Chatting under the Vietnamese skies

Serene asked, 'are you the type who wants a few close friends? Or wants to be close friends with everyone?'

I was taken back by her straight-forwardness. 'It really isn't something I've thought about. Really. But if I've to decide, I think I'm the type who wants to be tight friends with everyone.'

'I want to know people, to see them for who they are and respect their individuality. I want to understand more than the veneer they present to the world. I don't want to sense the distant aloofness - it frightens me.'

She waited and looked at me with expectant eyes, as though willing me to go on. When I didn't, Serene started talking. 'Well, that probably means you're always being disappointed. People hide and they have every right to. It's okay for them to hide. Perhaps they had been hurt. Perhaps they aren't ready. Perhaps they are just shallow.'

'And if you expect them to reveal themselves, then you're bound for disappointment.'

'But I just want to respect them for who they are. Is that too much to ask for?'