She was numb.

She was numb.

Her brown eyes bore an unamused stare.
Her full lips seemed pulled into a permanent thin line.
She stood straight and she stood silent.
She stuck her nose in her work and kept her distance.
So naturally, people found her intimidating.

She didn’t do it on purpose.
She had been hurt before, so she built her walls.
Maybe then, people wouldn’t be able to read her.
Maybe now, they wouldn’t be able to break her.
After all, it seemed like the right thing to do.

But every once in a while, she’d let that go.
Every once in a while, she’d have a drink.
She’d down a shot, or two, or three.
Sometimes she’d have more.
She’d chase from the bottle of wine cooler she held in her hand.

A cheeky smile would break the usual stiffness of her lips.
And like a volcano, a laugh would burst from behind her teeth.
She found herself dancing, doing stupid things.
The poison filled her body, pushing out every bit of numbness.
It pushed until all that was left in her veins was mad emotion.

She never felt so liberated.
Her fun-loving, carefree spirit flourished.
In this moment, she didn’t have to worry about being hurt.
She laughed out loud again for the hell of it.
She took another shot, another swig, for the hell of it.

And then it hit her.

She could not be this reckless.
If she was reckless with herself, surely others would be reckless with her.
They would pick her up, only to throw her aside.
Wasn’t it recklessness and being over zealous the reason she was broken in the first place?
How could she forget?

She took yet another shot, although it was clear that she had more than enough to drink.
She laughed once more.
This time it was a sad laugh, a masked cry.
Her body shook with instability at the amount of alcohol she had in her system.
Her body shook furiously as she fell to the floor, tears streaming down her face.

All she wanted was to be accepted.
Not just accepted, but loved beyond all measure.
But who would ever love someone as imperfect as her?
Who would embrace her soul, sad broken pieces and all?
Who could break down her barriers?

If they did break her barriers, how would she know they wouldn’t hurt her?
How would she know they wouldn’t leave?
She couldn’t bring herself to trust anyone anymore.
It seemed like everyone turned their backs as soon as she opened up.
And to sew her torn heart back up for the nth time was the last thing she needed.

The intensity only built with every second that passed.
She hated feeling vulnerable like this.
She hated spilling out her fears.
In past experiences, she saw that was when they usually left.
Memories of angst began to replay again and again in her mind.

After a rough night of overwhelming emotions, she brushed it all off.
There was a reason she kept a straight face.
She could not, and would not, allow others to see what she truly felt.
So while she wore her poker face in society, her heart shook the bars of its prison.
But she ignored the cries of her soul and said to herself, “perhaps this is for the better.”

So she built up her walls again.
She raised her eyebrows at stupid remarks.
She walked with poise and her head held high.
The pleasure of company beckoned to her, but she kindly declined.
And no one saw a single tear fall from her eye.

She was numb.

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