Painting Pictures


The last time I wanted to say something, but kept quiet, I was in the middle of a conversation with someone. They started speaking and suddenly my soul awoke. The moment this person began talking, instantly I knew to just be silent. For my own good. For the good of everyone involved, I had to stay mute. This person uttered a few words, “I was at a baby shower last week.” My world stopped.

I knew where this conversation was headed even before they told me. Immediately my brain went into survival mode, alerting me that I I should tell said person to stop talking. Reluctantly my lips did not move. This person continued on explaining what they did, how they did it, who they talked to, what was said. I could picture them talking. For some reason I painted a picture of everyone laughing. I could see it all so clear. Random particulars were described to me. Clean and cut, they said. Happy, was another adjective used. I stayed quiet.

The guilty pleasure of my ears wanted to hear every detail. The frantic beat of my heart wanted the conversation to stop. My soul needed to hear more. The whisper of my conscience was telling me to make an excuse, get up, and walk away. Yet there I sat, frozen in time, listening.

With each word that was said, pictures began to form in my head. Thought after thought played on, like an old black and white movie viewed on still frames. I wanted to get up and scream. I wanted to break down in tears. I wanted to reveal my deepest depths at that moment. If they knew, maybe they’d stop talking. I wanted the room to stop spinning. I wanted to run. Still I longed to hear more. Ask questions. The apprehension I felt inside kept me silent. If I ask, it will reveal too much. I can’t. I have to stay calm.

The story continued as I sat in culpable pleasure painting pictures in my head. It’s always the same result when this person chooses to share things with me. I sometimes think they do it on purpose. Why? I think they do it for me. Then I hear that small whisper of confirmation…“they do it because they love me.”

Oh, but if only they knew the strength of MY love. Then it would make all the difference. Sadly they don’t. I shared it once, never again. I can’t. My voice must remain silent. Beauty shines best when I say nothing.

So there I sat silently painting pictures in my head; the last time I wanted to say something, but just kept quiet.


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