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Everybody's Got One

(c) Linda Hutchison February 2018

“…and so there it is,” summed up Joseph, gesturing with hands out wide, palms facing upwards. His companion, concentration and awe written across her face, replied softly as she looked down.
“That’s huge.”
“It nothing special, Sophia.”
“You’re wrong, Joseph, that’s massive.” She raised her eyes to his. “You have to get this out there.”
“No way, Sophia, this is private. It’s my person and my identity. It doesn’t need to be shared with all and sundry.” Joseph looked back at her defiantly.
“But you could do so much good with it. People need it. They need to know.” Sophia was starting to plead now, her hands equally expressive.
“What good’s it going to do? It’s mine, it’s personal, and it doesn’t have to affect anyone else.” Joseph turned his head away and looked out the window. He tried to concentrate on the silvery glisten of the moonlight over the bay.
“But it’s yours. And you’re here. It does matter.”
“What’s so different about mine? Everybody’s got one. There’s no need to make a song and dance about it.” Joseph looked back at Sophia, his eyes demanding a logical argument.
“But yours is unique. It’s bold and courageous. It’s triumphant. The sheer breadth of it makes it stand apart from everyone else’s.” Sophie continued to plead for his acquiescence.
“You are making a huge fuss over nothing. If I hadn’t shared it with you, it could just sit quietly in the background of my life, impacting no one.”
“So you think this is all about you, do you? You have it for a reason. It needs to be shared. What value does it have if it sits unknown in the ‘background of your life’,” she said, emphasizing the quote with her fingers.
“Leave it be. Go and bother someone else about theirs. I’m regretting sharing it now.” Joseph crossed his arms, starting to tire of the argument. Sophia knew that it was time to back off.
“One day you’ll relent. It’s a bloody good one. People will find out eventually.”
“I’m happy to wait until ‘eventually’ arrives,” he said leaning down towards her, fingers emphasizing the return quotation.
“You’ve always been stubborn, Joseph. Keep it to yourself then. Be selfish.”
Joseph looked at her, lips forming a firm line of determination. He remained silent. She stared back at him, eyes unflickering. Slowly, a smile started to form across his face. He moved closer to her.
“You know what, Sophia? Why don’t you share your own?”
Her eyes widened and he could see her mentally back-peddling.
“I don’t think that’s really necessary. Mine’s not that exciting.”
“Everybody’s got one, you said. You have it for a reason, you said. That must apply to you too.”
Sophia started to rise to her feet, and Joseph pulled her back down to him.
“Share it, Sophia. Let them all know the truth.”
“Why should I? They’ll all think I’m weird.”
“Maybe they’ll feel a little less weird when they know about your weirdness.” Joseph shrugged his shoulders as he challenged her.
“Oh great. Just what I need. Openness and transparency for the greater community good.”
“Exactly. And just maybe, you’ll encourage them to share theirs as well.” Joseph nodded to himself, pleased with his deduction.
“And then will you go public? If I reveal them mine, you’ll bare yours?” She looked up at him with a challenging glint.
“An eye for an eye?”
“And a tooth for a tooth. Or better still, a story for a story. You tell yours, and I’ll tell mine.”

Everybody's Got One: Work
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