When she fell, she did not get up.
Chains anchored her to ground, and all she could do was look up and see the pinprick of light streaming in from the opening so far away.
When she fell, she did not scream.
She did not call out because her voice was too raw from yelling to empty walls a million times before.
When she fell, she did not cry.
No tears streamed down her face because she had shed enough tears for herself that she had none left to spare.
When she fell, she did not care anymore.
She knew that there were be no one there to help her back up or to care where she was; so, she let herself fall because it was better for everyone.
He reached out his hand, his fingers barely grazing the girl’s as she fell down. The fall was long and hard, and he could hear the sound of her body hitting the bare ground. He looked away. He could not see the girl’s broken body on the jagged rocks of the floor because he had been there before.
The second time he looked, she was chained. She was not fighting. She did not struggle.
He could not hear her screaming. He could not see the tears streaming down her face.
She was just sitting there, the manacles surrounding her wrists and ankles holding her on the ground forever. Even if the chains were not there, he did not know if she would climb back out.
The third time he arrived at the pit, he tied a rope to a fence and around his waist. He climbed down, watching the girl’s confused expression as he approached her.
He held out his hand to her.
The chains around her had disappeared around the third day. As if the pit knew that she would not try to escape even if she could.
She was tired. Tired of hurting. Tired of fighting. Tired of being unheard.
She could see a figure climbing down. When he got closer, in the dark of the pit, she could see a halo of light around the figure. A him.
She curled into herself even more. Anyone who got close to her would be hurt. It always happened.
She could see his big blue eyes and his blonde hair. She looked at her own filthy, tangled brown hair, and the blank brown eyes which she could never get to shine. She moved away, away from the boy.
Then he held out his hand. One hand that stretched towards her. An offer. A life-line.
She didn’t take it, let it hand in midair. She waited to see if he would leave, like everyone did.
But he stayed, his feet touched the floor which she was sitting on, still holding a rope. A rope that could lead her out if she wished.
Tears sprang to her eyes.
He could see the girl was afraid, like how he had been when he was rescued. He did not say anything, instead dropping onto the ground and slowly walking towards her.
Her hair was tangled around her face, but even he could see past the scars and see the kind, hurting soul within. He offered a kind smile, and sat next to her.
She looked at him, her eyes afraid. Her hands trembled as tears cascaded down her face. When he put his arm around her, she did not flinch, and leaned closer.
He just let her rest on his shoulder, let her silent sobs wrack her body.
She pulled away, wiping the tears from her face.
He once again held out his hand.
“Come with me?” he asked.
With a moment of hesitation, she put her hand in his, and he grasped it tightly before beginning the long climb up.
Anyone, even just a kind word or two, can pull someone out of dark times. All you have to do is stay by the person’s side and offer your help. Be their anchor.
If anyone you know is suffering from depression, look for help. Even in times of the coronavirus, there are a number of resources available. Here are a few of them:
Call for support (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
Text for support (Crisis Text Line): 741741
Call if you know anyone who is contemplating suicide (National Suicide Prevention): 1-800-273-8255
There are many sources at the tip of your fingers to help you or your loved ones. We are all here for you and stand with you in difficult times like these.
Lots of love,