Her palms are sweaty. Her breath comes a little short because she’s thinking hard. Her arms hang at her sides like a gorilla’s, suddenly without any purpose and hence much too noticeable. She’s trying not to look at them but she can’t help but steal a few quick glances at the three of them. Her eyes dart towards them one more time and she’s caught! They saw her looking at them. What now?
Smile. But not too much. Just the regular non-creepy amount… Yes, like that. God, they must think she’s crazy.
Sounds like a tense interview? Or a perilous meeting with mob men? Nope. It’s a just an awkward encounter of an introvert with some strangers in a lift.
She has seen them around. Noticed the girl and the two guys. She knows they all work at the same firm. She has heard their inane office gossip. She knows the girl is dating the tall guy. She knows that the other guy takes being a third wheel in good humor. She knows they love movies and catch the first shows every Friday. She sees them when she takes her pup for a walk. She watches them rush hurriedly in the morning when they are late. She enjoys how the couple laughs at the little things. She admires how the other guy treats them like family but gives them their space too.
The sad part is she knows them better than many of their friends but they’ll never find out. They’ll never know how she roots for their relationship to be a success. She is an introvert. Her thoughts ping around her mind at a million miles per hour. She dreams of the possible friendship she can strike up with these people. How she’ll surprise them with insights about themselves. How she will be the shoulder to cry on because she knows what makes them unhappy.
But all this will probably never happen. Because she’s an introvert. She is the wallflower. They walk right past her engrossed in their lives and she can’t find the nerve to say hi. On the off chance she is alone in a lift with them she tries and fails miserably to smile openly. She has been lulled into a comfortable place by loneliness. She embraces solitude like it’s her security blanket. But it also clutches back. It holds her back from taking the first step, from getting to know them.
Her alone-time is full of such observations of people around her. Once she gets to know them from a distance, she wants them to know her too. But she waits and waits for them to notice her, to approach her, to get interested in her life. She knows she’ll never be a part of their world even though they are already a part of her universe.
She’ll give up on them. She’ll find new muses. She will put the new lives under a microscope and find the pretty patterns they make. She will be able to pick apart the threads of their lives because she has learned from the experiences of other such subjects of her observations.
She wonders if she’s just a stalker. She’s not. She just has no lateral inhibition emotionally. She’s constantly drawing on the feelings and exchanges of other people and making those feelings her own. People and their lives pass her by, coloring her canvas in their fiery colors. Her own serene colors rarely show through the mayhem of their bright reds and sunny yellows. Yet she is all those colors. She is a feisty orange when she thinks of family and friends, a dark and delicious shade of red when she sees her lover, a delicate blue for her pup, a pearly white when she helps someone through their difficult times.
The others are monochromatic inside out but a rainbow is waiting to burst out of her. There’s so much to know about her, so much to know from her. She can be the companion you want to share your insecurities with. Odds are that she already knows about them and doesn’t judge you for them. You can tell her about your latest crush. She has probably already noticed how you laugh so much around him. You can ask her opinion on your clothes. She has always thought how the blue brings out the color of your eyes.
She is an introvert. Don’t just rush past her. Wait. Walk with her. Talk to her. Take in life with her. She might be the one to show you the right way.