Listeners

Listeners

A Story by tcd123
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I wanted to write about something I believed in, and wanted all the listeners out there to be recognized and appreciated just as much as the talkers are.

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When people watch me in a classroom, or even in a discussion with my friends, I am usually classified as shy, timid, reserved, scared, or sometimes even weird. This, however, is nothing but a combination of various opinions. If I have something to say I’ll say it, but I believe that God put me, along with many others, in this world to be a listener. There are those that like to talk; whether they talk to impress, talk to stand up for, talk to intimidate, or talk to hear themselves talk. Then there are those whom prefer to listen. Some listeners are naturally trained, others adapt, but all eventually unite to share the same purpose.

            I personally learned how to be a listener through Gaby, one of the best friends I have ever had. She transferred to my school in sixth grade, and from that sixth grade year until the end of eighth, we had barely said anything to each other. “Quiet,” I had thought. “So shy.” I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that in a grade of less than fifty people, there stood a fraction of kids whom I hadn’t passed the level of saying hello to. In the spring of eighth grade my two best friends, who I literally did everything with, turned on me and abandoned me, and my dramatic eighth grade mind thought it was the end of the world.  I went through a state of heartbreak, panic, and confusion. All hope of those final weeks of eighth grade being sentimental and unifying was gone. I still remember the dreadful pain of my heart plummeting to the bottom of my stomach as I had realized that I now had no one.

            Back then was the same time I had started riding my bike around everywhere to get to and from the little town of Vienna. The music would blare in my ears; extra loud when I started trying to cope with my new loneliness. One day I was locking my bike to the bike rack outside of Noodles and Company, the excitement on my face lacking as I thought about the same old Mac and Cheese I would get every single time, when I suddenly heard a dog bark. I looked up, startled, to see Gaby walking towards me, accompanied by her little waddling puppy. I’m pretty sure that was the first time I had actually seen her outside of school.

            She smiled at me, at first without saying anything, and I experienced a bizarre natural feeling of comfort, one that I had been missing from my two best friends for what seemed like ages. I met her halfway and said hey, then proceeded to ask her how she was. Her voice was so quiet and soft, almost like she was whispering, but it didn’t matter to me. I remember after every couple of sentences she would shyly interrupt with a “What?” or a “Sorry?” then immediately follow it up with an apology for having such bad hearing. She made me laugh and I made her laugh, but most importantly she was just so genuinely nice to me; all of this basically on the first day we were actually meeting. Before I left I asked her to go to the town fair with me that weekend, and even now I remember how much her face had glowed when she had said yes.

            From that day on, our friendship grew faster than I could have ever imagined. Mean girls weren’t a problem for me anymore; I had Gabs. I remember late that summer her mom had pulled me aside and thanked me for being such a good friend and doing so much for her daughter. “How incredibly ironic,” I remember thinking, “since in reality Gaby had done so much more for me.” At times I tried to make her come out of her shell because I couldn’t understand why she was so shy. Most of the time she would respond in hesitation, but what I never failed to notice was that no matter what, whether it was for herself or for me, she was always making an attempt.

            At times I had felt like she was bored with what I was saying or that she wasn’t fully paying attention, until one day I realized I was wrong. It was the summer after freshman year when she came to the beach with my family and me. We were laughing, like always, about totally random and irrelevant things. Suddenly, almost out of the blue, she brought up something about the color green, and then remarked about how it was my favorite color so I would definitely love it. Later that day she revealed that she had finally thought of a solution to my latest boy problem. The rest of the night she kept mentioning other various memories of our friendship; memories that I had even forgotten about. At that moment I realized that everything she was bringing up was in reference to what I had always been constantly blabbering about. The entire time I had been assuming that she was just being her quiet self, not caring and not paying attention, when she was really listening and caring more than anyone. I gave her a giant hug after my long-awaited epiphany, and I knew that I didn’t have to explain why, because Gabs was always listening.

            Ever since then, I realized that there is so much more to someone than what others may classify them as, and not everyone has to be a talker. It’s funny to think that the girl who constantly apologizes for having bad hearing is really the best listener of them all.

I believe in listeners. I believe in saying nothing at all and that being everything that one needs to say. I believe that to be a listener is to take in everything, without any judgment, while still obtaining the right to have an opinion. I believe that a listener is someone who cares. I believe that God created, in turn for every talker, a listener to accompany them. Listening is my way of caring, my way of understanding, and my way of being there for people when they need me most. After all, Gaby was the one who taught me everything I needed to know about being a listener, and that was without saying a word at all.


© 2013 tcd123



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Added on May 2, 2013
Last Updated on May 2, 2013
Tags: listen, God, belief, epiphany, hope, love, friendship, confidence, growth, maturity, obstacles, faith