this boy was in grade eight. thirteen years old. and, like, he wasn't really that familiar with any sort of affection. his parents didn't really seem to like each other that much most of the time, and mostly only spoke to each other when they were angry or complaining. his father did some things with him, but never really had an actual conversation with him. his mother tried, but for some reason that made him feel uncomfortable. his brother pretty much had the same lack of example as him. he had some friends, but none of them were really close in any meaningful way. and for some reason he always felt distanced from them and like an outsider. it didn't help that he had just hit puberty and broken out with horrible acne and his voice was cracking, but he was still short and chubby.

well, for whatever reason, this one girl did sort of like him it turned out. she was crazy and lived with foster parents and cut herself up all the time and talked about killing herself all the time and drank way too much and almost never came to school. they got along quite well, and talked and talked and so on. um, ok, and well there was perhaps some affection and even a little romance happening every once in a while, but this confused the hell out of the boy. he had no idea what any of that was about at all, he had never seen it before except on tv.

one day they were sitting beside each other in class and, she grabbed his hand across the aisle. they started gazing at each other with a very strange look and holding hands tighter and tighter and trying to envelope as much of each other's hands in their own as possible. not much in their lives made them happy. but this seemed to. for some reason. it was good.

at this point the teacher, who was talking about some grammatical error said something like: 'it's good to see a young couple in love, but not while i'm trying to teach you something.'

so the hands fell apart. the class started laughing at them. the boy mumbled something about not being in love. probably, though, at least for those few minutes he was. the laughter made him think that he was ridiculous to be feeling this way. for feeling. so when she asked him to be her boyfriend a little while later he said no. she ended up dating/sleepingwith one of his best friends, then changing schools and so on. he didn't attempt to have any sort of relationship with a girl until a year or so after highschool. other than the occasional drunken make-out session at a party. mostly he just avoided making new friends or talking to people and spent most of his time reading and watching too much tv and trying to learn to play guitar. 8 years later he was laying awake in a cheap motel with his mom and his brother on a family trip thinking about this incident. and wondering why he was pathetic enough to be laying awake until the sun started to rise thinking about holding hands with a girl 8 years ago. he had four hours of driving to do early in morning.

Moi, j'avais jamais rien dit. Rien

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