Honesty

April 12, 2013 in lau0601, what should be by lau0601

Really?

She didn’t like it when people asked her that. You’re 24? Really? You don’t know where Johannesburg is? Really? Your name is Tiffany? Really?

No, I’m a secret 36 year old South African and my name is Margaret.

Tiffany really didn’t like it, didn’t like it when people seemed to need confirmation for everything she did or said. She said it, didn’t she? Was there a need to ask, again? Was she really so very untrustworthy that her words couldn’t be taken seriously? Or was she just too confusing for people?

But sometimes, she did want people to ask that. Like every other girl out there, Tiffany hid herself behind a smile and a tough answer. Was she doing okay? Yeah, she was fine. The exhaustion wasn’t a big deal, neither was the frustration nor the loneliness. She was fine. Just fine.

When people did ask her if she really was okay, she would feel a slight bit of relief. They care, they want to know, she’d think. And she would tell them. At least, she’d tell them what she was okay with telling herself, because, well – some things, she didn’t even want herself to know.

She would smile disarmingly, nod as if, yes, whew, now it’s all out, thank you for listening to me. And she wasn’t lying, Tiffany really was grateful that they had asked. But something inside of her made her stop just short of giving herself, giving her truth to them. And they would always pat her back and stop there, assuming that she was done with pouring out her troubles and relieving herself of burdens. It was enough, for them and for her.

But she struggled, sometimes.

She struggled when Yuri gave her that look, that look that came with the “really?”. It was, well, annoying – the way Yuri just stepped calmly over her KEEP OUT sign of a smile, the way she didn’t stop when she was supposed to. With Yuri, “really?” came armed, fully armed.

How was she supposed to answer? She was fine, wasn’t she? If Tiffany herself didn’t know what went beyond that safety zone, then how was she to answer Yuri’s questions?

Well, okay, so if she was really to be very honest, Tiffany knew. Of course she knew. She knew what she kept inside, what she kept hidden behind her smile. The question, the real question was this: did she really want to say it aloud? Did she want Yuri to know?

What if she, what if she knew? Sometimes, in the looks Yuri would give her, Tiffany was scared because there seemed to be such sharpness in that gaze that it’d be a miracle if Yuri didn’t know. And if she knew, then…then what of it? When Yuri seemed to know her better than she did herself, what of that? What of this all?

“No, really. How are you, really?”

Tiffany looked quickly into Yuri’s eyes, saw the same sharp determination, and looked away.

“I’m fine,” she said. She smiled.

“Really?”

Dammit, Yuri, I want to say it, just give me time, okay? Give me time, give me space, give me the courage. Give me the words that will make you understand.

I want to be honest with you, too.