Stormy Sunlight

I knew a girl once. She had honey-colored hair, rich and shiny, and blue-gray eyes like the sea on a stormy day. She was always surrounded by a halo of energy, shining with eccentricity like the golden sun. She was strong and confident, and she was popular, but only to the right people- the ones who didn't believe in the masks teenagers wear to hide weak hearts, who were themselves and were proud of it. She just attracted everyone to her like a super-magnet, everyone wanted to be her friend and she would graciously accept their friendship, returning its full intensity. Those ones that were the "other" kind of popular, who weren't themselves at all, despised the likes of her, but secretly you could tell they admired her too, and were angry at themselves for not being in her world, where they could express themselves and be who they were. She would accept anyone's friendship if they were willing to accept hers. When you were angry or sad and you just wanted to blab about it for hours, you know, and everyone else couldn't stand to listen to it all the time, she would fix those stormy eyes on you and listen with all her heart, and she wouldn't interrupt because she would somehow understand that you just wanted to talk. And you could see through her big, blue-gray eyes that she really, really understood. And she did.

And when you'd get close to her, the whole world was shining down on you and you were beneath her ever-soaring wings, flying, flying, cradled in her love forever. And she'd tell you her deep secrets, while keeping yours deep within her heart and would never tell a soul, unless you told her she could.

One day you were with her, and something little happened- she heard a blast of some kind of music, read a certain sentence, was struck by a sudden e-mail- and she would back up against the wall and curl up into a little, little ball and she wouldn't let the world see, no one but you. And you would sit by and feel the anger and the tears wash up over you like a ten-foot wave, and she would spill words and tears for hours and hours and she was so, so sad and she would never understand why. And she would say deep, dark things that would frighten you so much, because you wouldn't understand and no one would understand. And you'd so want to help her but you couldn't, and all the power in the world couldn't bring her out of the dark, dark pit she lived in, behind the glowing person she was. And then she'd wipe her eyes and step out into the sunshine and put her big, all-conquering smile on, but it just isn't the same anymore, and when it fades you can see that she never really smiled, and when you look deep into those big eyes and you'd see them crying, crying deep down, like the rainy season in Africa only it lasted all year. And after you'd see her break down she never looks the same to you, even in her most brilliant and charismatic mood, 'cause behind that sunny smile is a world of black sadness that eats at the core of her being that she keeps inside… And sometimes when she hears or sees that little trigger you can see the clouds come over her eyes, but after a while she forces them away. But when it's happened too much it all bursts out again, you can see it in her eyes… you can see everything in her eyes, if you look hard enough. And you so, so wish you could help her but you know you can't, you couldn't, no one can… Because every word you say is nothing matched to the deep darkness she has inside her, and even your strongest belief will bounce back like a tennis ball against the Great Wall of China… The darkness that she shares only with those she finds That Something in, the something she keeps mentioning… something beyond your understanding but somehow you feel proud that she found it in you. She so wanted to help all the masked people she knew remove their masks and let the sadness and anger they hid behind it leak out, out like the ocean of tears she would cry for people she barely knew. And it's the tears and the anger and the crying and the dark and the sadness, the sadness, and all the black she keeps inside her, but when she's poured it out she closes up again and puts on her brilliant smile and goes out into the world, hiding her black sadness deep within her eyes, behind the dazzling white smile and the charisma and the rich honey-gold hair and the energy and confidence that shines like the golden sun.

A/N: Yes, the sentences are long, but I made them like that to emphasize the breathlessness of the person speaking and the helplessness she feels... I knew what I was doing...