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Confidante

Your nervously flushed face is the most endearing thing. Honey, don't you understand that you can trust me by now? No, I suppose you don't. But just because you don't grasp it yet doesn't mean it's less true. The carpet seems to have gotten interesting. What is it about the crimson shag rug that outdoes my face? I wish you would look me in the eyes.

It's the blasted gender role, isn't it? What was society thinking, typecasting all of you like that? Always so strong, so aloof, so bulletproof. It isn't fair to you, honey. What are you to do when you feel sad, or angry, or alone? Duct tape and a workbench can only fix so much. Super Glue can't mend a broken heart, now can it?

Of course, none of this is your fault. You were born into this typecasting. Sadly, you're kind of stuck in it anyway. Society doesn't care. It doesn't care that it hurts us, it doesn't care that it's a filthy hypocrite, and it doesn't care about the changing of the times. Society is stubborn, and it just doesn't care. Vexingly, feelings don't care, either. They don't care if they make sense to you. They don't care if they embarrass you, or ambush you at the worst possible time. And they certainly don't care if you're a boy or a girl.

But you care, honey. You're not like society. None of us are. You care about your image, and your pride, and a million other things I couldn't dream of compressing into a few feeble words. You care about so many of these things that it seems like you've sacrificed caring about yourself. Sure, you get up in the morning and go through the motions. You brush your teeth and eat a good meal and take your vitamins. I suspect you might even style your hair a little, although you'd rather die a hundred deaths than admit to it. But you don't take care of the real you, the part of you that matters. The part that makes you who you are. The one inside, the one I happen to be in love with, but that's beside the point. Your neglect of you is what's gotten us here.

Regardless of what's gotten us here, I want to make it alright. I want to reach out and help you. I don't care if you're a boy, I don't care about what society says, I care about you. Looking at you now, eyes glistening and face reddening, I just barely resist the maternal yearning to kiss your forehead and hold you. You're not ready for that, I can tell. But it simply breaks my heart to see you this way.

I wish you would trust me, honey. Your trust means the world to me; your smile means the moon and stars. I would never dream of messing with either of them. Even in the midst of my contemplation, I see your eyes start to glisten. More than they had been, I notice. My heart lurches sadly as I pick up on your blush. What kind of world do we live in that we feel humiliated by our own emotions? Honey, you don't need to be ashamed. It's just you, me, and this shag carpet: no one's going to look at you. Except me, I suppose. It never dawned on me that that might bother you. I fix that problem by surrendering to my inner mom and hugging you tight. Pecking a chaste kiss onto the side of your head, I just hold you for a little while. You seem to like it.

You've started to shake slightly, and your breathing sounds uneven. I close my eyes and just be there. My heart aches for your suffering, but I still can't help feeling a bit proud of you. After all, it takes quite a man to show typecasting who's boss.




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StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm:
Very interesting, and quite well done! :) I like how you gave us very little information about the person the narrator is speaking to. A lesser writer would have tried to do an information dump about everyone in the piece.
 
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FluteFreak said...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 10:59 am:
I completely agree with your point about society and can relate to this piece easily. I do wonder what he was so upset over but I think that mystery just makes it more relatable. 5 stars!
 
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