Leyla had not always been a grumpy person. Or at least not how Lauren knew her. In fact, she thinks it's a shame she hasn't shown Lauren much more than that. She never opens up and always looks at her with a strict face. The pizza night had been an exception. Leyla doesn't know what happened then, but all that grumpiness and sadness was suddenly gone. Yet one day she seemed to lose that grumpy mask.
"Hi!" Lauren, as always, stands as excitedly in the closet where Leyla secretly spends the night. Lauren has already taken care of her every day and yet she gives her nothing in return. Not even a smile, walls remain up. She doesn't know why it is especially because it is Lauren.
The only person Leyla has ever allowed to help her.
The only person she's shared a pineapple pizza with face to face (Which is really tasty by the way.)
But still... she can't do it.
She's been lied to and cheated on so much in the past by trusting people. She doesn't want to go through it again.
Tearing down all the walls stone by stone only to build them back up again because they still managed to hurt her.
CAUSE PAIN that's all people ever did to her.
Nothing more, nothing less.
That's why she doesn't dare to tear down her walls anymore though she would so love to make an exception for this special woman, but still she can't. The stones are petrified, rusted, all boarded and bricked up. It has been reinforced and braced so many times that it cannot be broken.
The wall has became to strong for breaking.
'Hi.' Leyla doesn't look up. Today is a super grumpy day. It's evening by now and she has to go to work in a minute, but she's exhausted, broken.
She actually just got back from an out-of-control shift and is so tired and has so many feelings that she really doesn't see the point. She's going to have to. She needs the money even if it is with tears in her eyes she must and will work.
'You have not slept well.' Laughs Lauren who tries to be funny. She makes an effort every day to make Leyla laugh but her jokes are bad so it doesn't work. Just like this time. It's not funny so she gives Lauren that severe frowning look as always.
Leyla immediately regrets it. Lauren tries so hard for her and she seems to ruin it every time.
'Have you actually slept yet?' Lauren's smiling face changes to one of concern. She walks closer to Leyla and settles down next to her on the hard hospital bed.
'No.' Leyla answers honestly without looking up and lets a yawn escape.
'I see.' She feels Lauren's gaze slide down Leyla's cheeks and uncombed hair. She looks terrible.
'Is that your way of saying how horrible I look?' Leyla sighs.
'No.' A silence falls for a moment.
'You only look tired, but that doesn't make you any less beautiful.' She feels a body burn on the skin of her face, but ignores it and doesn't lower herself to those kinds of feelings.
She remains one and all chagrined.
'I do know that I look tired okay? And can you please leave me alone? I have to get ready to go to work and as you can see there is a lot of work involved. By the way don't you have any work to do yourself department head?' It's out before Leyla realizes it.
'Oh, sorry yes of course.' Lauren scrambles to her feet and walks up to the door. When Leyla thinks she will leave she turns around once more. 'I know it's none of my business, but wouldn't you rather sleep than work? You look tired and driving like that at night when you're tired I Thi-' Lauren's concern is bounced off again.
'Lauren you don't drive a car yourself do you? So I guess you don't have much to talk about it okay.' Can Leyla wash her mouth, but with soap? It's necessary. Lauren is so soft and sweet and she is her angry self again as always.
"Okay, sorry then!" This time there is a more brutal reply. Lauren's patience is running out. She is tired of being attacked all the time for nothing! She tries and tries, but every time it appears she keeps doing the wrong thing! It frustrates her.
Even though the answer is brutal Leyla sees from Lauren's pained look that it is not meant to be angry rather distraught. Her eyes move back and forth at first Leyla tries to dodge the moving pupils, but after a few seconds her eyes turn with the same movement and rhythm as if they were dancing together to music.
The dancing seems to stop when Lauren notices Leyla moving along to the music in her head. The eyes look away embarrassed.
'Sorry okay.' Tries Leyla, getting Lauren's attention again. It's as if she does like the dance from earlier and doesn't want it to stop.
