Bren wished she cried pretty. Sarah could. Sarah would let her deep brown eyes fill to the brim, the moisture magnifying their intensity. Then she’d tilt her chin up ever so slightly—one quiver, then two—and blink, slowly. That deliberate shuttering would send glistening diamonds coursing down her cheeks, leaving silvery trails of anguish before they dripped to the ground. Sarah never made a sound when she cried. It would have broken the spell that made comfort come running.
Bren tried to cry pretty. But she never mastered the art. She felt too much and had a face too reflective. So her tears were never granted an audience. No one witnessed the raw emotion when her face contorted in pain, her body folding in on itself, trying to contain the racking sobs. Maybe that’s a good thing. Because to see Bren cry was to understand suffering, to comprehend torture, to feel pain so extreme you’re sure your skin is in ribbons, just barely clinging to your frame. And then you just want to comfort yourself and flee from the crier, leaving her alone and more tortured still.