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I'm Fine

When you said "I'm fine"

I could see the lies trying to escape from the jail cell of your teeth.

Just because I'm quiet, just because I say nothing doesn't mean I don't see how you struggle.

Just last month when we got our tests back and you "failed" it you made it into a joke because you thought you would look ridiculous if you showed the slightest bit of hope, the smallest sliver of disappointment.

Just last week you called yourself ugly and everyone laughed because they thought you were joking but I saw you stab another hole in the pillar of your self confidence.

You're not the only one who gets to school early when I walk inot the restroom I see you put on makeup but when I walk out I see you take it off almost in tears.

Just yesterday your eyes seemed like they had never been closer to death as everyone outcasted you again.

It's been a year since you got out of juvie and you want to do better but they don't give you a chance to do better.

I saw you walking home we both live in the bad part of town.

Your little brother runs up to you shoeless and shirtless.

He's the reason you want to do better.

Just today instead instead of observing and being a bystander I asked you a question.

You all said the same thing "I'm fine"

-- Anyssa R., 9th-12th Grade