She smiled, defying the lens that was so determined to capture the truth of the moment.
While her friends laughed and joked sincerely, her wide show of teeth masked her true feelings; the pain and the tight cold fist clenched in the pit of her stomach, curled around the anxiety. A death grip, where no-one could see it.
The laughter around her made her sick, and only reminded her that she was not in the same level of merriment that her friends were. The balloons only irritated her, to the point that she just wanted to burst them.
Worst of all, no-one would know how she felt; the camera's lies were the only version of the evening that the world would ever see, and her forced grin was convincing enough that it would never be questioned, even after everything came to light.
She yearned to shout out, to share the problem that she had found growing inside her earlier in the day. But to do so would be selfish, and would only bring her friends down from their joy.
So she sat in the corner, alone with her own thoughts and problems, and let them bother only her, nursing a drink as her friends ran around haphazard like excited children, brandishing the camera like a firearm.
And when she was asked to smile for the sake of the deceitful contraption, she smiled.