.

For the past few months, or weeks… I’ve met random people.

But not just normal people. People like me.

Broken. In pain. Hurt.

The first one is Paul, a student leader, class president.

One Friday afternoon, I called him for a meeting. We were planning about stuff for the incoming Monday, then I noticed that he’s a bit weird; all-sweaty, anxious, talkative. (he reminded me of my good friend). I told him straight that he’s weird and asked him what his problem was. He then started to tell stories. He’s being bullied for being a student leader. He was so talkative, to the point that I was already annoyed. I wanted to shut his mouth but I also want to listen to him. His story is no different from my friend who took his life. So maybe, just maybe… he really needed somebody to listen in all of the baggage in his heart.

The second one is Mike. A funny (in a positive way) girl.

Before I met her, my mom told me that somebody went to her office and asked her about me. She was surprised that their college dean is my mom. She told my mom that I was her “idol” because she thinks that I’ve already passed my sadness stage and I’m okay now. And I was shocked. Shookt if you may. Somebody is idolizing me because she thinks I’m fine after all the depressing shit I’ve been through. Hmmkay.

I talked to her. Just this Monday night. She’s afraid, she’s guilty, she feels empty.

She started talking, but in a very soft voice. She was shaking her knees and she talks without looking in your eyes. She keeps saying that she’s been locking herself in her room and will start to scream. Her heart was full of painful memories. Then when she shared her 10th-grade story, she started crying. Everything is still fresh in her memory. Everything is still painful.

Actually, there’re more.

But one thing I’ve learned, I have been encouraging people to be stronger and to keep on going with life no matter how hard it is. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot apply all the comforting, securing words I’ve said to them to myself. I might be good at making other people feel good, but when I’m alone, I wish I also have somebody to tell me the things I’ve been telling them.

I felt like crying every night. I feel like I need to tell all the things I am feeling without any filters.

For the past few months, or weeks… I’ve met random people.

But not just normal people. People like me.

Different names. Different stories.

But same feelings.

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