The Silent Heart

Delta Winds cover 1997Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


The Silent Heart

Sara Angel

When I was sixteen years old Benjamin Taylor asked me out on a date. It was to be my first real date. We decided to go ice skating and then to a late movie. All day long my mom helped me get ready for the big date. But when he arrived at six o'clock sharp, my dad was not there to ask him twenty questions about where we were going and what time he would have me home. It's not that my dad did not want to be there; he just lived too far away. My parents were divorced when I was three years old. Since that time I don't think I have ever been in the same room with both of my parents when they have had a normal conversation with each other.

The relationship of my parents impacted my life. I find myself having a very difficult time communicating with people who are important in my life, specifically men. Looking back on my love life, I understand that my parents' relationship has been one of the biggest causes for a lot of my failed relationships. Then I met Michael Stone. We started dating and for a while he was just like all the others. But something happened with Michael that I had never before experienced. I was going through one of the hardest times of my life. My grandma had just passed away and my sister and I had not been on speaking terms for well over two months. Michael could tell that I was not acting like myself and he wanted to help. As usual, I pushed him away, but he never gave up on me. He called me every day to tell me that he loved me and to ask if he could do anything to help. I always answered no. After a while I found myself talking to him for hours. It did not matter if it was over the phone or in person, just as long as he was there . . . listening.

To this day Michael Stone knows more about me than any living being on this planet. He taught me the most valuable lesson I have ever learned. Good communication between men and women is the key to a good relationship. A healthy relationship thrives on phrases like "I love you" and "What can I do to help you?" not "Where have you been?" or "Don't look at me like that!" When you have good communication with the one you love there is no need to ask where he has been; he will tell you of his own free accord.

Communication comes from trust. A woman needs to know that she can trust the man she is with enough to know that he will not hurt her with the things she has told him. One of the biggest reasons people don't open up is a fear of getting hurt. People don't like pain. A woman needs to know in her heart that her boyfriend will not go out and tell the whole world that she slept with such and such a guy when she was sixteen. But the coin has two sides. The woman needs to be a trustworthy person. Her boyfriend needs to know that he can come to her for anything, no matter how trivial. He has to be able to come to her when his mom dies or when his goldfish dies. If he cannot go to her for comfort and support, he will go somewhere else.

Communication in a relationship is not the responsibility of just the man or just the woman. It's two people coming together, finding common ground, and loving it. It's asking "How was your day?" and waiting for the truth. And when his day was not so good, it's helping to make it better. It's listening to his funny stories about childhood, and you telling your sad stories. It's laughing and crying . . . together.

And when you get really old, you will not even need to speak. Communication will come with a gaze on a lazy afternoon together. When my grandma was diagnosed with lung cancer, we knew she had less than a year to live. Grandpa would stay by her side for hours. You could see the love in their faces. She would look up at him and he would look back. She would look away and blush, then giggle ever so quietly. He sat next to her bed and stroked her hair for nine straight hours before she died. My grandpa describes it as their little piece of heaven.

Sometimes the world goes by too fast. We can hear the rushing of days that turn into weeks, and we get caught up in activities and actions. But there is comfort in this world. If you listen very carefully you can hear the silent heart of someone you love.