In His Eyes

September 13, 2009
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He tries to remain stoic, tries to convince everybody that the emotions he's expressing with his words and his actions are the only ones he's experiencing. Sometimes, they really are, but other times, it's all in his eyes.

When he's exasperated over something he's passionate about, his attitude goes south and he won't rest until somebody gets what he's saying. When he's like this, he uses way too many hand motions and, yeah, he occasionally yells—okay, often yells. But look into his eyes, and you see something else—complete disdain due to the fact that nobody else understands what he's getting at, and worry that nobody ever will. There's also genuine anger present when somebody cuts him off and he's *this close* to the point he's getting at—that's all in his eyes.

When he's playing a game—whether it be a board game or a soccer game—his outward actions would suggest that he isn't taking it seriously, that it's just a game to him and he doesn't care if he wins or loses. His eyes betray the outward appearance, though—that's where the competitiveness, the primal determination, the fire lies, bottled up inside, convinced that he's going to win. Occasionally, it manages to leak out, evidence being the number of past injuries that he's garnered or how he occasionally acts on reflex. He never lets go completely, but the competitiveness is still there. That's all in his eyes.

When he gets news of a disappointment, something that may deter any plans he has, he quickly shrugs off the shock and appears to not care less. He'll immediately start planning something out, or revise the plan that he had counted on using so that everything works out. The core of his disappointment remains in his eyes, however. It smolders there, never entirely leaving until he's able to take care of it out of the eyesight of the general public. He acts like it doesn't deter him, however, and continues on his way, regardless of how many people can pick out the neglected emotion in his irises. That's all in his eyes.

When he's trying to hide something, you know. He'll act playful, happy—maybe because he is, but there's something more there, something undetectable. He's good at hiding it, keeping it to himself, for the most part...but there's always something disconcerting about how he acts. If you catch him at the right (or perhaps the wrong) moment, you'll see that hollow look in his eyes, plastered right above the smile he puts on so nobody worries. Later on, though, the hollowness may be replaced with a warmth...a warmth reserved for only one person. Usually it only appears at the end of the night, and he lets that one person know with his eyes just how much they mean to him, just how much he cares—the raw emotion is nearly overwhelming.

I say good-bye to everybody, stopping before I leave to cast a look at him. He must be mirroring my current expression—everything very controlled, very stoic, except for the unadultered emotion lingering in our eyes. It's all we can allow ourselves—his sister, one of my best friends, has no clue that I have any feelings more than ones of friendship for her older brother. Some days, I don't even know how he feels, when it comes to me—but his eyes never lie.

“See you later, Tanner,” I murmur just for his benefit, a kind smile on my face. He shoots me a small smile of his own back, slightly bowing his head. His fingers are still poised on the keys of the piano, waiting, just like how my own hands are hesitating on the door handle. It's just us for a moment, for the few precious seconds we can allow ourselves without seeming suspicious—

And we allow ourselves to express our love with our eyes.

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