Danny, the crying girl, put me in a quandary. I opened the door to the dorm room she shared with Megan, (whose lithe little gymnast body and hypnotic tongue-piercing had been swept from my mind like scentless dust bunnies by this huddled little girl's tears) and she was sitting cross-legged on the bed, sobbing into her hands.
She was pixie-ish, with a small frame - a genetic tromp d'oeil that left one with the impression she could be lifted off the ground with a sturdy fingertip. Long blond hair, now frazzled, touched the small of her back, and through the redness and exhaustion on her features, I could tell she was beautiful in an unassuming, organic kind of way.
I stood in the doorway for a minute, unsure if I should introduce myself or leave. Finally, without a word, without a song, I walked slowly over to her and sat at her feet cross-legged, mimicking her own posture. I suppose looking back on it, I sat on the floor instead of the bed because by lowering myself before her, I was making the subconscious statement that I was harmless, a friend - though she was in no state to feel fear, or concern, or anything but sadness, really. Sadness, heavy and dull.
I held her hand until she calmed down, and when she did, I said, "I'm Beau. I'm a friend of Megan's. You're Danny, right?" She nodded, wiping a tear from her face, which was already returning to it's natural shade and shape. "What's wrong?"
She coughed gently, and then she told me.