotionless. Robotic. At least, that is what she wants everyone to think. That is the part she is trying to play.
She refuses to be the girl who swoons over a boy and daydreams about dating him during every second of the day. She refuses to put herself in such a vulnerable position again.
When she has strong feelings for someone, instead of admitting the truth, she will lie to everyone around her. Whenever she mentions him to her friends, she will act like he annoys her, like she can’t stand being around him, like she wants nothing to do with him.
Instead of flirting with him, she will be sarcastic with him. She will tease him. She will joke around with him. She won’t even realize that she is flirting with him, because she is also lying to herself.
She is pretending that she is stronger than the pull of love. That her heart is guarded with barbed wire and no one is getting through.
Of course, she cannot live that lie forever. Once she realizes she has feelings for someone, she isn’t excited about what the future could bring. She is disappointed in herself. She hates when someone has a hold over her. She hates knowing that another person has the power to make or break her day, to cause her to break into a smile or break down in tears.
She acts like she doesn’t care because it’s easier that way. She would rather hurt someone else than get hurt herself. She would rather push strangers away than allow them to become friends — or more than that — and then lose them somewhere down the line anyway.
She acts like she doesn’t care because then there is no chance of rejection. That way, she is not alone because someone turned her down. She is alone because she chose to stay that way.
She acts like she doesn’t care about the people who mean the most to her because she doesn’t want to care. She doesn’t want to get into another relationship — because she doesn’t think the highs are worth the lows. She doesn’t want to deal with another heartbreak, even if she gets a few months of happiness before then.
She acts like she doesn’t care because she doesn’t think she can handle any more pain — and she doesn’t want to test that theory to find out for sure.