A/N: So, I wrote this on a whim. Sorry for the errors, I haven't written an essay for ages and I didn't review this. So, yeah, it's like a draft. I'm really sorry. Please don't kill me.

Not Crying Yet

By: Feyerah Klydell Evvs

I turned sixteen. People would've thought I've turned into a young lady—that a bud has finally bloomed into a rose—but in real life not every sixteen-year-old female feels that way, on the contrary, most sweet sixteens don't get to experience it sweet enough. Yes, I fell in love, got my heart broken, found a goal, tried my best, and struggled to be feminine (yes, struggled, but that's beside the point), but I'm not sure if it was a sweet-sixteen life. When I turned sixteen, falling in love and trying to be pretty were phenomena too normal for all ages to attribute it only to 'sixteen'. What made my sixteenth year of existing significant was that it was the period in my life where I changed—not into a sweet young lady, for sure.

It was a few weeks after my birthday. I and my mother were bickering again before I set off for school. The last thing I wanted to have as a daily souvenir from home to school was a morning sermon. It was around that time when my mother didn't seem to trust me any longer, and for the most part, it was all about my studies. During those days, we would frequently fight. People might say that it would be bothersome to respond, that I should not just mind what my mother was saying.

Well, I'm terribly sorry. I had (and still have) two ears that I couldn't just help overhearing things not so discreetly said aloud for me to hear, and some words would just struck nerves. Not saying anything back would be a total humiliation to the other party, because in the very least, you must be able to get your point across clearly, no matter civil means necessary and effective. In the first place, communication is the primary key to untangling a misunderstanding, even if that means shouting back at your mother. It's not like I lost my respect for her (heck, I wouldn't be writing this and calling her 'Mother' if that were the case). It is because she is my mother that I had to clear up things to her—to make her understand me, and believe in me. What am I as a daughter if I could not even get my point across? What will people call her if she would just go on living without even knowing what I feel? If a conversation can't set things right and I need to yell, why shouldn't I? At least the outcome is way better than her giving me a cold shoulder and losing faith in me for all eternity. Trust me, you'll feel like a walking zombie that way.

Like I said, we fight during mornings, and it's especially worse during Mondays. I cried in the passenger seat of our old pick-up, and my father, feeling sorry for me, gave me a hanky as he drove me to school. He knows how bad I felt to have someone lose faith in me. The other side might have felt that she was betrayed, but I actually felt betrayed as well. Was the bond between a parent and child so easy to overcome with a few suspicions and assumptions that they'd so easily stop believing in either? Perhaps she didn't trust me enough, or loved me enough. The thought was actually so scary and frustrating that I didn't stop crying until I arrived at school—or rather I wouldn't have stopped crying had I not arrived.

It was a freaking Monday. Don't you just hate Mondays? How ironic is it that Sundays are so lovable for serving as rest days and yet you get hellish Mondays just right afterwards? Add a serving of morning sermon to a Monday, and it just kills the whole week. A few of my classmates actually saw me—me and my red bulging eyes! I was planning on skipping flag ceremony and getting ahead to the classroom. Just my luck, I wasn't the only one who wanted to save myself from hearing tired, bored, and unenthusiastic voices singing the national anthem and reciting the oath in a dull manner. What could you expect? Even an elite high school can have smart-alecks who proceeds with their own life in the way they want. Aside from these people, a few of my female classmates were tasked to clean the classroom early morning, so they were practically excused (or rather, no one bothers about attendance when you're in senior year). Quite a number saw my wretched state. It's not like this was the first time I arrived at school in a miserable state due to crying, it's just that this day, my eyes were especially noticeably red and puffy—and I know that because the side-mirror from our pick-up car was my personal vanity mirror. During previous instances, my eyes would be better as I enter the classroom, so nobody noticed—or so I thought.

A female classmate of mine was cleaning the stairs to our classroom (yes, stairs, our classroom was especially big, occupying a whole floor which could actually accommodate two classrooms). She was a kind person. We were not totally close that time, and I cannot say were friends, but she was sweet and gentle, and I didn't hate her. I didn't hate anybody, but I don't particularly have friends. I'd consider my classmates that time as acquaintances, but I didn't particularly have anyone to talk to like friends do because I was….

