It’s that feeling you get when you’re hiding something from your mom. Or that feeling when someone calls your bluff. The look that makes you feel small and weak. Eyes can convey a powerful message. But can it happen with a stranger you’ve never met?
It was all a routine. Waking up, eating the same thing every morning, and going to school always with the same friends, same people, same faces and coming home to the same empty bed every night. A dull grey monotony is what my life had become.
Just like every other Friday, my friends and I were meeting up at the cafe near the library. Being the first one there, I went to go grab our usual spot in the corner away from all the noisy hustle bustle.
As my eyes flickered to find my place, I found it was already occupied by the back of a hooded figure. Annoyed and irritated at the days events, I went to go take them out on this hooded stranger. This was our place and I was ready to evacuate this nobody by staking him or her out.
My timid gait turned purposeful as I walked to the back and sat down across from this man who was clearly out of place.
Glancing up from his laptop, he stared and with a sly smirk asked, “Can I help you with something?”
Meeting his gaze, I forgot what I was about to say.
Red. Red. Red. Red. Red.
I just shook my head and gestured to the full room trying to explain that there was no where else to sit. I took out my phone.
With a quick nod, he went back to whatever he was typing up on his laptop.
I sat down and internally sighed to calm my nerves. The moment I met his gaze, I felt small and weak. I felt like I wanted to crawl up and shelter my body from the tempestuous storm threatening to release.
Maybe it was the color of his eyes, I wondered. Craning my neck to get a better view, I wanted to meet his gaze once more.
His eyes were only brown. They weren’t even a stormy blue or a vibrant green! They were only brown. A lighter mediocre shade of brown at the very most. If his eyes weren’t cliche-ishly appealing, why did I want to keep holding his gaze?
Realizing that I was still staring, he looked back up… and winked. Even though I knew he couldn’t read my mind, I became a little angry that he was enjoying the confusion he had caused within me. I furrowed my eyebrows at him, and looked back down.
Then I looked back up because I realized that I didn’t want to leave the comfort the gaze of this stranger was providing me.
What the hell was this feeling? It was the combination of fear and excitement that appears just before you go on the scariest roller coaster at the amusement park. I didn’t know whether to look away or go deeper into this trance that I’ve already entered.
And this obviously made me feel small and weak, because a complete stranger was staring into my soul, and already figured out my secrets. Even the ones that I didn’t even know I was keeping. I wanted him to whisper in my ear the treasures and shipwrecks he had found within my soul. It was intimidating and exhilarating all at the same time.