Tenderness

Author Clarice Avrain

It was two or three years ago.

Anorexic and depressed, I spent every day on a bridge to go to high school. Every day the desire to jump was there. At noon I called my parents in tears, not knowing what to do, and I ended up in the hospital.

There was no anorexic service in this hospital, just a psychiatric ward. But it was full, so I had to wait about two days in a room with another person, to do nothing.

I shared the room with a veiled young woman with beautiful blue eyes, as well as her infant. It was his child who seemed to be sick, but I never knew what he had, having never dared to ask.

My parents were not allowed to come see me or call me so I felt very lonely. One night I went to the small bathroom in the room and burst into tears. After a while, the young woman knocked on the door, wondering if everything was fine. I opened, trying to wipe my tears, but when she saw me she immediately took me in her arms and comforted me.

We had never really spoken during our short stay in this room, but the way she hugged me was worth every word in the world. Sweetness and warmth, that was all I needed. I cried again in his arms because I felt like hugging my mother who was not there.

After that she gave me cupcakes she had bought. My anorexic spirit hated me for that, but I ate this cake. During that moment, nothing mattered to me anymore.

I know that what happened may seem trivial for some, but for me it’s one of the best days of my life. A perfect stranger, having much bigger problems, shared with me warmth and tenderness. I often think about her again today .. I do not even know her name but I hope she and her baby are fine.

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