John checked his phone for about the hundredth time that day. He hadn’t heard from Mary nor seen her all day, and he was worried about her. He wondered if something bad had happened. An image of her appeared, covered in blood, and unconscious. He shook it out of his mind, and decided that the easiest way to find out if anything was wrong was if he paid her a visit. Pulling on a jacket, he started to walk to her place, since it wasn’t too far from his. The weather was unusually chilly, and he wondered if she had caught a cold from the drastic changes in weather.
He rang the doorbell, and was relieved to see Mary open it. However, she looked like she had been crying, as she quietly let him inside. By impulse, his arms flew around her, and enveloped her in a warm hug. It was enough to bring her to tears again. His heart ached for her, even though he didn’t know what had happened.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, stroking her hair.
“Nothing…” she murmured, knowing that he knew she was lying.
“Mary…” he sighed. “Did something happen?”
A muffled whine confirmed his answer. He rubbed her back reassuringly. “Do you want to tell me about it?”
She took a breath. “I guess I’m just conflicted.”
He nodded slowly. “About?”
“I don’t know how to be grown up without compromising who I am.” she said simply.
He narrowed his eyes. “You’re crying over this?”
She glared back at him. “Are you suggesting I’m childish?”
He sighed. “Mary… you know… you can’t… cry over everything.”
“Is that supposed to reassure me?” she asked, with a cynical look.
“No.” he responded. “I’m just telling you, Mary, because you need to learn to grow up some day.”
“And how do I do that?” she crossed her arms.
He raised his eyebrows. “It doesn’t happen in a week you know.”
“First of all, Mary. You don’t have to sacrifice who you are.” John started. “For example, your kindness and generosity? You don’t have to sacrifice that when you grow up.”
“I’m child like.” she pouted.
“Mary… Do you trust me?” John asked.
He held her hand. “Then I’ll help you through it.”