We Can Change

I walk through a day of unmet glances, of silence. I want so much to feel something. It feels like the world is sharing this intimate secret and they didn’t bother to include me in it.

It’s hard to talk about, because the second it’s mentioned it’s not personal. Not important. It’s fake.

But I’m not pretending.

Her words slice me. Like cold metal against skin. And I wonder, as I sit speechless, if her cuts hurt like my heart hurts. Like ice, like fire. We didn’t notice.

I find myself with another, in stony shock. And she’s so empty, she tells me. And she’s so hungry, but nothing seems to fill her the way she’s really looking for.

Sometimes I wonder how we don’t notice.

I didn’t see before. But I see now.

I see girls who leave the bathroom stalls with puffy eyes. I see the owner of an untouched lunch, and her forced laughter as she tries to persist in conversation. I see him, who missed four classes in a row. I hear the false merriment, the short clipped conversations, and the silence.

Mostly, I hear the silence.

A silence only remedied by bright eyes of a little brother who wants to share some ice-cream.

A silence broken by the hope of a new project, the unexpected text from a friend, or the affirmation of a random passerby in the hallway.

Now that I see, I know. I know I can be that random passerby. I can send that text and I can value each story. I can be a world without a secret. I can find a stolen moment with a little brother to fill a cup with ice-cream.

Once we see, we can change.

We just have to stop walking around with our eyes shut.