“But how are you really?” It was the second time my recent acquaintance had asked how I was. I’d never noticed how intrusive they were — those five little words.
I’d answered ‘fine’ the first time. Not ‘fine’ in that emotionally brittle sense that really means I’m-anything-but-fine (and-if-you-really-cared-you’d-know-it-already). I’d meant it in the neutral sense of “everything in my life is pretty ace right now and ‘fine’ just about covers it”.
But apparently she knew better. She was sure I was concealing something.