She could tell I was faking it. Every time I cracked a smile or choked out a laugh. All of it a fabrication to please the people around me. An attempt to lie to everyone, especially myself, about how screwed up my life really was, about how everything around me truly was going to hell.
When you've lost everything, why shouldn't you laugh? The bitterness of it is cathartic.
Yet... She stays around. Keeps an eye on me, noting my dulled eyes and chronicling every irrational action. Hearing the broken glass edges of my voice, seeing the glint of tears at every sad song.
Maybe I haven't lost everything. If she can have hope for me, why shouldn't I have hope for myself? Her words are meant as comfort and inspiration, even though they're cloaked in the guise of the casual joke, tossed out to jab at my new, strange behavior. They're meant to make me see what I still have, the things I have to look forward to.
It's going to take a while, but maybe one day I won't be faking it. If I pretend long enough for her, maybe, one day, it won't be pretending anymore.
After all, I may have lost everything. Everything but her, and in her, I have hope.