Running into the room, slamming the door;
Tears running down my face
In uneven streams.
I cry there; on my bed, in my room.
Soaking the sheets with my tears.
I move slightly;
My hand brushes against something soft.
On instinct, I grab it, and cry into it's fuzzy woolen surface.
Raising my head, I look down into the face of it, of you: my companion, my comfort.
My bunny. I hug you hard as your button eyes rest against my neck; your faded white fuzz being pressed against me.
Your backside is damp as my tears continue to fall.
I pull you back; my swollen eyes examining you, as they have so many times in the past.
You've always been there, on my bed, waiting for me.
I sleep with you at night. Even though I'm 14 now.
Your facial features are faded and worn.
Your pink nose, once fuzzy, is now hard and rough and faded.
Your eyes are scratched.
Your mouth is still there, a smiling line of faint gray.
How is it that you're always able to smile?
How can you always be there, always supportive, always helpful?
But it's not a real smile I'm seeing. It's just painted on.
Like mine had been for 6 years.
Ever since I was 8, I stopped crying.
I kept my face in a smiling mask, refusing to change my expression.
I cried during my sleep, when no one was around.
They always told me what a nice, friendly girl I was.
But they didn't know that my smile wasn't real.
It was painted on, just like yours is.
I suppose we're a lot alike, you and I.
But today that mask broke. Right there, in front of everyone. I yelled, I cried, I threw things.
They were shocked. And so was I.
I was overwhelmed, and I broke my mask.
I had been hiding under it for too long.
After all, my smile was just painted on.
And eventually, paint wears off.
I suppose one day you won't be smiling anymore, either…
But by then, my smile will be genuine.
And I'll be there for you.