Truths will out!

What do you do when the sleeve where you wear your heart is your favorite piece of clothing?

It didn’t seem difficult for me to delve into the deepest parts of myself and meld together the words describing how I was really feeling. Maybe it doesn’t take that much for a person to become really close to you. Maybe it only takes the right circumstances.

In an interview for an article that I was planning to write, I reconnected with an old friend who’d spent the previous semester studying abroad. We’d only ever interacted once before and we’d only spoken on light things over an order of French fries.

Even then, I’d enjoyed staring into his big blue eyes. I remembered seeing his eyes and thinking that other people who’d looked at him probably averted their gaze a lot. People don’t normally like such intense eye-contact, do they?

I remember thinking that his big blue eyes were like a challenge. I remember seeing his eyes as though they were searching for earnestness.

When I met him today, after his return from studying abroad, the same big blue eyes stared back at me as I asked him the interview questions.

The interview proceeded in ordinary fashion and no aspect of it really stood out to me, apart from the comfort within which I was surprised to have found myself.

It was on our walk back to campus, outside the confines of the formal interviewing process, when the real and valuable truths made themselves apparent — my truths.

We’d been describing our plans for the future, how the time of higher education was really a chrysalis of sorts in our metamorphosis as people, and how we’d changed over the few years we’d spent in school. He then asked me about how I’d changed in college and my mind flashed to a moment of pain.

I thought of that moment only a week ago, when I found myself sunken on the hardwood floors facing even harder truths — that maybe, I’d never really grown at all. I remembered the hopelessness of realizing that I was so much more alone than I’d ever been before. I remembered the tears falling from my face, and I remembered feeling uncertain about whether I wanted someone to witness my tears or whether I wanted my cries to remain a secret from the rest of the world.

Without hesitation (but, in all honesty, I hesitated and inserted many phrases like “You’re going to think I’m ridiculous and lose all respect for me!”), I’d revealed the incident. He’d asked about a time I’d felt lonely and in the span of a few minutes, I’d divulged all parts of myself.

We parted ways at the end of our walk to campus, and I suggested a second meeting later on — a courtesy at this point.

I left the conversation realizing that the pathway for emotions from the deepest parts of myself to the outside world was weathered by the feet of the oft-traveling emotion. Maybe it was because of an old friend. Or maybe it was me; maybe I’ve spent so long wearing my heart on my sleeve that, under the correct circumstance, the heart-stained cloth becomes the garment I brandish.