Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Never Special," Conversation, pt. 3, 441 words

I blush a little in the aftermath of that... that burst of himself, feeling my cheeks get warm. Just the thought that I'm telegraphing my reaction so openly makes me even more embarrassed, and I cough and hide my face behind my mug of tea.

It's not another girl, but that makes my stomach knot up more, not less, for some reason. It would be easier if there was a woman driving him crazy, so to speak, just like it's always easier to fall in love with someone who can't reciprocate. It means there's no burden, no expectations. The only difficulty is coping with the feelings, no need to make time in your life for another person, to change any little annoying behaviors or clean up your apartment a little more. It's just easier if there's no chance.

I recover after a moment, composing myself before I set the cup down. I smile and ask, "Why isn't it that simple?"

***

"Sometimes I feel like this is my only recourse. So...So I decided to give it a shot."

I take another drink of my tea, considering the little display I just witnessed. He's definitely villain material, could easily be completely cracked, with his hatred of the world.

A rational part of my brain demands that I be repulsed, disgusted by this pathetic little man with his egotistical response to the common cruelties of life. A whiny fool who wants to blame everything else instead of himself for being so very pointless.

The rational side of me drowns in the wave of sympathy. We're more alike than he knows, I'm certain, and it's all I can do to keep from putting my arms around him in a maternal hug. Not here, though, not in public. He wouldn't appreciate a show of pity. And I'm not sure I want him seeing me as a maternal figure...

We're so alike I want to cry. So average, boring, bland that nobody even wants to notice us. The only substantive difference here... The only real difference is that he wants to lash out, while I want to be something... something better than I am.

So despite the fact that he's the villain and I'm the hero, despite the fact that we're on the opposite ends of more things than just this table, I reach out and put a hand on his forearm. "I see you," I say. "I think I understand. People barely look at me twice, either. I've got the world's most common powers, and even being... superhuman," and I shake my head, dismissing the word as I say it, "I don't stand out at all."

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