The Girl Who Couldn't Cry

Chapter One.

It's not that she wouldn't. She would, really, at all the right times, and maybe at some of the wrong times too. She would, if she could. But she couldn't, and this was her story.

It was a rare medical condition, and she had it from birth. The doctor who brought her out into this world noticed that even while the girl wailed and sobbed and screamed, she did not cry. Her little face had not tears, only the blood of her mother's birth.

This girl had no tears. To replace the natural cleansing properties of tears, doctors supplied her with a special solution of eye drops. Her mother remarked, when they dripped it for the first time into the baby's eyes, that it actually looked like she was finally crying.

Finally crying.

She grew up in a normal family household, with parents that loved her and no siblings to speak of. She had, however, several pets, all of which she was allergic to. Her mother would watch her sneeze and sniffle throughout many a spring allergy, and though her nose would redden and her face turn miserable, tears never squeezed out of her eyes.

She continued growing up, turning rebellious halfway through fifteen. Broken platters and screaming fights with her mother would escalate, until she would slam the door behind her on her way out, turning up the collar of her jacket against the biting cold. But she would not cry.

This girl realized, long ago, that if she could not shed tears, then she would show no weakness.

Though this does not mean that she never wanted to cry either.

It would well up in her, a familiar feeling to most of us, building up behind her chest and in her throat. It would deafen her, and for us, this is the time our vision would begin to swim with tears. For her, everything stayed clear and pristine and painfully sharp. These times, she would just close her eyes and block everything out.

We are lucky. Our tears do that for us.

Naturally, the fact that this girl did not cry made her quite a hit among her fellow peers.

Everyone cries. Everyone. From the chain-smoking bully in leather behind chain-link fences to the cafeteria ladies to the big Principal herself. Everyone was supposed to cry. Apparently, this girl was exempted from the rules.

Thus, she was now the butt of public torture.

It started out as a dare, then a bet, and finally, a cruel joke. To taunt her, tease her and yank on her hair. To throw cafeteria trays at her and post humiliating caricatures of her on the school bulletin board. To befriend her, date her, lead her on and then let all her hopes down after a few sweet weeks.

They all wanted to see her cry, an entire school of children her age.

But she didn't. After all, she couldn't. She would ignore the taunts, duck the cafeteria trays and ignore the spilled milk. She would take down the drawings, and throw them into the proper wastebasket. And as for the phony friends... well, she eventually learned how to live without friends.

Until he came along and caught her scratching at the tiles of the girls' bathroom, making choking noises while her nose slowly turned red.

He was captivated from the start.