The saddest people smile the brightest, the loneliest people are the kindest, and the most damaged people are the wisest, all because they do not wish to see other people suffer the way that they do.


1. Rose's Story

Her life seemed perfect. 

She woke up every morning to a full breakfast, loving parents, and an angelic little sister who was still innocent, and looked at the world with a certain naïvety that made everything okay.

But Rose saw everything in gray.

The sun never shone. It always rained, and Rose had no umbrella.

She had friends, of course, but no matter how they smiled and laughed, they couldn't stop the downpour.

She couldn't even afford rain boots.

She didn't know what the cause of the storm was, for she lived in a constantly sunny place, and the forecast had never called for anything except sun. 

So why was the sky crying so unrelentingly?

She asked for advice on the Internet, but all she found was hate.

"Why are you so upset? You have a perfect life! Stop crying and feel some sympathy for those who actually need it!"

"Why don't you stop begging for attention and go get a life? We don't care about your problems!"

"I have more of a reason than you to cry! You have it perfect."

The rain fell harder, clattering against the roof until a flood came and swelled so high Rose could barely breathe.

She smiled. She acted as though the weather was bright and sunny, though it was constantly dark and dreary. She was close to breaking. Nothing was okay. It was all going to hell.

She felt like she was drowning. It was hopeless, why didn't she just give up?

The art across her arms, inked in red was so lovely. The crossing lines made a beautiful grid that brought her some kind of peace.

The water was washing away the blood, she should give in. She should let go. The waves were relaxing, and the water was peaceful.

And then, someone pulled her out. They dried her off, stuffed her feet into rain boots, wrapped her shoulders in a coat, and held an umbrella over her head.

An old friend she had thought she'd never see again.

He pierced the clouds with a ray of sunshine that she thought would never appear. The rain slowed to a halt before sun came shining, shimmering, glowing, casting everything in its radiant hue.

When her friend dragged her out of the dark waters, she felt as if all her problems were resolved.

The streets never dried completely, and every once in a while, a shower would come along and cause some problems, but it was nothing like before.

As long as he was near, the dark clouds could be chased away. No matter how hard the wind blew, or how relentless the rain was, lightning never struck. Rose knew she could rely on him for anything.

She still doubted everything. She doubted that her parents were there for her, she doubted that her husband loved her, she doubted that her kids were as happy as they acted.

She never doubted that he was there for her. She never doubted that he loved her like a sister.

When her children asked her about the scars across her arms, she lied at first, but eventually, she told them. She told them her story. She told them why she would sometimes lock herself away and talk to their godfather for hours on end.

She was at peace. Nothing was perfect, and the air was still humid and the grass was still misty, but it was peaceful.

There is always hope.

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