She doesn’t remember having many classes with him or much time to spend with him in general. Perhaps, subconsciously she was always looking for him. Somehow she always found him, or by chance looked up at just the right moment, often surprised to see him, as if she knew he was coming all along. He was often in a good enough mood to spare a slyly fleeting, almost stolen glance at her. In most instances, she would look quickly enough to catch a sweet crooked smile, which was almost always quickly suppressed, although its shadow and its lasting lightness in his eyes never really went away until long after. The reasoning behind the entire act was a mystery, perhaps it was performed without his knowing or perhaps he did the same for everyone he knew. It didn’t matter to her, she preferred not to question it since she found herself smiling whenever she found him, claiming some of that radiance as her own, yet not knowing what it was about him that made her so happy. He seemed to always have that brightness about him, that smile and that always laughing voice…but that was a long time ago
Over the years he seemed faded and faded to the rest of the world, retreating from people and talking and laughter…but somehow she couldn’t stay away, she refused to let him disappear like he seemed to want…even if it was just from her. She was drawn to him by a force that had no name…until now. Although most people hardly saw much more in him than a quiet, shy boy, often joking about his potential as an unseen evil genius, she still saw the whole of the universe in his smile.
She never knew why he became that way; She had always guessed it was by choice. He is the most special and amazing person she knows, there isn’t anything he can’t do… and so in her mind it must have been by choice that he didn’t have many friends or talked much...but still, the unsettling fear that he was unhappy made her question her theory.
She wanted to protect him from the world…but he would not let her. He would not let her into his world, into his mind and so she knocked tirelessly upon his door, waiting for him to let her in, knowing he probably never would. Perhaps it was because he knew she couldn’t protect him from anything…it is very likely that he found her as worthless and vile as everyone else did…whatever it was, she could not fight it. That couldn’t stop her from trying. He was her baby…the center of her deranged universe. She forced him under her frail wings, knowing deep inside it was she who needed the shelter of his hard-earned smiles, the soothing lullaby of his voice, the energy of his laughter, the power and miracle of his every action and motion.
It was a shame she loved the sound of his voice and his smile, for he rarely spoke or smiled anymore. She did anything she could to see that smile, to hear a laugh, to hear his voice even when she knew he was weary of her. No matter how much he resisted she never stopped, couldn’t stop. She doesn’t know why she did it, why she didn’t just give him what he wanted, why she didn’t just leave him be. Likewise, no matter how annoying she got she realized, even though she doubted he even consciously knew, he gave her the right to annoy him, he would always put up with it no matter how mean his words got or how violent he threatened to be…it seemed true that he would never hurt her.
At times there was more of a struggle for his approval, for his attention, but in the end she settled on just bothering him. The more bothered he was the more he seemed to smile, to laugh, and to speak in the way that she wanted. Soon she found the one thing that seemed to bother him the most…love. She said “I Love You,” marveling at the instant gratification she got from the way he reacted. It didn’t matter what brought it about as long as he gave her that special smile, that special laugh, that special voice which could speak of the vilest things on earth and still sound infinitely sweet. The words felt right but held no meaning inside her. They were just words and she didn’t know why she said them and so often… she didn’t know why she pretended to love him when inside her she believed she didn’t.
When people asked of it, she found it hard to explain to him her exact feelings for him. She began evaluating and re-evaluating yet didn’t come up with anything that was easily pinpointed or named. She didn’t have a crush on him… it wasn’t his looks that got to her, his long hair made it near impossible to clearly see his face, the dark coloring of his clothes made his potentially disarmingly beautiful blue eyes murky and flat, besides that, she rarely strained her eyes to reach his face. Being her baby, she couldn’t possibly think of him in that manner and rarely wanted much more than to pinch his cheeks and ruffle his hair. Pretending to be infatuated with his hair and his looks in general was all part of the act.
He was not a friend, his general air of disgust and his hostile mannerisms towards her, and the way he always ran away, physically and mentally, made that much clear. Though at that time she knew he never really meant it, he always delivered it all with that soft, dry chuckle and a smile. It was just how they were, just how their anti-relationship worked…it came naturally. Yet still, it was hard to explain to people exactly what it was that made her pretend to be so obsessed with him in every way. It just seemed right and fun and so she did it. Often she just settled with the phrase “I don’t really love him…I suppose I’m just obsessed with him…” passing it all off as an unnatural addiction. No emotions attached.
© Copyright 2017 Belina Bryant. All rights reserved.
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