As she walked by the lake, she fought back her tears. She had been fighting them for a few weeks by this point. Each time tears arrived at the surface of her eyes, she sent them back. She would not cry. She could not cry.

Today, she found it harder to fight them back, yet she still tried. For half of her walk, she managed. Then, she abruptly sat on the ground, covered her face and started crying loudly. She had lost the battle. She had cried.

People looked at her as they passed, with some coming up and asking her if she was ok. Obviously, she did not look ok but she contradicted her look and said she was so that people would leave. She was a strong girl, she did not need anyone. She had lived on these premises her whole life and she would do the same now. Crying was weak and so was getting help. She could handle both.

Yet, she failed to stop crying. She started feeling weaker to the point that whenever she tried getting up, she fell back. Some people now helped her even without asking, forcefully. Or maybe they were not forceful but she was too weak to fight them. She just agreed and walked with their help. They made her sit on a bench nearby and gave her some water. She felt better.

After 20 minutes, these people were still waiting to check if she was doing ok. She lifted her head up and smiled. A soft ‘Thank you’ came out of her mouth. As she said that, she was also thinking that maybe she was not that strong after all. It was all an act. Maybe, her life was all an act.