Trust is the cornerstone of friendship. Trust is what convinces me to share stories. Here’s a little one I decided to share with you:
The biggest act of generosity anyone can show another human being, is to put their trust in them. I remind myself of this, as I stand in the middle of a claustrophobic consultation room, one of many rooms, which make up a very bleak-looking civic building. There are only two people with me, to witness my inertia: one is my councillor, the other is my estranged partner, Dave.
“Now, remember what we were just discussing”, a shrill voice, my councillor, instructs. “Dave, you must stand behind Emma. Emma, you must face away from Dave. When I clap my hands, you must fall back towards him, trusting that he will catch you.”
I feel my shoulders knotting. Why should I show any level of trust, collaboration, in this man who has lied to me, on more than one occasion? I’ve never been anything but above board with him. Why did the money keep leaving our joint account? Did he think I wouldn’t check the bills?
I hear the signal. My heart pumps faster, I hear it pulsing in my ears. I clench my fists, and think about pacing out of that room, down that cold corridor, and out of this for good. Something I don’t understand stops me from doing just that.
“Emma?” His voice, warm, concerned. I close my eyes, imagine his smile, rays of sunshine on a misty morning, they burn through the gloom. Ice melts and dew drops sparkle. Am I ready to make this step?
I take a deep breath, and feel my shoulders slouching. Drifting backwards, I promise myself that, if I hit the ground, that will be it, no going back. I sink for what feels like forever. Something checks my fall, two hands, strong yet gentle. I exhale loudly, but the tension stays within me.
I hear my councillor say, “Well done!”
I turn to look at Dave, wondering if he will be able to meet my gaze, or if he will shift away from me. He smiles sheepishly. Our eyes meet, I see renewed hope in his, but I don’t smile back. Maybe I can rebuild the trust I lost. It’s a start, but is it enough?