"Why are people so intent on
concealing who they are?" Trent
wondered as he flipped through the photo album. The strange antics, the turning
away. "Here it is," he said, pointing to a solemn pose he affected at age
eight. He remembered staring into the lens, studying his own reflection,
oblivious to the ocean and siblings surrounding him. He handed the photograph
to Amari adding, "See? I told you I've always brooded."
She traced his image with her index finger, hovering just
above the paper as if lifting his innocence, affirming the legitimacy of his intense expression. She seemed to
blot, even soak, his premature angst. He could earn it later. Besides, he was
old enough now to decide who he once could be.
He had deep set dark eyes even then. His
hair was now a bit longer than his childhood buzz cut. Its sandy color and his
wiry frame were unchanged. He grew into the man suggested by the boy's body. He
had never suffered eating as a vice. His face was lean, not chiseled; his arms
were strong, not powerful; his countenance was confident, not prideful.
"I've never known anyone to admit to brooding before," she said. "He didn't
used to be that way," she thought. She hesitated, then added, "Brooders should
think more." She believed that people could think their way to happiness.