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A Little Bit of Nothing

A Little like Scarlett

By Stephanie Van OrmanPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
A Little Bit of Nothing
Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash

We were alone in the car waiting for someone to join us. Darkness was not always lovely, but on that night, it was as I asked Chris questions trying to root out how unhappy he was and what I could do to help him. He told me everything like he had nothing to hide. Like what I thought of him didn't matter because nothing did. I had been worried he wouldn't trust me and that it would take me months of devotion for me to wear him down. He was nothing like me, in that he trusted easily, and told me everything about himself like I was a natural confidant. I had never met anyone so elegantly miserable, like sadness was an art form and he was a true artist.

More than anything when I spoke with him I was aware that he was not anything like the other teenage boys I had seen and spent time with. He was well-read, far more so than I was. He was intelligent and attained higher grades than I did, provided he went to class. As I got to know him better, I discovered he had all kinds of natural agility that a person as motionless and morose as him had no business having. He was well-spoken and could easily converse on any subject with eloquence and cleverness. I didn't understand how I had known him for years and I had never had a proper conversation with him. If I had, it would have saved a great deal of trouble, because I would have come neatly off the dating market much earlier. I had mistaken him as shy. He was no such thing. It was just that he didn't pause people for conversation, because he didn’t have to prove to anyone that he was right.

He played video games well, which was something I found attractive in men. Some of those games were very complex and someone possessing the understanding to play them well was quite impressive.

I remember going through one of my cousin's video games. His sister, who was my age, was blown away that I knew what those games were and even more surprising, that I knew how to play them. I do love a good RPG.

As I went through Chris' video game sleeve, I found my favorite game, Final Fantasy VII. I almost screamed with delight. I asked him a question about it and he replied that he hadn't played it. I was slack-jawed. How good was his gaming experience if he hadn't even bothered to play it? And what world had I fallen into?

He didn't like me.

And I liked him so bad I had started pocketing things he touched. As part of our friendship, I accompanied him to church meetings as often as possible. He would fold the program into a strange shape and leave it by the hymn books and I would stuff it in my pocket as I left. It wasn't stealing. It was garbage. If anything, I was stopping him from littering. Another time, he tore the seal off a bottle of compressed air and I put that in my pocket too. Back at home, I had added these things to a special box of things guys had given me. I regarded these weird items as just as valuable as the intentional presents, even though he hadn't given me anything.

He never called me. He often didn't know I was coming over, and he didn't seem happy to see me. My goal was not to get him to fall in love with me, even though I recorded my least favorite song on the radio on an empty tape, because he liked it. I was trying to help him set his life back on track, and often I told myself, “Today, I will not go over to Chris' house. I will not call him or think about him. Today, I will be myself.” Five minutes later I'd get a call from Careen asking me if I wanted to go to Raymond to see him and I'd squeal and do a face full of makeup and ultimately hate myself for not being able to keep myself on track.

How could I fall in love so easily?

Teenage yearsDating

About the Creator

Stephanie Van Orman

I write novels like I am part-printer, part book factory, and a little girl running away with a balloon. I'm here as an experiment and I'm unsure if this is a place where I can fit in. We'll see.

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