Her heart swelled with the heavy hurt.
“Not worth it,” they said.
“Waste of time,” they said.
“Such a pretty girl,” they’d coo.
Always stroking hands and patting heads. And she would smile and swallow, swallow, swallow, never feeling full.
And always quiet, so well behaved.
Until her stomach, crowded out by her swollen, ulcered heart, would take too much.
So she’d vomit out her bitterness like a poison to anyone who would hold back her hair.