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We love the broken ones

You know who they are. They can be girls or boys, but since it’s my blog, I’m going with the boys. And this boy, who shall remain nameless, or who could be the character in my follow up to The Sharing Moon, is the reason for this overly descriptive mash of words.

They come along without warning, boys like him. They aren’t aware that someone might be watching them from afar. And girls that do watch know it probably isn’t healthy, or normal, but it can’t be helped. When he hides, it’s natural to lay in wait, hoping to see him shed his outer skin, a camouflaged, hard exterior that reveals something bolder beneath. The urge never leaves. It’s common. It’s so common, in fact, that girls know all the terms for it. Intrigued by the silence . . . wants to penetrate the walls . . . invade the heart of a lost boy so she can fix it. Damaged-boy syndrome.

Maybe it starts out slow and unexpected, the curious feeling. Or it comes in like the wind, blowing away all reason.

He might be a purely insufferable guy. But then for a second, even in one blink alone, his eyes may flash the truth. He really doesn’t want to be this way. His eyes tell a story. She thinks she’s the only one who can hear it and change the ending for him. His eyes used to be filled with something, right? But now they are empty, and she’s going to be the one to bring them back to life. He just doesn’t know it yet.

There is the scent too. Wonder follows it; wonder about how a boy can smell like that, when he probably has no idea. He smells like the woods in the winter or the rain when it first falls, or maybe it’s just the way he always smells, and there is no way to define it. But eventually, she will.

He moves his hands a certain way, and she is positive he would snatch one back if she tried to grasp it, or at the very least, look at her like she’s lost her mind. But she wants to know if his hands are soft . . . or rough like the rest of him.

His voice is quiet, because he’s certain if she can hear it, she’ll think she can analyze it. He doesn’t want to be analyzed. In fact, he doesn’t even want to talk. Guys like him usually don’t. If they do, they give too much away.

It becomes slightly disturbing, the concentration on his body language, or the way he touches things, like they might break at his feet, even if they aren’t breakable. He’ll break her heart, more than likely. But he won’t mean to.

At this point, she begins to question her motives. Perhaps it’s an obsession. It’s a strong word, obsession. It could also be delusion. Yes, being delusional is better than being obsessed. But she thinks about what he looks like up close, instead of from a distance. She wonders what music he likes . . . or if he sings in the car when he’s alone. Of course not. If he doesn’t talk, why would he sing? Even alone.

The clothes might matter. She can study them and try to figure him out. How long did it take him to choose his outfit? Is his t-shirt with the flannel shirt over it something he gave a lot of thought to? Are his hooded sweatshirts a figurative stop sign? Stay away . . . I like to hide, remember? She likes that sometimes he looks boyish in his clothes, but he’s all man.

She wishes he’d glance up and smile the way she smiles at him. She wishes he’d notice that when he isn’t looking, she is. But he doesn’t want to be looked at. She wants to walk over, offer him something, but she doesn’t know what. Maybe just a coffee. But what if he doesn’t drink coffee? What if he laughs and brushes past, leaving behind the place on her body that his just barely missed.

Then, one day, he finally sees her. The boy, who has been blinded by the certainty that the world only brings pain, actually finds her with those eyes. She’ll feel her heart pick up speed, because it has to beat for both of them. Someone took his heart and they never gave it back. But she’s positive she will be the one who does. He just doesn’t know it yet.

She’ll wonder who could do that . . . who could drain a person of all hope and make him hate his own soul. How can anyone be that cruel?

Suddenly there won’t be any more mysteries about his face or his body or his voice. But the unknown will still remain. Because with boys like him, there is always something else to look for. Things she’ll spend every waking moment trying to find. And she’ll make sure they don’t get buried again. That’s what she’s supposed to do. That’s why she loves him.

Because deep down, that’s what they all want. He just won’t be the one to guide her. But she won’t need him to. She already knows him.

He just doesn’t know it yet.


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