Damaged Boy- A Short Story

His ex girlfriend was coming over. Not in that way. He just wanted to talk, be friends. He was approaching the ages where friends just aren’t a thing anymore, or hard(er) to come by. He needed a space that was comfort, like warm soup on a cold day, to ease the uneasiness in his mind, body, and soul.

“What happened?” She asked, taking a seat on his couch.
He shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“You gotta have some idea.”
Another shrug. “I really don’t. It’s always the same: a ‘but…’ at the end of every ending.”

She was quiet while shifting in her seat. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?”
“You don’t deserve this.”
“I must.”
She shook her head, he watched her from the corner of his eye. “You don’t.” A hand found its way onto his forearm, rested there.
“I just…I don’t know. You know? If I’m so smart, and all that, why- I don’t know.”

He sort of knew. It didn’t matter how much love he had to give and wanted in return, nor did it matter that he wasn’t quite sure how to give it. He never learned how to accept it. Something that’s taught at an early age by a loving parent.

What’s too much love, not enough? A simple “great job” or “I’m proud of you” goes a long way. He didn’t know what that felt like, but he’s imagined it. He’s imagined a lot of things like mattering to another person, being “included” in someone’s life. Enough to want to try. No “but…” at the end because he made them feel like it was the end; no more searching. He’s great and I’m glad to have found him.

“Why didn’t my mother hug me?” He didn’t say it in an Oedipus way but rather “didn’t my mother love me enough to hug me?”

She was there, gave him a bit of guidance, but emotionally he now knows she seemed “checked out.” Planted a seed, didn’t watch it grow or nurture it. Left him there to figure it all out on his own. Stretch his pedals to the sunlight out of concrete.

His touch was soft because his heart was. Last time he ever received what’s he’s been searching for had been rough. Not the journey but the literal act. Still, accepting it is something he could not comprehend. But he wanted to give it, so badly.

He hadn’t realized it until he felt something fall from his chin but he had been crying. Couldn’t even remember the last time this happened. He didn’t even want to be held. Is this the result of when someone is shown no affection? He desperately wanted to lay his head on his ex girlfriends lap. But, like the act of crying, something terrible held him in place.

“Please, don’t,” he quickly said as she rose from the couch. So much love to give and yet, he doesn’t know what to do with it. Poor flower.


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