"Are tears all I have to look forward to?"

It was a despairing wail, so full of the agonies or adolescence that I had to struggle to supress an inappropriate smile.

Her eyes were red and swollen from crying, she was exhausted from emotion, and she must have felt like her world was coming to an end. The end of a first crush is so hard.

"I'll never fall in love again, never!"

So dramatic. And so wrong, of course.

I hugged her, and soothed her, and made all the usual maternal murmurings. All I really had to offer were cliches. "Give it time... you will feel better soon... there are plenty more fish in the sea." She must have thought I was completely useless. The trouble is, very often cliches become cliches because they are true.

I remember being that young. My first rejection, the pain of it. Hell, the pain of rejection never gets any less no matter how old you get. It wasn't hard to empathise.

What was hard was trying to get across that the pain really is temporary. That wounds to the heart, the emotion, the soul, whatever you care to call it, heal the same way that wounds to the body do. And that sometimes, the worst ones leave the same kind of scars, but that's okay -- that the scars are a part of what makes us individuals. I tried to explain that later she'd be able to point to and identify the mark on her psyche, the same way she can to the blemish on her arm and say, rather than "That's where I spilled hot tea on myself when I was two", "That's how I felt when X and I broke up".

She didn't listen, naturally. At thirteen you know in your bones that nobody has ever felt this bad, or ever will again. But give it 10 years and she may be ready to admit I was right.

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