It was on the thursday of march break that everything that had happened to me in my past (I won't bother going into detail because much of it is pretty extreme and it would take a long time to explain) really caught up with me. I started to cut my hand intentionally. One gash about two inches in length that grew deeper and deeper with each day. It stayed secret until tuesday during rehearsal when Liz saw it and asked 'what happened to your hand? you'd better have not done that to yourself'. I responded by pulling my hand from view and saying something along the lines of 'of course not', which of course was a total lie. When I did finally come clean a day later she was really good about it and set herself on the task of helping me stop. It was through this that I really met Ella.
A few weeks after I had told Liz what was really wrong, she told me I should talk to Ella, I responded by saying that there was no way that she would ever want to really talk to me (we'd had our short conversations but nothing that I thought she would really take note of). After all, the reason that Liz had suggested that I talk to her was because of the secret that I assumed most would resent me for. It wasn't until a little while later that I realized why she wanted me to trust her.
The rest of the cast, a few crew members, and I were sitting in the makeup room before the first dress rehearsal. I sat with a group of others in the corner of the room on desks arranged in what had once been neat rows. I stayed silent for the entire time, and I noticed that Ella was too, sitting with her ankles crossed, looking down at her hands. It was her hands that caught my attention, the left carried numerous uniform cuts. I became transfixed my them, wondering how she had gotten them. Then it hit me that one does not get those kind of cuts by accident. I glanced down at my own hand and then back at hers, guessing instantly what it was.
A few days later I really did talk to Ella. Not about what I had observed a few days before, but about our parent issues. We were sitting on the wooden stairs that were part of the set for the play and it just sort of came up. There were a bunch of us on the steps when the topic first came up but slowly it cleared and only Ella and I were left sitting there still talking. It turned out that Ella, like me, had trouble with dealing with her mom. I grew a little worried that I'd made her uncomfortable because it was, after all, a sensitive subject but somehow she didn't back away from our conversation. That's all it took for her to earn my trust.