“Look, this isn’t going to work,” I sat back trying not to cross my arms because I don’t want to escalate this to a fight.
“Oh, here we go,” her laughter mocked me. “You say that you want someone to understand you, but the moment I hit on a truth, you get scared and run away.”
“It’s not that,” I could feel the tears beginning to build, but I can’t release them. I won’t mean for it to be, but tears will be seen as manipulative.
“Women are the same,” she seemed to forget that she is a woman. “You don’t say what you want, but get your feelings hurt when we don’t give it to you. When we give it to you, you act like you don’t want it. You need to make up your mind, because I’m not playing this game.”
Confrontation frightens me, and I’m wringing my hands together tightly beneath the table. I have nothing to lose by being honest. But it scares me like hell! While she’s berating me about what she thinks is wrong with me, I take in a deep and slow breath. And I tell her, “I’m willing to let in someone I trust on my thoughts. I’m willing to try all sorts of things, and be the person I am inside. But I have to be able to trust them. And someone assuming they know my thoughts when they just met me says that they aren’t interested in getting to know me or understand me. And someone that doesn’t know me is someone that I can’t trust. So, I don’t think this will work.”
There was a puff of annoyance, “so glad I wasted my time. Enjoy being single for the rest of your life.”
She left, her drink and food were untouched. I also didn’t touch mine because I was starting to spiral. People were around me. I’d just done something I hadn’t ever done. Could I run away? Would people judge me poorly if I did? Should I look around and apologize for making them uncomfortable? The tears I couldn’t keep back rolled silently down my cheeks. A cinnamon dusted latte was my focus.
“That was amazing,” an unfamiliar voice spoke gently to me.
It wasn’t possible to discretely wipe away the tears, but my hand tried to. Feeling the tremble of cornered prey begin to overtake me, I tried hard to breathe normally. It only made it worse, it seemed.
With confidence I was sure I’d never have, he took my hand and sat opposite me in the chair she had abandoned. Warmth spread from the touch. It seemed to come from his eyes, “I agree with what you said about someone who assumes to understand our actions without understanding our experiences, means that they aren’t interested in knowing who we are. It was incredible that you said so. And you totally dodged the crazy-train.”
It made me laugh despite my fears and tears. With a watery smile, I introduced myself, “I’m Selina.”