Am I broken?, he asked me and it torn me apart. Is he broken? How can he be broken if he is just a boy? A human boy. With blood and bones. How could he be broken? Boys, human boys, don’t get broken, do they? No, no, what am I saying, they don’t, but… What is he saying? Why is he asking me that?
I asked him and he told that he felt broken inside. I feel sad and lonely all the time, even when I am surrounded by my friends or my family. Oh. I shed the tears then. How can this boy feel so sad when all his life is ahead of him. Still. All the life. And why, I asked myself next, does he feel broken for being sad? Isn’t sadness part of life?
People, he said, make me feel ashamed for being sad.
I stopped asking questions because I knew then that I was not going to get the answers. I felt sorry for being part of this society that stigmatises emotions. I wonder what is my contribution to that; if I ostracise too when I come across someone who is having trouble with their own emotions. My voice breaks. I really hope not.
I take the boy by the hand now. I take him aside. This boy that lives inside of me and that feels so sad, lonely and desperate. I tell him that he is going to be OK. That he is going to grow strong and is going to come out of his shell. That he is going to learn a lot. And work too, because life is a big playground but we need to work to maintain it.
He is going to be fine. We are going to be fine. I am going to be fine. Because we are not going to let society tell us what we must do. We are going to live our lives. Our life.