April 9th, 2018
What are the colors of their eyes?
I was a shy person before high school. When I talked to strange people I always felt nervous and had sweat in my hands. I couldn’t look others into their eyes, so when I was talking my hands were playing by themselves. Thus, I hardly ever talked to any stranger. There was many news reporting about kidnaps because kids talked to strangers and spent time with them, so I used to just walk away if anyone on the way trying to talk with me. So, I was the kind of person who never catch attention in the crowd. Even sometimes I think that is me; I meant to be like this and this is my personality which born to be like this.
There was one day, I saw a man wearing simple, thin but clean clothes in a winter day and begging I was walking out from KFC. Then, he started to walk to me with smile on his winkled face and asked me for a drink. I remembered I was 7 years old at that day. “May I have what you have left in that cup? I’m thirsty.”, said by this man. I stood there and didn’t know what to do for seconds. No one had ever taught me how to deal with this kind of situation before. The only thing in my mind was my mother saying, “Don’t talk to strangers.” After few seconds, this old man took two coins out from his begging jar wanted hand it to me with his hands shaking, “I wear dirty clothes, I cannot get into the shops or restaurants, so can I have your drink and I will pay for it.” I didn’t know what to do at that moment. I saw his big and dim eyes. I saw his tough hands with mud in his nails. I thought he must had a tough life. Then, I gave him all the money that I had with me and I thought he must need that. I thought it was not good that give him the drink that I already had half of it. So, I gave him the money and I run away with a half- full cup of orange juice in my hand.
I remember once I was attending a speech competition. First, I was supposed to give a speech to three teachers. I was really nervous looking all around but not the audiences in a small room with only four white walls. Most of the time I remember I was staring at the floor like there was a metal stuck to my eyelids. The floor was brownish and I saw a little gray bug climbing around. After the bug disappeared from my sight I started to play with my hands. I saw sweat sparkling on my hands like broken diamond shines from different angles. There were a few moments, I suddenly realized to look up while speaking, so I putted my head up, but still I can help moving my eyes away from audience. I felt my breath has a thermal touch breathing out from my nose. I smell the feeling of air solidifying in this small room. Meanwhile, I was reciting my speech. I had practiced so many times that I don’t even need to think about it. At that time, I thought talking to unfamiliar people face to face must be the most embarrassing thing ever. Every time before I talk to these strangers made me straggle.
Every time when I think of meeting this old grandpa outside the KFC I felt regretful, I should have say something or do something for this old man maybe that would make a difference. Every time I thought about that night outside of KFC, it putted me in a deep thinking. If I was not cowardly, I would have brought him a meal with a drink, then there would be a difference for that old man at least for that day I guess. I thought about cases like this thousands of time. Should I keep the way as how I treat the strangers, or should I change a little bit, maybe? If keep silence is good for me or for others or not?
To be honest, every time after I gave a speech in public or even answered to questions in class I felt I should have done better or I should have said that. But all of these were only stayed in my mind. I was so jealous of those classmates who could stand up on the stage and be presenters for school performance. Sometimes I was wondering if I should step out from my comfort zone to get in touch with strangers. I was really struggling between change and giving up. Should I minimize the chance of speaking in public?
One day evening, in my grandparents’ house waiting for grandfather making dinner. Smelling of delicious for which is way better than restaurants’; gathering of family members; chatting adults; playing cartoon TV show for my younger cousin. “Wei Jin, look at me while you are talking.”, said my uncle. My uncle is 6-foot-tall guy, and back then I was a thirteen-year-old girl. Strong uncle and little me made my felt stressful. I found seriousness from my uncle’s faces; I saw winkles between his eyebrows which created a really unfriendly face. I took that very serious since I thought my uncle was the most easy-going adult I had ever met. But this time I saw a different disparate uncle who made me feel “big” uncle got bigger and “little” me got weaker. I laid in my bed at night processing. If I was wondering did I really never look at others’ eyes, that I have not realized. I looked at the light on the ceiling until the halo became more and more blurry. This is remained fresh in my memory until now. I believe that was the turning point of my twenty-year-old life. There was once I heard my uncle talking to my mother telling her that I need to make a change for looking at others’ eyes while talking. That was the year before I can to US. I can’t remember the exact time of me making changes. But I knew it happened slowly during my four-year high school life in US. What made me change? Maybe is the equality between teachers and students in US? Maybe is the small size of my high school because we know everyone in school very well? Maybe it’s the ardor from random people on the street? Or even maybe the relaxing environment of making jokes?
If I got one more chance to go back to that old homeless man I would defiantly buy him a drink with a meal and maybe I would spend some time chatting with him. I was really regretful that I didn’t do that many years ago. Talking to strangers and looking into people’s eyes ia s important element of being confident and noticeable letting people know you as a unique individual one on earth. Instead of always being a normal person that not shinning or remarkable being in the crowd. It would really make myself happy if my personal chance could have brought even a little help or happiness for others.
I don’t know when I started to see emotions for people’s eyes while they talking to me. I see different colored eyes. I saw peoples’ pupil can getting bigger or shrinking sue to the different occasion. Slowly, I can read different strong massage from people’s eyes like wondering, surprising, caring and so on. I felt so entertaining that I can see it was so different that eye expression can get. There was one day, one man knocked on my door. I open up the door, an old man with dark skin and some scar hidden on his rough skin. But I noticed his face, was full of kindness and honesty. He then took out his certificate from his black jacket that I can tell this jacket must be very old since I could see it got whiten from washing, but this didn’t affect it being neat. He showed me his veteran certificate with winkled edges. “I’m not here asking for money, I was a solider but now I’m too old for any job, so I’m here to ask if I can have something for my lunch, please?” slowly saying by this old man. My heart got tighten, how could a veteran became so poor that he needs to ask for food? So, I let him in to sit with us and having lunch together. My parents and I listened to him telling that he was so grateful for having this meal with us and the stories when he was young. Lately, I saw tears sparkling around his canthus…
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