Don’t.

I’m staring so relentlessly at the floor, I’m almost surprised when my eyes don’t burn holes into the tiles.

Don’t listen.

They keep speaking. I stare at the floor. At the table. At another person. At my lap. I stare anywhere, as long as I can avoid looking the one place I don’t want to look.

Don’t listen.

But I have to.

Don’t cry.

Don’t cry.

Damn it, don’t cry!

I keep my eyes on the floor, my gaze becoming more intense, as if staring at ugly floor tile could staunch the tears threatening to form in my eyes. Already forming in my eyes.

Damn it, stop.

But I can’t. When you’re a crier – a real, unrelenting crier – most things set you off. Being happy. Being sad. Angry. Frustrated. Disappointed.

Frustrated with yourself for crying because you’re sad and disappointed.

Don’t listen.

Don’t cry.

Just don’t.

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