I used to know this girl. She always walked with a limp. Down the hallways at school, across the quad at college. Everywhere she went, she was limping.

I thought (along with plenty of others, I'm sure) that it was just from an old injury no one knew about. It was something everyone just kind of ignored because no one knew what to say.

Some of the meaner people called her "broken" or "crippled." I took offense to that for her, sticking up for her and trying to make her my friend. I partnered with her in class, talked with her in the hallway, and invited her over often.

I never really saw her smile. She always looked sad or lost. I tried to figure out what made her so sad, but she didn't let me in.

All I ever knew was that she'd had a hard life, but she wouldn't talk about it.

They found her dead in her apartment yesterday, an empty bottle of sleeping pills at her side. I didn't understand why I never picked up on it before, but all along, she'd been dropping hints. She'd been telling the whole time that she was depressed and needed help, but just didn't know how to ask for it.

I've been reflecting on it since I found out, and I've come to the conclusion that her limp wasn't from a physical malady. It was her way of telling everyone that she was broken.

I guess all those jerks were right.