She was young and golden, a shining beacon in a candlelit room. It was as if every mind was drawn to her; the lighthouse in a room. If it only were true, that she was the lasting hope that brought people home but really she was crashing against waves herself. On the outside her light was always on but inside the curtains were drawn deep.

Sometimes, especially when the light inside has faded but people are drawn to it with a dependence, it becomes too much and the storm overhead cannot be avoided. The storm, the one that rages so far to make people forget that light ever existed, falls not only upon the lighthouse but upon everyone around it. She was clattering, trying to find some form of light, anything that could resemble light so that the ships that needed her didn't crash. There was nothing though, the lighthouse went dark.

She was crying, a blubbering mess that may as well have dunked her head into the sea and joined the fishes. There is only so many times a lighthouse can withstand a storm and when the last time comes it comes mightily.

As the tears cascaded down her cheeks she knew there was no light left in her. She had spent so long lighting other people's ways that she had forgotten she needed her own. She had even deluded herself, pretending that she didn't need anything, that she was fine. She had built up a wall that was not going to come down but she was too ignorant to see the cracks from the beginning.

Sometimes people forget that a lighthouse has a light keeper. There's someone there lighting their way, as they pour over the troubled seas to arrive safely at shore. They forget that the light keeper might need help of their own.

She never wished that someone had asked her how she was, but with each person that she coaxed with her golden light she pushed her own darkness further away. How could someone who spread so much not have plenty inside them? Even something which seems unlimited runs out eventually.

When another tears falls onto the back of her hand she stares down at it, wondering how something so treacherous could leak from her eye. Even now she was afraid someone would see her; who would trust a lighthouse that wasn't covered in a perfect fa├žade. It didn't matter what it looked like on the inside, they only cared about the smooth outside.

She knows what will happen in the end. She'll wipe off the tears, pick herself off the ground and continue standing strong in the eyes of those that needed her light. Even a patchy lighthouse can be fixed with a good layer of paint. The inside will continue to crumble, and she knows this, but even if the inside crumbled too far, the outside would always hold it up. All she needed was something to hold onto, even if it was fake.

Already she knows another ship is coming and its time for her to bring out her light. She stands, feeling everything break inside her but knowing that she can't let it break entirely. She can't because if someone knew then she wouldn't be the strong person, and if she wasn't that she was nothing. She'd rather be someone she's not than no one at all. In some ways she knows that's what's keeping her light shining, the fact that without it she would just be an empty lighthouse. It was better to be something than nothing.

It was a fickle way to live but it is how she will continue to help the ships on their journey home. She lights the candles in her room, smiles and becomes the person she needs to be; a golden shining light on the outside, for everyone and herself.