Growth in Silence

His gigantic hands covered his face, a feeble attempt to hide his tears. He even tugged at the neck of his sweaty shirt. Yet, he could not hide his body’s shake, an instantaneously recognizable sign of crying. As his broad shoulders heaved up and down, I silently watched him, feeling like a voyeur during his intimate, seemingly private moment. I turned my head to respect the privacy that his hands and covered face demanded. As my focus shifted to the trees and the surrounding park equipment, tears flooded my eyes.

I’d been where he’d been. Heart broken. Overwhelmed by a random moment’s intensity, often spurned by an unexpected flood of memories and thoughts that break the dam protecting one’s eyes. I did not cry then.

I started to cry now because I love him and understood the pain. But I valiantly fought back those tears, refusing to wet my cheeks. I wanted to be strong for him in that moment, or so I lied to myself in those quick seconds. However, I truly wanted to put my arm around his shoulder and weep alongside him. I undoubtedly have some unresolved issues that more than likely require a good crying.

But I did not do so. I gave him his space.

After a few minutes passed and we completed the workout, I hugged him and told him that I loved him and I was here for him. Tears once again attempted to stream down my face but they did not break out of their lightly sealed ducts.

We sat on a nearby park bench and in silence our friendship grew, watered by unseen tears.


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