Do you remember that night?
It was the night you heard me crying.
I had curled into a ball and was trying to muffle my sobs with my pillow. I was shaking, trembling, and my skin was cold even as my hair became sticky and wet with tears. My face was hot and blotchy, and I crinkled up my eyes in an effort to keep from crying. Instead, crystalline droplets formed on my lashes, although I was too upset to notice it then.
I kept shivering. It seemed like I could never get warm, even though I was wearing long cotton pajamas. I rubbed my hands against one another. I could only feel how cold they were.
And then you came in.
You had heard me crying, and you sat down by me, looking at me gravely and seriously. You seemed to see so much sadness in me, because you scrutinized my face very carefully. You wouldn't let me turn away.
You looked at me, and gradually my sobs quieted. I took great gulps of air, breathing heavily and unhappily. Then I finally met your eyes, tears glittering on my eyelashes.
You stood up, and without a word, left my room.
I miss you now. Where is the little boy who comforted me? The little boy who looked at me so gravely, so queerly, with such an odd sense of knowledge?
I can't find you inside the gaunt, stern exterior you present to the world. Or the dandified, cocky attitude you convey when you've decided to be social. I don't know where you've gone, and you don't recognize me. And it hurts me to see you that way, because you look so desperately unhappy, or so frighteningly jovial- that I wonder whether you're living, or are just killing yourself slowly.
I look at you and wonder where you are. Because I remember you, not as you are now, but as you were- the night you heard me crying.