Once upon a time, there lived a girl who thought she was unbreakable. The others, they felt sorry for her.

“She’s delusional,” they said. “Everybody breaks sooner or later. It’s the fact of life. How can she lie to herself?”

“She thinks she’s unbreakable because she’s most broken inside,” said another wise one. “But we can’t tell her. It’ll break her.”

And so they watched her sail through life with her mast held high. Until one day, when a storm raged and chipped her shoulder.

“I knew it!” they said. “See! She’s starting to erode. We need to help her. We need to help her see clearly.”

It started to rain, and her shoulder burned. Tears ran down her cheeks but she was still intact. And then they jogged toward her at the prescribed pace, and decided to tell her, once and for all:

“You’re not unbreakable, sweetie. You never were.”

The sky turned black and the rains, they were torrential. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t breathe. Rocks hit her head, doubling in number with every elongating minute. She was growing numb and slowly, her nerves turned to glass. It rained as it had a countless times before but this time, she could feel it break her. She could feel the delicate and misleadingly gentle clink of broken glass in her shoulder, her kneecaps and in her body.

Her mast was now misspelled and lopsided, her pace slackening as she buckled down at the weight of the voices around her that seemed to have greeted the voices inside. They were now engaged in a conversation, and no one was winning. The sun came up again but the clouds remained.