You were crying, weren’t you?

One day, when I was four years old, I was playing with my two best friends and another close friend one year older than us. In the backend of our community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, there was an open space where the local buses would come around to spend their extra minutes out of service. The space was surrounded by thick and tall bushes, and that day we had decided to play house in one of the bushes.

It was always exciting to explore the edge of our small community since the place was less familiar to us and it gave us a sense of adventure. Our community was adjacent to a local university campus, and as we played, we could hear the sound of a student brass band club practicing their music in the distance. The background music was a perfect addition to our playing house activity.

While we got immersed in our imaginary family drama, we might have become a little careless, the girl who was the oldest among us stumbled on something and fell on the ground, hurting herself a little. She started crying, and even though we didn’t find any big injury, since she wasn’t somebody who would cry easily, we all got worried. One of my other friends decided to run to call the girl’s mother.

As the rest of us waited for her mother to arrive, we tried to console her by telling her some funny stories. Little by little, she recovered from the shock of falling and started to smile. By the time her mother arrived, she was talking with us normally.

“She fell on the ground and got hurt,” we explained to her mother eagerly as soon as she sat down next to us. “Look!”

There was a tiny cut on her knee, and her mother applied some disinfectant, then covered it with a bandage.

“It’s all good,” she said to us. “There is nothing to worry about.”

Then she turned to her daughter.

“You were crying, hon, weren’t you?”

“But how do you know?” I asked her in great surprise. My friend had stopped crying long time ago, and now she was smiling.

“Well, there is a trace of tears,” she laughed as she pointed to her daughter’s cheeks.

We all laughed, and after she left, we went back to play our family drama for some more time before the dusk. But as we played, I kept thinking about what my friend’s mother had said about the trace of tears. I was truly amazed. And since then, whenever I cried, I wondered to myself if others would know about it, even after I stopped crying, by looking at my face.