I used to wear an Invisibility Cloak. I would wear it everyday, in the hallways of my school. In the classroom. Everywhere I went I would take it.
The cloak would protect me from inevitable rejection
It was a cloak of loneliness, of depression, of defense.
I put it on by turn my eyes to the ground, slow my pace, and shrink into myself. Always succeeding in turning invisible to those in the hallway. Those in the lunchroom. Anyone who was likely to not like me.
My defense never failed.
Until one day, there was a friend that I had who refused to see it. I tried to wear it around her once.
It was after a sporting event. “I can wait with you until your parents come” she said sweetly
“I don’t care” I said. Putting on the cloak.
“I think I will!” She exclaimed, as my cloak disappeared.
I tried once more to wear it around her. Putting it on as we walked down the hallway. She walked ahead and I thought it had worked. I was sure I had succeeded in being invisible to her. Just as the darkness in my mind wanted. I had succeeded.
But she turned around. “Sorry I didn’t mean to walk ahead!” She apologized. I dropped the cloak. Stunned.
I brought the cloak to college, and at first I used it a lot. As much as I didn’t want to use the cloak, I was scared, and it was my defense.
I used it on my first friend, and I thought she would look through me with the cloak, and leave me for the boy she had just met.
In an instant, as I began pulling the cloak on, falling behind them, she stuck her hand out for me to take, and my cloak disappeared as I realized I may have another true friend.
As the year went on, I wore the cloak less and less. My new friend, still refuses to see the cloak, and always offers her hand so I don’t fall behind.
Another friend I’ve made, I never even felt the need to put the cloak on around. I don’t think I even have the opportunity to try.
The friends who see past my cloak and still offer their friendship are those who really count. The ones who walk beside me, even as I try to wear the cloak. The ones who can coax the cloak off of me, to see who I truly am.
I still find myself in the habit of pulling on the cloak, but it is no longer my first defense. The cloak wasn’t protecting me from anything. It is just here so I don’t see others cloaks, and I am blinded to opportunities of friendship.