“I’m Fine”

I remember the moment as clear as day,
he walked into class and took a seat next to me.
He smiled my way and offered his hand.
“Hey, how are you?” he asked a smile still intact. 
I gave him a look, one that I hope he’d forget.
It was pure astonishment, someone had noticed me?
I thought about the question as serious as I could.
I’m sad. Tired. Depressed. Dying.
“I’m fine” I said and left it at that.
He gave me a look, one that I would never forget.
It was pure disbelief, his eyes staring at mine.
It urged for me to go on, to tell him it’s a lie.
Say “You’re not fine, you’re tearing apart” 
But I did not.
The next few days it seemed to be a pattern.
He’d come into class, sit next to me, smile then ask
“How was your day?”
And all the same I’d say back
“I’m fine and you?”
“Ecstatic” “Relieved” “Overjoyed” “Poppin'””Stressed” and more was how he responded
The conversation always ended with an exchange of two words. Nothing more, nothing less.
Although I couldn’t believe it, how one was able to feel so many emotions
all I felt was numb inside, but he brought back a feeling.
Suppress it, I said, the more you feel the stronger the pain
I swallowed my thoughts, and felt the numbness creep up again
Then one day he came in, no smile, no acknowledgment. 
He slouched on his chair, his shoulders sagged.
“How are you?” I asked with a slight smile this time
He looked up at me surprised, only to respond with an “I’m fine.”
A moment had passed and he was still looking my way.
He sat up and smiled, “How was your day?”
I tilted my head and looked him in his eyes, I saw the hurt, the pain, the sadness he failed to hide.
“I’m good,” I responded with a faint smile his way
Again he looked at me with a look I’d never forget,
it was pure disbelief, his eyes staring at mine
It urged to go on, to tell him why
“Tell me why! Why was it good?”
But I did not.
One day, somehow, he got me off my feet
We explored the world around us, explored the unknown
We laughed, we sung, we stumbled upon our feet 
We danced, we joked, we smiled until our cheeks hurt
He grabbed my hand and looked at me again
“Hey, how was your day?” his smile so big, the hope in his eyes.
“I don’t want to disappoint you..” I thought
“It was great,” I actually said. 
He grabbed my cheek and kissed it hard, let go and hollered “she’s more than just fine!”
Everyday since then, he no longer asked how I was 
he’d question me with an adjective, “Good?” 
“Ecstatic.” I’d respond, with a giant smile on my face. 
He showed me how valuable living life was, there ‘being fine’ was no way to describe life.
How everyday should be a journey because one day we’re going to die and never get to travel to the unknown.
How everything is made better when you’re doing it with somebody.
How there are a million adjectives out in the world and to describe how my day is going must use about 25 of them.
He taught me how to love.
I eventually fell in love with the man who never once saw me as a broken, quiet girl. 
Who never uttered a word other than “fine” or “okay.” 
Who never thought that she was capable of feeling any type of love. 
But she won’t admit it to him, the feeling’s too scary.
Once it’s out in the open, she won’t be able to take back her words. 
But she couldn’t take it anymore, the feeling too immense.
She wanted to express it, the love she felt for him. 
She wanted to be there for him as he was for her in her time of need.
She wanted to be with him.
She wanted love.
So she put herself out there, that day she dressed up. 
She did her hair, brushed her teeth, even ate a mint because you’ll never know 
She smiled big, as did he once he saw her walk through the door to sit down.
“I’ve got news!” both of them exclaimed.
“You first!”
“No, you!” She laughed at their silliness, on how well they fit together.
“I love you.”
“I’VE GOT A DATE TONIGHT-wait what’d you say?”
She knew it, she knew it from the start. 
Love wasn’t meant to play a part in her life, it was just a silly game. 
He was brought in her life to make a joke of herself, to make her think that feelings do change
But they don’t, and they never will.
He thought he fixed her, he thought he did.
“-wait what’d you say?”
“nothing, it’s fine.”

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