I'll never forget the feel of my hand in his.
The soft, soothing, warmth of his palm being pressed against mine.
Walking into that building like this was such a terrifying experience for me. Unprecedented. But as Brody held his grip on me despite the few strange looks that we got from the people who went out of their way to notice what was going on, I just...let myself relax and absorb the moment for what it was. You know? I felt almost as though I was getting stronger and stronger with every step. Not that the nervous jitters in my stomach had gone away. No, not at ALL. But, even though my deepest secrets tried to use those cringe worthy shivers to shake me to pieces, I didn't dare let go of Brody's hand.
I forced myself to be strong for him. Just like he forced himself to be strong for me. It was one of few times that I took an active roll in what was happening to me. One of the few times where I still felt vulnerable, but nowhere near being 'helpless'. Scary, but refreshing.
It was like this violent vibration was threatening to tear me apart, my once confident mask of normality cracking and splitting under the intense tremors being forced into my life from such a shameless threat of exposure. There were moments when I almost wantedto lose my nerve. Moments when the few sideways looks and raised eyebrows from the people staring at us nearly broke me down into the scattered fragments of the despicable coward that I know I've always been. Moments when my father's abrasive inner mantra tried to convince me that Brody was merely parading my blatant stupidity around the entire school for the sake of humiliation. It SUCKS to always think like this. But how do I stop it? I've never had any other choices before. Maybe I'm just damaged beyond repair. Maybe I'm supposed to be this way.
Just when I'm ready to give up the charade, just when I'm prepared to push Brody back to arm's length and give myself enough room to breathe again...Brody's naturally stunning duo of optical wonders look me right in the eye, and he smiles...making me too weak to concentrate on anything other than the golden promise of his endless love and affection for me.
Heh...weak. Strong. Weak. Strong. Brody really makes it really hard to realize whether I'm coming or going these days. I just know that I'm willing to follow him wherever he leads me.
I'm coming from a place of total mistrust for everything and everyone that I've ever been foolish enough to get close to. Sam and Adam both had to work hard to get as close to me as they did. Even now, I can't really say why I initially chose to confide as much as I do in their friendship and camaraderie...other than I was desperate to keep myself from having to handle the horrors of my life alone. But I made the right choice. They've been amazing friends. They stick by me through thick and thin, and never hesitated to jump in to help and make me feel better when the rest of the world was trying to swallow me whole. Adam and Sam are a special breed of friend. They're the ones that you keep by your side for a lifetime. The ones you'd go through hell to protect because you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that's they'd be right there to do the same for you. And even though they now have a hint about the kind of misery that I go through when they're not looking...they're willing to stand up and be strong for me, regardless. My friends. The best there is.
Then there's Brody.
My angel. My savior. My escape from it all.
All of this pain and conflict and difficulty that I sloppily spilled out at his feet without warning...and he loves me anyway. WHY???
I just feel like I'd be able to relax and rest easy if I could just look at myself in the mirror and find some legitimate reason for a boy like Brody to give a shit about me at all! That's all I needed! Just one reason. One!!!
Instead, I'm trapped in the mindset of thinking that he's making a big 'joke' out of this whole thing, laughing behind my back while my father waits patiently for me to inevitably return to that dark void of loveless agony that I had been trained to accept since I was old enough to tell the difference between love and hatred in the first place.
WHY, Brody? Please...give me some peace of mind by letting me know why you even care? Just...UGH!!! Make it clear to me why I'm worth your time. He can do so much better. I don't want him to leave...I just wish I knew why he wanted to stay.
"Stop it!" Brody giggled.
"Stop what? What'd I do?" I smiled when I said it, but I was actually worried that I might have done something to destroy this really cool vibe that we had going here.
"Hehehe, you're tensing up again." He said. "This is ok with you, right? I mean...I know that it was kind of a spur of the moment type of thing, but if you want to...like...not do this..."
"No. It's cool. Totally cool." I lied. "I like, ummm, hehehe...holding hands with you." Wow. Maybe I wasn't lying after all.
