Eye of the Beholder

The morning sun flooded her office. I can’t recall why I stepped in but will never forget the way the light warmed her velvet skin and illuminated her brown eyes. We talked but my only recollection is feeling mesmerized by her beauty and her strong character. I was, in fact, a bit envious.

In this brief moment, I remember wishing I knew more about her life. I  was raised with no one starkly different than me; the outer me. The basis we use to evaluate one another with predisposed ideas of who they are merely by appearance.

How naïve I was.
How naïve I still am.

She stops her sentence, tilts her head, and my focus returns to our conversation. She says, “You have got the most beautiful eyes!”

I never knew how to accept a compliment. Somehow raised to humbly defer the attention and excuse it away with a self-deprecating comment rather than accept it as the gift it truly is. But today, I am awakened and say, “Thank you. I was just thinking the same thing about you!”

At this moment, our inward selves are identical. We look across the desk at one another. The morning sun enlightens more than the room. I often reflect on this day. I look in the mirror, my gray eyes and pale complexion stare back at me, and I think of Shawna.

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