“Then and Now”

You used to laugh at the most stupid jokes. Your eyes used to light up at the thought of food. Your smile used to stretch from ear to ear. You used to describe your dreams in absolute details. You used to put your arm around people’s shoulders when they’re obviously down. You used to eat and drink with such vigor. You used to tell the most absurd stories. You used to laugh until your sides hurt. You used to stay up all night just to keep a friend company, even over the phone. You used to be the sunshine.

But now, we have to bump your shoulder to get you to listen to our jokes. The light from your eyes has dimmed, nothing excited you anymore. Your smile is painfully forced. You refuse to talk about your dreams, content to just listen to others in silence. Your shoulders are in a constant slump and you claim you don’t have any strength to put your arm around another person’s. You forego any kind of celebration. People coax you to tell more stories but you remain tight-lipped. A short bark of laugh is all we get from you and it is as rare as your genuine smiles. You hang up first during every phone call. The sunshine is no more.

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