He tried to play it cool, but his face turned such a deep shade of red that it almost looked like he was having an allergic reaction to the compliment. Hehehe, he could be soooo sweet sometimes.
"Cool..." He softly moaned under his breath. And we walked to class like that. Hand in hand. The rest of the world be damned. I think it was the first time that I didn't mind being misunderstood. I didn't care about my sense of 'normal' matching up to anyone else's notions of what 'normal' might be. The stares were frightening, but hardly scary enough to get me to let go.
If this is as scary as it gets, and it only get better from here, then I should have been doing this a long time ago.
When we got to my classroom, he gave my hand a little squeeze and turned me to look at him, face to face. Those eyes...glowing with a passion that turned my whole center into a liquid ooze of timid infatuation.
Our eyes connected as more boys and girls filed into the room behind me. I didn't dare look away from Brody, for fear that seeing their judgemental gazes would wreck everything and send me crawling back under the dark rock that I had made my home for so very long. I look away with a bashful grin as his lovely inspection of the windows to my soul became too intense for me to handle. A ticklish sensation bubbled up within me, and I found myself giggling out loud.
"Hehehe, what? What'd I do?" Brody asked.
"Nothing..." I grinned, speaking just above a whimper. His soft hold on my hand was making me erect, but I couldn't really figure out why. Just the contact alone was amazing, but it was my comfort around him that was the catalyst for making me so inexplicably horny.
I peeked up at his smile, and out of nowhere, he asked me, "Would it be ok if I kissed you, right now?"
My lungs suddenly filled with oxygen as the flirtatious invitation caused me to gasp out loud. "Hehehe, Brody...."
"I'm serious." He said. "Can I?"
I could hear the voices of other students in the hallway behind me. This wasn't just holding hands anymore. This was a bit too 'public' for my tastes. I was SO grateful for having him help me take a step or two out of my comfort zone...but I wasn't sure that I was ready for that just yet. So, reluctantly...I lowered my head and shook my head.
"No? Awww..." He smiled. "Are you sure? Because I'd really love to kiss you right now."
My body began to quiver with excitement, but as I looked back over my shoulder and took in my surroundings, I looked back at Brody and shook my head again to confirm it. "I'm sorry, Brody."
But he just nodded and gave my hand another squeeze. "It's ok. I totally understand. But I'm gonna make up for it later when we're alone. I hope you know that. Hehehe!" He understood? He's not mad at me for not being what he needed me to be? Who IS this person? "I'll come by and see you at lunch. K? Don't try to run out on me either, because I'll find you. And THEN I'm totally gonna tongue kiss you in front of EVERYBODY in school!"
"SHHHHHH!!!! Jesus, Brody! Hehehehe!"
"Seriously though...let's get together for lunch. K? We can go...wherever. Doesn't matter."
There was that suspicious feeling in my gut again, asking why he cared so much. Telling me not to fall for the magic trick. But, believe it or not, I was able to ignore that sensation this time around. Look past it. And once I allowed Brody's love for me just minimal access to my heart...the light I saw in him was almost blinding.
"I...I guess. Ok." I had to suppress enough emotion to keep from crying when I said it, but my voice trembled regardless. "Lunch then."
Brody finally let my hand go, and we both stood in front of one another, leaning from one foot to the other. I put my hands in my pockets because I felt myself growing stiff to the point of 'showing' for anybody who was paying attention. And Brody said, "I'll be thinking about you until I see you again. So...don't forget me."
Hehehe, was he kidding? I just mumbled, "Ok."
"Bye." He smirked, and he backed a few steps away from me before walking off to his next class. But I noticed that he looked back at me a few times as he got further away from me. He even waved once before turning the corner at the end of the hallway. He really does think about me. He likes me. Mabe even loves me, like he says. And the more he works to penetrate the suit of armor that I constructed to keep me from harm...the more my emotions are willing to accept that he might just be the one boy crazy enough to dismiss everything that's wrong with me and see the few dim sparks of light that my soul has left. Wild, right?
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