We’re in the theater rehearsing our winter play. It’s a delightful comedy.

She misses a cue. This is the girl who is so involved, so passionate about so many things. Constantly under pressure, using theater to escape. Despite her reasons, she’s a great actress. Just not in that moment.

She breaks down. Crouching down on the stage to hide her tears, her character melts away. The all-seeing eyes of the director suffocate her, squeezing the tears out. She picks up the pieces of her composure––a mosaic of distress, sorrow, and defeat.

It was never supposed to happen; it was a mistake. But as I passively observed her breakdown in the theater she was more herself than I had ever seen before.

True story.