Well, they thought I was weird—if you ask me, our batch was pretty much weird enough, though. I don't know what you'd call a weird girl when you're part of a group of weird individuals. It's not that bad, though. I technically get along with anyone, but I had no particular friends. Maybe the label 'weird' just stuck to me because I decided it was a waste of my time to do something about it (I mean, who cares?), and people might've thought they were normal and popular and pretty and cool but, in the end, everyone was pretty much weird—by the way, two-thirds of our batch are actually geniuses, and you know what they say about geniuses.

So there, weird student with puffy eyes ascending the stairs toward the classroom, and kind and cute classmate sweeping the steps. When she turned to my direction, I was actually surprised when she asked me, "What happened?" The concern in her voice was unmistakable. She hates acting; she couldn't act so I know she was really concerned. It was really unbelievable. I mean, not everybody talks to me, not that people avoid me, though. It was just…well, a friend could ask you that in the same way, but I never really had friends. We were just classmates. We knew each other, and we don't hate each other—just civil—but she was actually concerned.

I told her nothing was wrong, that everything was normal—well, that's partly true, at least five days a week, we have bickering sessions at home, so it's pretty normal. I just smiled at her and told her I was just being dramatic. She didn't ask any further, but she did smile at me. (Just to let you know—not that you care—she has become my best friend.)

Next, a hyper-active male classmate who decided to save himself from the flag ceremony agonies descended from the stairs. He was a lively person. A very, very, weird person if you ask me, but he was also nice to most people (hah, he hates some), and he's very social (way different from an introvert like me). He had many friends, and he annoys teachers and pisses off a few people, but he's just like a smart-ass naughty grade-schooler in a teenager's body. Oh and yeah, he's quite popular. We were once closer acquaintances (no, not yet friends), but this time, we were just acquaintances. Civil. No hate. Just classmates. Despite that, as soon as he saw me, he asked, "Were you crying again? Crying this early in the morning?"

It struck me odd. "Were you crying?" was one thing, but adding "again" made it sound like he had always noticed when I get to school with puffy red eyes. On top of that, we had never been classmates until this year. I've been crying to school ever since high school began, and this year, it had been minimized. If he noticed, then did other students notice that I had been crying early in the morning, too? I gave the same reply, and I smiled.

So they did notice.

I wasn't practically close with anyone. I just come and go. I never thought I actually had a substantial presence that people would actually notice me—or at least my puffy red eyes. They knew something was wrong, but I wasn't particularly approachable enough (like I said, I was an introvert, and still am, in many cases). Perhaps they had also noticed how I always coped up with it as the day passes—because I stop crying when I get to school. At school, I didn't cry. They knew I was strong, and they couldn't have done anything.

I also realized, that even though we weren't so close, perhaps some people (especially the naturally kind and nice ones) were concerned. Whatever the case, when I graduated highschool, I stopped crying.

Whether it's a good thing, or a bad one, who knows? To date, the only times I cried were when my nightmares scare me, when my brother and I fight (yeah, we also have seasonal fights), and when I watch animes or dramas (or read mangas) that tug at my heartstrings. My mother and father still have their usual World War III battles, and it could sometimes be bloody (heh, you don't know the half of it), but I haven't cried for things like this. Have I lost the ability to cry for important things? Or perhaps, have I lacked emotions and became an outsider?

It's not like I don't want to cry—it's more like I can't. That time I may have no idea why, however, I'm already eighteen, and I've gained the ability of trying to understand my mother and other people. I'm not a psychologist, but I try my best to think why they act the way they do. So did I really become heartless? Am I pretending to be strong? Will I ever cry again?

Well, who knows? All I'm sure about is that, sometimes, trying to understand others and, at the very least, considering that their actions have reasons could lessen the burden on one's emotions. Keeping in mind that my classmates are living their lives the best they can to get the best of their youth, and understanding that my mother had been feeling so lonely and anxious what with us slowly trying to be independent, all of these things gave me no reason to cry.

Now that I think about it, in the end, our feelings were mutual.