When I came home from work, she was sitting on the back porch steps, crying.
Another friend was sitting next to her, arms draped around her shaking shoulders, trying to understand the words in between her hiccuped sobs.
“Is everything okay?” I asked, even though I knew this wasn’t just a normal bout of tears. Julie (not her real name) had been crying the entire day. When I left for work she had been sobbing in the bathroom, and (I learned later) had turned on the shower to muffle the sound of her emotion from the rest of the house so no one would come and check on her. No one knew how long she had stayed like that, melted to the bathroom floor, clutching a towel to her chest, the shower running hot and humid whenever she felt she was getting too loud. It’s possible she had been there for 8 hours.
I bent down in front of her, dropping my bag and holding her cold hands in mine. “Do you want to go somewhere?” I asked, noticing how tiny her usually buoyant frame seemed. “Somewhere where you can just relax and not have to worry about anything?”
“Yes,” she whispered without hesitation.
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