The Tears Behind the Laughing Emoji

I cried because this would not be the last time.


It had been three days since our fallout. Nobody spoke for three days. Nobody smiled for three days. I wanted the silence to last for another week. But someone altered the silence with a single question on the car ride home.

“What now?”

He was usually quiet about these things, trying to stay out of the mess, avoiding pick sides. I was taken by surprise that night. Mainly because I wanted to the silence to last longer.




“Nothing will come out of nothing. It does not solve the problem. Do you even know what your problem was?”

My problem was nothing. I did everything according to protocol.  I called. I informed. I ran. I tried. Everything. Now how should I answer that?

“I don’t know. I mean. I’m not sure. I… I really don’t know.”

Silence. Maybe mixed with disappointment. He never expected much from me. Maybe not causing trouble was the least that he expected from me. I clearly failed.

Home. She was on the sofa. Foreboding. One step on the first step of the staircase to tranquility. Safe. Another? Safe. Another? I was testing my luck there.

“Come back down, you need to talk.”

Again, he spoke. Not expected, but understood. I sat. We spoke. He asked. I answered. She listened. Or at least I thought. More or less, she was trying to pick any minor mistakes that I made in my account. I continued to explain. He understood. He betrayed me.

“So you still think you did nothing wrong. Don’t you see? Your fault was thinking that you did nothing wrong.”


They were both satisfied with this conclusion. I was speechless. Silent.

“See? You never said sorry. If you had said sorry to her on the phone for the sake of calming her down, you wouldn’t be in this mess.”

The magic of ‘if’. Pure and pristine. Like a gem. Like the world inverted. The fictitious ‘if’ that reveals the imperfections in all perfections. The magical ‘if’ that flays the credits of all mankind to reveal the disgusting flesh that dresses all demons. The lone perfection. The hypothetical, ‘if’.

It echoed within my brain.

“Nothing will come out of nothing,” I remembered.

“If I was calm enough during that time, I would be able to say sorry. But because I wasn’t calm enough in the first place… See? Why is it understandable for her to panic, but not me?”

“Because she is your mother.”

Silence. Nothing.

I had nothing to say. But she did.

“It doesn’t matter because I’m going to disown him.”

I wanted it to hurt. I wanted to feel hurt. I wanted. But I could no longer. Numbness. Of all sensory. My head started to spin. My vision flickered like hypnosis. My shoulders slumped. My ears rang. Silence.

I regained my consciousness on the signal of her retreat to her bedroom. I pulled myself up the stairs to my room. Silence.

I sat on my bed. Took out my computer. I started to type.

I have lost the thing that keeps us all humans alive. Sensory. Emotion. Meaning.

I needed people to remind me of my human. I needed people to thaw my frozen soul. I needed someone to stop me from doing something stupid. Something I might regret.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Period.


The I added. Smiley face emoji.

Tears trickled down. And down. And. Down.

I did not cry because I was hurt. I cried because I remembered the times that I was put in this situation. The numerous times I had to type the smiley emoji with tears gushing. I cried because this would not be the last time.

Tears contoured my face. Blushed my eyes. Glistened my pupils.

I am alive. But for how long?






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