INTERVIEW: a meeting at which information is obtained from a person
She sits up straight, not because she has good posture but because she thinks it is expected. She is young but clearly has been impersonating what she perceives is adult behavior for quite some time.
We meet at a coffee shop – her suggestion. She orders a black coffee but compensates for the bitterness with sugar.
Her outfit is a mix of styles: funky Dr. Marten boots, sexy mini skirt and an outdoorsy fleece. It is as if she hasn’t quite decided which part of her personality she most wants to display for me. The result is the equivalent of a neon sign announcing “Desperately Seeking Identity.”
I ask her questions. Her responses come out cold and rehearsed. She is well spoken but trying too hard. She sprinkles SAT words into the conversation in a transparent attempt to impress me.
Most of her answers have the stench of people-pleasing. She has become so good at telling people what they want to hear that she doesn’t even bother to process my questions through her mind before responding.
But, there is something in her eyes in the unguarded moments.
She talks about church, the volleyball team and wanting to be a pastor’s wife. But, her heart isn’t in it. Yet, she bubbles to life when she mentions her plane ticket to Ireland. This is a girl living an expected life, hiding her appetite for adventure.
She reminds me of a patient about to wake from a coma. Fluttering eyelids. On the verge of reclaiming life.
I want to talk to her again in a few years, when she has moved away from home and interacted with a bigger world.
I wonder if her skirt will match her shoes the next time we meet.