(Please read notes)
It was a quick motion.
The man licked his lips, and expeditiously flipped the pages of his book over.
I couldn't help but notice it amidst all the screaming and crying. There were so many kids all around; I could hardly focus on the work right in front of me. Never mind the fact that I had gotten distracted by him again.
I was currently surrounded by the luscious greens, slowly turning red and brown and yellow and orange of the trees, spreading up into the sky. Searching for the source of their power.
Like everyone was doing. Searching, reaching stretching for the thing keeping them going and giving them hope.
I was jotting a note down when I first heard the footsteps. Precise. Confident. But nearly soundless, as if the man didn't want to draw attention, but wanted people to feel his presence.
I didn't even have to look up to know that he had a messenger bag hanging from his shoulder containing a book. Possibly the same as yesterday, or maybe a new wonder to dive into.
I had my own apartment, downtown near the little shops. I'd go down there occasionally to browse the shelves, but I never bought anything. I never wanted to; I found no reason to. But I wanted to get something for him.
I barely knew him. I knew this. Why did it have to be so hard for me to strike up a conversation with him?
Was it because he always seemed so absorbed in that novel or whatever he was reading? Was it the vibe he gave off, interrupt him at your own risk? Was it me?
Was it me?
During most days, I go to a local college. I spend the rest of my time at the park.
It held so much unfound beauty, so much peace. It felt welcoming. The park was a second home of sorts. The difference between the park and my apartment: he was at the park. I couldn't have him at my home. I can't have him whenever I want him, whenever I just need to be with someone. But I have hopes that I will. That I can. Someday.
On the outside, you wouldn't be able to guess I'm this kind of person. You'd probably think that I'm just a dumb jock. You could think that I don't care about anyone bt myself and am just trying to get by.
But what most people don't know is that I think. I think a lot. About tons of little things. And I love as much as I can.
I can be that guy on the football team, butting my head into others for the point of what exactly? I can be that guy; cold and calculating, cutting you off and walking away for a reason you'll never know.
I can be that guy who everyone feels bad for; the guy who lost both parents in a car accident that miraculously survived, but lost an arm and had to go through the system a few times. I can be that guy who people pity, yeah, I can. I see the looks people give me as I pass by.
They don't know I do.
But I can also be what Steve calls me, a "little puppy dog." The real me is someone who puts their whole heart into anything they're doing. Who is loyal until the end of the line, who knows what's wrong and what's right.
Everyone has this idea in their head of who I'm supposed to be. They trap me in a box, they confine me, as to being only one thing. When I'm more. That's what everyone in this town is like. Now him. Him I don't know yet.
I put the headphones on my head, and begin studying the notes I took in my Psychology class.
He's already there, sitting on the bench across from me, his legs crossed at the ankles and staring intently at the book in his lap. I watch as he bites his lip and his eyebrows rise upwards in shock.
I watch as he licks his lips and uncrosses and crosses his legs again. I watch as he licks his finger and turns the page, over and over again.
I watch as the noirette's hair blows in the wind, the same way the pages of his book do.