A: I’m afraid.

B: I know.

A: I don’t know why.

B: It’s uncomfortable. And scary.

A: What is?

B: The truth.

A: Yeah. One time I told the truth and it got me in a whole lot of trouble and created a whole big unnecessary mess, and the whole thing could have been avoided if I had just kept my damn mouth shut.

B: Silence is golden.

A: Damn right.

[A long silence]

A: Did you say something?

B: Nope.

A: Cause I could’ve sworn I heard –

B: Nope.

A: Well, maybe the silence is the scary part.

B: I hear you.

A: So what do I do, just start talking? Cause I have a lot to say, a lot of opinions and observations.

B: Maybe start by listening.

A: Oh. Ok. yeah. That feels better. Easier. Less pressure.

B: What do you hear?

A: Hmmmmm. Voices.

B: What are they saying?

A: I’m not sure. It’s hard to make out. Some are just talking, some are crying, some are screaming, some are singing.

B: Try giving your full attention. What do you hear?

A: Stories. A lot of stories. I like stories

B: Good.

A: These stories are different, though. I don’t recognize the voices.

B: What do you mean?

A: They’re not my people.

B: Are they people, though?

A: Yes. Of course.

B: Just checking. Keep listening.

A: I’m not sure I want to.

B: I know. But that’s why we’re here.

A: I’m afraid.

B: I know. What are you afraid of?

A: What if their story contradicts my story?

B: Now we’re getting somewhere.

A: Well

B: It’s just a story.

A: No, it’s not just a story. It’s the story. It’s my story.

B: So what are you so afraid of?

A: What if my story isn’t THE story?

B: It isn’t

A: What?

B: Do you like your story?

A: Yes.

B: Does it make you feel good about yourself?

A: Mostly.

B: Is it honest?

A: Not completely.

B: Now we’re getting somewhere.

A: Ok. That was scary to admit, but it feels kinda . . . better

B: Ok. Then, keep listening.