She looks up, not sure what to expect.
"Are you okay?"
Her heart nearly stops and then it leaps. This was the last thing she expected. A kind voice, kind eyes. Someone who cares.
"Excuse me?" She asks, dumbfounded.
"Are you okay?" No impatience, no annoyance, a gentle repeat of the question no one else has asked her.
No, I'm not okay. Please help me. Please, I really need help.
"Yes, I'm okay." She finds herself saying. She finds herself lying.
"Are you sure?"
See that I'm not sure, please. Help me. I need help, someone's help, anyone's help. Your help. I can't tell you, I hate myself because I can't tell you that I need it, but I just can't! See it please. Doesn't it show? These circles under my eyes and cuts on my arms?
"I'm okay." She repeats, forcing a sweet smile that might seem genuine.
"Okay." No smile in return and not another question, potential help is gone and she has only herself to blame.
She's not okay.
She's far from okay.
But she can't tell anyone and she doesn't know why.