Evan Hansen stood trembling and staring at the boy in front of him. Conner Murphy had his therapy letter. Panic was beginning to set in, he was past the point of deep breaths. Only one thought was going through his mind.
I need that letter back
I need that letter back
I need that letter back
But for all the panic and dread about Connor reading his letter, Evan couldn’t will himself to just walk up and snatch it out of the taller boy’s hands. Instead, he stood, frozen, watching as Connor’s bright blue eyes flitted across the page. Evan expected some angry outburst, he did talk about Zoe in the letter and Connor seemed like the type that would be protective of his sister. Sure enough, Connor stopped half way through. Evan pressed his eyes shut and pulled his arms up to his chest, trying to shield himself in some way. But no attack came.
Slowly, Evan opened his eyes. He was more than shocked to see that Connor wasn’t angry at all, he was crying.
“Wa-what’s wrong, “ Connor turned to him, Evan had been terribly mistaken, he was definitely angry.
“It’s always Zoe isn’t it?” Connor’s aggressive tone made Evan flinch away slightly.
“What d-do y-you mean?” Evan inquired. Connor’s statement made no sense. What was alway Zoe? Why was he so personally offended at Evan’s crush on his sister?
“You know Hansen. Everyone knows, why do you think they hate me?” The answer to that was obvious in Evan’s mind. Connor was known for being aggressive and even violent. People were afraid of him, but that didn’t answer any of Evan’s questions.
“I still don’t get it. What do you mean?” Evan was slightly relaxed now. It was clear Connor wasn’t going to hurt him. Either way, Connor didn’t really make Evan all that nervous. Sure Connor had shoved him down just this morning. But there was something about him that Evan related to, something he couldn’t see, just feel.
“Of course you don’t know,” Connor threw his hands up in frustration then ran his fingers through his hair. He started to pace and ramble, “The only person I actually wouldn’t mind knowing doesn’t know. Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe you don’t need to know. This is a sign that I should just get over it. It’s stupid anyway. I can’t believe you don’t know,”
Evan didn’t know what was going on but he knew he had to get Connor to stop pacing. So he reached out and grabbed ahold of Connor’s arm. Evan felt a strange sort of spark and warmth creep up his arm from the point where they were connected. It forced Evan to pull his hand back then look at it slightly confused, but still it got Connor to stop pacing. Connor turned to Evan slowly and Evan became less sure that Connor wouldn’t hit him.
“What the hell do you want kid?” This sudden outburst of aggression confused Evan, especially since it seemed like Connor had been addressing him the whole time. Evan took a step back and Connor’s expression softened slightly.
“I’m sorry Hansen, there’s just a lot going on in my head right now and I can’t make sense of any of it.”
Now that was a feeling Evan could understand all too well. He was suddenly gripped by an overwhelming urge to help the boy in front of him, to do something, anything to ease the pain, “What can I do to help?”
Connor laughed, it was sort of a bitter but hollow laugh. A laugh that resonated with Evan, he could feel Connor’s hate for the world, a world that had always hated him. Evan thought Connor needed a hug. “You can’t do a single f-ing thing Hansen. But you’re also the only person that could do anything.” Connor’s voice had turned sad and desperate, “Evan, please?”
Evan walked a little closer to the taller teen, “What, what do you need me to do Connor?” When Evan said Connor’s name, he saw Connor shudder almost undetectably.
“Please just give me the time of day, or something. I don’t f-ing know,”
“Do you want to go out hiking this weekend?” Evan blurted this out before thinking about it. The only place he felt comfortable was with the trees, so he just invited Connor Murphy to go hiking with him. He didn’t know what else to do so he just panicked. But his poorly thought out invitation seemed to be exactly what Connor needed. He turned to Evan with what looked like a smile or at least as close to a smile that Connor Murphy got.
“When do you want me to come by?” Wow, straight to details. Connor didn’t even say he wanted to go but Evan was forced to assume that his response was a yes.
“Um I guess that like maybe eight or something will work, it’s best to hike in the morning. B-but if t-that’s too early for you we could do another time maybe or something- sorry”
Connor actually smiled at this point, “That’s too early for most people,” Evan began to bring his hands up and started to apologize before Connor moved on, “But for you, it’s just the right time,”
And with that, the infamous Connor Murphy turned on his heels and left the library with what looked to be a smile on his face. Evan was left gasping slightly and trying to process what happened.