She bags your groceries, and always remembers to put your eggs on top.
She sits beside you at Thanksgiving dinner, laughing thinly at your bad turkey jokes.
She drives the neighbourhood kids to soccer practice in her Volvo.
She sits in class quietly and turns in her reports on time.
She shops with you, and gives good advice, and loves apple martinis.
She writes a blog that you read. You think she's funny and insightful.
But you don't know her; not really. You have no idea.
There are stories she doesn't tell, not even to herself. She has lied to you, to her friends, to her family, so many times that she can't keep them straight.
She has more concussions on file than a football player. She was lucky to regain consciousness at all last time.
She goes home to plaster a hole in the wall that was made when he threw her there.
She wears long sleeves because of the burn marks, not because she's cold.
She's tired because she got locked out of the house, barefoot in the snow again last night, not because she stayed up too late watching Law & Order.
She smiles at strangers because she's terrified of being transparent.
She lied about the scar on her leg. It wasn't from figure skating.
She doesn't cry at movies because even death doesn't seem all that tragic to her.
She believes that maybe it is her fault, that she is that stupid, that she does deserve it. She is ashamed.
She has learned to keep secrets well. She has learned to flinch at shadows. She has learned which foundation covers bruises the best. She has learned to fall asleep on a pillow drenched with tears.
The one thing she won't ever learn is to forget.
Don't be a victim of silence.