Sometimes we just try so hard, don't we? We try so hard to be what they want, what they imagined, what you think they would like and so we do our hair different or try to use bigger words or get involved in that thing we could care less about all because we're trying so very hard.

Always it is the trying.

The trying to get 4.0. The trying to be the best at basketball. The trying to get that person to like you. The trying to get them to be your friend. The trying to look thinner. The trying to be prettier. The trying to be more outgoing. The trying, the trying, the trying.

I remember once meeting you at your house because it was Friday night and the restaurants would be so crowded we probably wouldn't get a seat and that coffee shop would be filled with kids from your high school you couldn't stand and the park was there, but who wants to go to a park on Friday night without pepper spray so you asked me to your house and I went. And I texted you to let you know I was there because it was ten at night and maybe your parents were asleep because I remember you telling me once that they hit the hay early and you answered my text with "Come on up, I'm in my room" and I walked up the stairs softly because your dad was on the couch snoring with ESPN on, remote still in hand.

And your room looks a lot like your heart, ya know? A lot like the dreams you have and the places you want to go and all the beauty and hope and faith you have in life were seen in the posters in your room, the items on your nightstand, the books on your desk. And we talked for a few hours because it was Friday night and we both like to talk and we didn't get too serious (except for when we talked of our fear of our dreams never coming true) and we didn't get too silly (except when you made me do an impression of every character from Napoleon Dynamite) and we didn't really talk of much of anything but somehow, in some way, you were... different.

Different in a good way, mind you, because at school your shoulders were always tight and your eyes were searching for affirmation when you spoke up and your heart was beating so fast all the time because of the nerves but here... here you lounged and you rested and you laughed and I wondered what it was that made you different.

And it was the lack of trying, wasn't it? It was the lack of pressure, lack of eyes, lack of self-consciousness and to say it was beautiful is like saying the Northern Lights are "pretty cool," or that Ben Howard's music is "okay."

Because you sitting there, in that room that sung the song of your heart, I saw you without a mask, without a filter, without trying and I wished it could always stay that way.

Because when you weren't trying so hard, I didn't feel the need to try so hard either.

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