I asked her how her day had been and she skirted the question. She answered it, technically. But I could feel more beneath her response. I asked again, differently. Again, she answered, but not fully. She said a certain part of her day had been fine.
“So what wasn’t fine today?” I asked.
Finally, I’d hit the right question. She blurted out what she hadn’t been saying, coated with annoyance. She avoided any detail, so I asked another question. And then another.
And then she was crying.
I pushed away the anger I felt growing in me, not toward her, but toward those that had hurt her. I pulled her in for a hug and just held her why she cried.
“You didn’t do anything wrong.” I told her quietly, combing my fingers through her hair, “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
I wondered what I could do to help, to fix this, to retaliate. Nothing, really. Only this. Hold tight to the hurting and brush away their tears, even if they continue to cry.
You didn’t do anything wrong.