The Strange Thing About Pain

I had learned a lot about pain since I was young.

When I was six, my parents got divorced, and that was the first time I had ever dealt with such one. I cried all night long in my room, refusing to accept the fact that starting from the very next day, I wouldn’t be able to hear my dad call my mom “Hun” ever again.

My classmates started bullying me at school when I turned eight. They called me fat and ugly—in fact, I was fat and ugly, but I thought they didn’t need to call me that. Pain was so unbearable that time. I even refused to go to school for nearly a week just to cry in my mom’s arms. Even now, when I looked back, all I could say about myself that time was ‘lonely and pathetic.’

Diet was another pain.

I starved myself and only let my stomach digest fruits and vegetables for what felt like a hundred years. I passed out a lot during exercises. I threw up and had terrible stomachaches to the point where my mom had to go all the way home from her office just to take me to the hospital immediately.

It’s not like I regretted it, though. It wasn’t all for nothing. I lost like half my weight and became a slim young girl I’d ever dreamed of becoming.

It was when I finally made some friends when I realized pain wasn’t meant to be shown. I had met other girls with their own problems—one got dumped by her boyfriend, another got slapped in public by her so-called enemy. They all hid the pain they felt with smiles. If not for how close we were, I wouldn’t have realized those bright smiles were fake. It was the most important lesson I had ever learned my whole life.

When I first got a boyfriend and found out he had cheated on me, I felt another attack of pain—which, I knew, I had to hide. So I tried, and it was true. It felt much better when nobody knew what you were feeling.

However, the more I smile facing problems, the more smiling hurt. The tears I held didn’t help at all. I started looking for a better solution. I joined my friend who clubbed and drank everyday, had a shot at smoking, and dated whoever said they loved me. Everything felt much easier.

The worst pain I had felt recently was when I checked the pregnancy test pack and realized it was a positive.

Shit, I thought in depression, Mom will definitely kill me for this.

I hid the test pack in my room and started considering having an abortion. Some of my friends forbade me, but I didn’t know if I had another choice. I didn’t even want to lay my hands on a baby in such age. So, I did what I thought was best. A part of me regretted it, but it wasn’t like I could do anything else.

My friends asked if I was okay with letting go of my baby like that, and I knew they actually wanted to remind me of the sin I had engaged myself to, although none of them had the courage to spit it out. So, again, I hid behind a smile and a convincing “Yeah, I’m okay.”

It was strange, though.

Smiling still gave me so much pain—a thing as simple as that. But, when I looked at my left arm this morning, I didn’t even feel a thing.

It didn’t hurt.

So, I sat facing the window in my room and started thinking—thinking and thinking, and without realizing, my hand had held something I took from the drawer. I smiled a little as I started cutting—slicing and making new long scars on my left arm beside the old ones. Blood flew out almost instantly as I thought to myself, “It’s okay.”

After all, smiling hurt more than this.

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(P.S : the title was “The Strange Thing About Smiling” but I immediately changed it, so there).

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