In Between The Lines

I saw her for the first time some years ago. She was a bright little girl, filled with enthusiasm and vigour, ever-so-ready to take on the world. There was something about her-the charm or the confidence-I couldn't decide, something made her irresistibly admirable. She was jovial and optimistic, a walking factory of happiness-always smiling and spreading love.

Years later, I saw her again. She was taller and woman-like now but her face hadn't changed much. She smiled when she saw me, but it didn't reach her eyes. She looked glum.
Is everything okay? I wanted to ask but she immediately looked away and my eyes fell on her bare arm. There were cuts- some fresh and deep, others were just scars, mere black lines mocking at her skin, proudly, as they stood out prominently. I was taken aback. Why would she hurt herself?
She saw that I saw and covered her arm instantly, with the other hand and signalled to me that it was nothing. Was it, though?
This time, she courageously looked at me and faked a smile again. That's when I noticed the dullness in her eyes. There was no light in them; neither the charm nor the confidence. Black, lifeless and hopeless.
I couldn't help but feel pity. What had all these years done to the chirpy girl I used to know?
Why? I whispered and she smirked. You would never understand, she conveyed.
And I could sense dark clouds descending through the poignant sky. My gut started to churn, telling me I should run away.
Only I didn't. I stood there and watched, as the lady infront of me started to cry. And the tears decorated her morose face, as they shone under the moonlight. Pain was beautiful in it's own way.
And I could feel hers. She extended a hand, as if asking for help and I moved mine forward hoping she'd take it. But something was holding both of us back.
The hollowness in my heart screamed as she fell to the ground, begging helplessly to make the pain go away. And I felt it, all of it- the heaviness in the chest, the dryness in my throat, words struggling to get past my vocal cords and choking on my breath- and none of it made sense.
Her pain occupied the voids in me and slowly I was as shattered as her-colors faded away, sucked out of spirit-maybe that's what a dementor's kiss felt like.
And I could no longer endure it. Why was she doing this to me? I wanted to shout, but my body didn't help. How could I help her when I couldn't help myself?
The last thing I saw was her dead pair of eyes, parted lips trying to say something, as I punched the mirror in front of me with the strength that I had.
And as the shards of glass chimed against the floor, I heard her voice echo-
Why did you do this to me?
Slowly, as the grains of powdered glass pierced through my knuckles, for the first time I realised I didnt have an answer.


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