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Out from the past with dusty words that could make me six years younger came a message. The old bitterness in my mouth returned easier than I would have ever imagined. Time passes and you think you grow up, wisen up, and give up some of the more fallible parts of days gone. Here’s a chance to maybe prove that though, as the first reaction that comes to me is nothing more than an old habit; a learned way of coping. These are different times though, and it is my responsibility to act like a man that has learned his way away from the child he was.

I respond with firm honesty and without malice. The beats of my heart are stepping to a quicker rhythm as the minutes follow in wait of a reply, and the two letters I receive do nothing for me.

Ok.

I feel no more than I felt a second ago, but the absence of indignation speaks to me in my own voice with words iced with pride. I did what I could and defied a lower road, and though I didn’t receive beyond or level with expectation I am proud of myself.

To my surprise a second response follows. Something honest and unexpected, and for not the first time in recent memory my own adjusted response opens the door for something more than my assumption to reign. Where the story goes next is unwritten as of this writing, but I see a lesson worth noting here. It is easy to move a piece to draw out another’s response, but by granting freedom to their actions and responding with sincerity and openness you may allow yourself to be surprised.

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