The breaking (a beginning)

As T placed the incense stick in the holder, he felt something break inside him. The nun tied the red and gold threads around his wrist and the big man began to cry. Uncontrollably. Deep. Tears ran down his face from his held-open eyes. Someone who spoke words of comfort to him, even in a language he did not understand. 

And then, without his wanting it, the barrier was back. The hurt was hidden and the tears disguised in the jungle sweat.

The moments, the breakings, were coming more often now. 

Someone touched his elbow. He did not move. People pushed past him, looking at the wide-eyed westerner. He felt the wound inside him scarred over and walked on. 

He felt, rather than knew, that the next breaking would be soon.