'That doesn't sound very true, but okay.' Lauren blinks her eyes and moves further away from the door.
She wants to stay.
'No, you're right.' Leyla sighs.
'And you said I was bad at apologizing, but apparently you're as bad as I am.' Lauren rolls her eyes.
Leyla can't stop herself from still letting a small giggle escape from her mouth.
Did she just laugh? Because of Lauren?
In shock by her own laughter, she stares fearfully at Lauren.
She is afraid of her opinion.
But instead of voicing an opinion, Lauren begins to laugh softly along with her and it is so appealing that Leyla makes room for another small giggle that leaves her mouth with a soft sigh.
'Your laugh sounds cute.' Mutters Lauren and settles back down next to her.
'Her laugh sounds cute? She's never heard that from anyone before. It makes her blush causing her to immediately cough to stop her wall from crumbling.
'I huh have to work.' She gets up but then realizes she has to go outside with this exploded hair. She quickly snatches her brush off the bed and quickly goes through her hair.
Lauren tempers her by taking hold of the brush. 'Leyla, calm down.' She takes over the brush and goes through her hair slowly and calmly. Not like herself as slapping her head, full of aggression.
'You're not okay huh?' Lauren's face is so close and that makes it so hard for Leyla not to let her wall crumble, because Lauren is her weak point. She knew that from the first time she saw her. That's why she always put on such a grumpy and severe face.
But after the giggles and now that her head is so close to hers, she doesn't know if she can keep that wall up anymore.
'You don't have to keep blocking yourself off from me you know.' Lauren is on to her. She doesn't know if she just likes it or is totally irritated.
Leyla doesn't respond.
'Trust me. I know. You don't want people to start judging you for who you are. You don't want them to hurt you because you haven't forgotten the previous pain. You don't want to keep getting stabbed in the same spot in your heart.' A petite smile forms on Lauren's face.
She knows how Leyla feels, what it's like to have walls. So why not break off one little stone? Just a very small one? It won't hurt, right?
'It's true. I don't let people in.' Mutters after a while and taking her comb off again, touches Lauren's soft hand.
'I know. You don't have to let me in completely right away Leyla, but know that you can trust me. I know you've probably had to hear those words far too many times without being real, but I mean it. I really do. It's all real. i am real.' The look in Lauren's eyes says it all. She's been broken too many times herself she would never want to do this to another.
That makes Leyla talk.
'I'm done. I'm just really used up. I work myself to death, I live in a stupid closet. I'm fighting for a place in this shitty world, but still I can't seem to get by and I'm so tired!' The broken stone leaves many marks. Tears are in Leyla's eyes, followed by sobbing.
'Sorry, I didn't mean to be ridiculous.' Leyla hides her face behind her brush which she still holds.
'That brush is way too small to hide behind. I still see your pretty face.' Lauren removes the brush from Leyla's face.
The women look at each other in silence for a moment.
Lauren says nothing to what Leyla has told her. This is because she knows Leyla doesn't want to, doesn't need to.
The listening was already enough.
It's something no one has ever done.
Listened to her and it is such a joy to experience that for once.
After staring at each other for a moment, Lauren runs her hands through Leyla's hair.
'I see another knot in your hair.' Uses as an excuse, yet both women know it is a lie.
Time seems to pass.
In silence with hands stroking through long black hair and when Lauren wants to break the silence she notices that Leyla's eyes are closed and her face hangs forward a little.
She has fallen asleep.
Lauren can wake her up but decides not to.
Leyla is tired she has said it herself. The fact that she has fallen asleep is already a lot. She decides to lay Leyla down on the bed and tuck her in under the white hospital sheets. When she's done Lauren wants to leave the closet, but she doesn't without pressing one little kiss on Leyla's freshly combed hair.
She is shocked at herself and runs out of the closet embarrassed, hoping Leyla hasn't noticed anything.
But Leyla did. She has felt Lauren's lips on her head and sleeps on smiling.
Those soft lips are worth breaking down her wall for.