She watches me from the window sill, legs swinging back and forth, doll in her arms swaying with the movement.

It's a dead thing, the poppet, with broken eyes and ragged holes where the promises used to be. It never smiles; it's like her, in a way. The thing carries its strength in its misery, a wretched reticence in its stitches.

She stares again, that open-ended observation from wide, child-like eyes that sharpen in the dull moments in which she loses herself. The gaze lasts a moment, my own scrutiny colliding with hers.

But I remember. She knows me--how green I was before she found me. Sometimes I wish that I had screamed, run and expressed myself to the unknowing world until my throat was raw, and my words were dead with the embers. Then, maybe, she wouldn't have seen through me so well. That's how she finds you: through your silence.

I admire her, somehow, in her cruel determination. She wants to look the way she does, skeletal and angular—she's showing me how.

I'm done with my wretching, a warm convergeance of blood and bile. She drops down with a fragile, broken grace and takes my hand. We walk out of the bathroom together, Anny and I. I've got a long way to go, but as my hand in hers ceases to quiver, I realize her cold, strong stares are beginning to harden my soft insides.

She's showing me how.