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  • The smile I wear on my face today is not the smile in this photo.
    The smile I wear is fake and awful and probably closer to a grimace than anything else.
    My family doesn't know the truth and I pray they never will. I don't let myself smile the real smile because I feel that I don't deserve it--that I probably shouldn't feel happiness or joy or anything that makes my eyes crinkle at the corners. I'm 16 years old and I'm struggling with things that a 46 year-old probably never has to handle. I understand things about my life and life in general that most people probably don't. I don't even know how to put into words how I feel and articulation has always been my strongest point. I haven't been 'me' for a long time and no one knows.
    One day I might make it back to the person who I was. Might being the operative word here.
    The girl in this photo doesn't remind me of anything. She's unrecognizable and she's not the person I see in the mirror anymore. I know I am loved and I know that people care about me. That girl in the photo loved people and cared about people. When people asked if she was okay, she genuinely cared when she asked the question back.
    But the girl who stares at me in the mirror now? She doesn't really care. But I don't show it. I let this hypocritical, deceitful girl run my life and I don't want her to.

    I stare at this photo and I read what I write these days and instead of looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel, I look backwards to see the light at the beginning of the tunnel. I remember who I was and am able to forget all the sarcastic comments I've made to my friends that I kind of really meant, and I forget how cynical I am now.
    I've taken off the rose-colored glasses, and maybe that's good. Maybe that means I'm strong and can see the world better than I used to. But at the same time, I want them back. I want to forget what the world really looks like. I want to forget the monsters in the closet and the snakes under the bed. I want my rose-colored glasses back, goddamn it.
    The girl in that photo is so motherfucking happy and I want that feeling back. I let that ship sail a long time ago and it should be coming around soon.
    So hurry up, goddamn it.
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