“La I swear to God you can’t tell anyone else.”
“Like seriously. This is just between me and you.”
“OK!!! Who the fuck am I gonna tell anyway?”
He takes a deep breath and settles his eyes on mine. He looks positively shook.
“Really La. NOBODY.”
People like to talk to me for some reason. And not just my friends. I am the person that perfect strangers can somehow pinpoint in an airport and before either of us can flip open our magazines, they’ve spilled to me their whole life story.
“I’m only telling you this because I trust you,” he emphasizes to me, part spoken creed, part express warning.
I don’t mind it most of the time. It’s actually quite flattering. And Lord knows I have had some pretty good conversations with strangers. They always seem to be perfectly timed to have some sort of influence or message.
“Have I ever let you down?” I ask him, my tone a little colder cuz I KNOW he knows better. I know he knows how I am when I give my word about anything but especially to someone I love.
“Aiight then. Spill it.”
I am nothing if not loyal. Sometimes to a fault. But I’d rather be loyal to a fault, to be universally known as a woman of my word, to be there unendingly for those I love than to worry about the times loyalty faults.
“I can’t believe I did it. But I gotta tell someone.”
And so he does.
The thing about secrets is that they carry weight. Weight that once you know them, you are responsible for. You have to carry your end. It’s one thing with airport strangers. Their secrets are not so heavy. You don’t have to carry them in your day to day life.
It’s another thing when you are shouldering the secrets of those around you. When your loved ones seek you out and confide in you because they trust you. Because they love you. Because right now, in this moment, you are the only one it makes sense to share this information with.
Sometimes you’re uncomfortable carrying it. Sometimes you don’t like what you hear. Sometimes you don’t agree.
Sometimes, it even hurts you. Deeper than what you’re probably willing to admit to yourself.
But you don’t judge. Because that’s not what you do. Not when you love someone. Not when you know someone inside and out and you know the goodness in their heart. You pick up your end and you carry it. Because loving someone is about loving even their faults. Because love is and should be unconditional. Because being a sincere and total part of their life means shouldering even those things that, on your own, you would choose not to carry. It means indulging in, keeping their secrets.
It’s not that simple.
As secrets generally are not.
Secrets make you selfish, don’t they? Because suddenly everything is a conspiracy. You are so submerged in the intricacies of keeping your secrets that every detail must be under your control. There can be no surprises. This is important to you. This is your life. This is your secret to do with what you see fit.
So what if someone else is helping you shoulder the weight?
Do you regard them in any way? Or is it still about the secrets you keep? Mostly. But isn’t that human nature? To be egocentric? To be the center of your own world? That doesn’t make you a bad person.
Just a person.
I love that my friends find me trustworthy, deem me strong enough to carry their secrets.
I just hope like hell that they’re right.