Talk to me,
She wheedles. I roll my eyes, willing myself to harden. Her pseudo-care is starting to irk me. I'm 15, defensive as hell, and I sure aint gonna talk to the school guidance counselor just because she tells me to.

Talk to me,
he says quietly. I start to cry, the taught composure I've kept finally loosening. He waits, holds me patiently, and ignores the way I make his shoulder soggy. He prompts again, pushing the hair off my face, and I calm down, swallow, walk away..

Talk to me!
Her injured silence echoes around the chill. I can't find the words to tell her what's happened, how things are all different now. She looks at me, expectant. She knows there's something nobody will tell her and she looks at me.

Talk to me.

I can't.