Mike Wheeler, age 16, was in the midst of an emotional breakdown.
Yes, his beloved El had returned three years earlier.
And he was happy about that
He was in love with her, and she was in love with him.
But they were growing up, and growing up had its challenges
Of course, there were the average teenager problems.
Like, grades, friend drama, and wondering who would ask you to the school dance that's coming up
But Mike, he had other things on his mind
Mike had been crying in his room, everything was just too much sometimes
He let the tears flow freely down his face.
He thought no one was home, and if someone was home, who would care if he was crying anyway? Everyone cries.
But without warning, Mike's father, Ted, walked into the room. Mike had no time to wipe his tears away, and his father noticed the tears and Mike's puffy eyes also immediately. "What are you doing?" He asked "N-Nothing..." Mike didn't want him to know he was crying, he didn't want to be questioned or asked what was wrong because, well, the truth is Mike didn't exactly know what was wrong, he was just... Sad "Men don't cry. Don't be such a little girl" His dad said.
Oh, Mike hated hearing those words, his father had always said this to him. Mike believed it, he didn't feel he could cry. "Men don't get upset" those words echoed around in his head, "Men don't show feelings. Stop crying"
Mike willed himself not to cry, at least not in front of his father. "Grow up Micheal, stop crying and be a man"
Mike nodded "o-ok"
His father nodded back, before turning and swiftly walking out of the room, shutting Mike's door behind him with a slam
And that was how Mike ended up here, cuddling with his girlfriend, El, as a sudden wave of emotion crashed over him.
His lip began to quiver, tears stung at the back of his eyes.
El looked at him and could tell something was wrong "Mike, are you ok?" "Yea, I'm totally fine" Mike felt as if his throat was closing up, a feeling he was familiar with, it was the feeling he got when he was holding back tears. "You look like you're about to cry," El said, a concerned tone in her voice "No, no, I don't cry" "Everyone cries"
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