The thing about trust is that it always leads to disillusionment. Believing in something, putting any kind of faith in it, can, and does, come to a variety of rather discouraging misfortunes.

The fact of the matter is that it’s difficult not to be suspicious, of everyone and everything, at some point in time. No one is good enough to put their heart, wholly and completely, into anything. Maybe they’ll be close, but where there is comfort, there is doubt. Sometimes it comes immediately, and sometimes it only occurs to you, casually, offhandedly, years and years later, in retrospect.

It doesn’t even have to be a great change, this disillusionment. It can be something that comes gradually, slowly but surely. Whether it’s love, religion, morality, humanity, or variations of said things, disillusionment can arrive in many forms. I remember the look that crossed over the face of that priest at my mother’s church, upon being told that his brother had read The Da Vinci Code and become a fervent denier of God. And I remember a similar expression on the woman who’d been cheated on, the boy on the subway while reading the newspaper article on the Virginia Tech shootings, the business man sorting through savings he realizes had been stolen from him, my bus driver in the third grade, at nine o’clock, September 11th, 2001.

It is, if you think about it, a singular thing, that look. It’s a morphing, shaping facial contortion, going from disbelief to heartbreak to horror, in split seconds, a combination of muscles reflecting the agony of the brain. A moment rather like a barrier, separating two points in time in which we feel completely different things.

I’m not here to comment upon the morals of that priest, that woman, that boy, that bus driver, or the morals of those people who had caused them their disillusionment. I’m not here to say what this, the cheating of faith, means for humanity. I do not know, and I think I’ll leave the rationalization of unknown things to philosophers.

The thing I do know, however, is disillusionment is quite possibly one of the worst things that can happen to someone. Unlike a great quantity of other harrowing things, like sickness or death, it is rarely forgotten, and the pleasure obtained from the time before the disillusionment can never be recovered. Nor with sheer will or with money can they be found, and in their place is left doubt, a sentiment that hides in the palms of our hands, in notebooks, in the faces of loved ones, appearing once and staying forever.

This is the worst thing about disillusionment. Like innocence, it lingers in the air, long after it is lost.

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