The girl lay alone on the cot provided for her, sprawled on her side. Tears streaked her cheeks and her nose ran, making it difficult for her to breathe. She was gasping in air, the short, quick bursts barely enough for her lungs. She blinked and more tears fell down her face, her brief fit of sobbing coming to an end. The emotional pain she felt dulled, withering away into numbness.

It didn't matter if she hurt. It was her pain to bear, hers to deal with, not others. She didn't need to tell others she was hurting. What was the point, if all they were going to do was tell her to cheer up, or tell her she had "issues," or tell her "how do you think that makes her"—her being the girl's girlfriend, not the girl—"feel?"

Why couldn't she just feel how she felt and not be judged for it? Her girlfriend got to. Nobody asked her "How do you think that makes her"—her being the girl, not her girlfriend—"feel?"

Because the person asking the questions was on her girlfriend's side, because they were best friends. It didn't matter how the girl felt, so long as her girlfriend didn't feel bad.

But it didn't matter, really, because the girl didn't want to open up to anyone any more. All she had to do was look up and beckon one of them in. She knew they were on the other side of the glass, staring at her back. She didn't turn to face them. The best friend. Another girl, one who had helped the poor, broken, crying soul in the middle of the room. One who had destroyed her will to open up to people, too.

Because what she felt didn't matter.

At least, that's what it sounded like they were telling her.