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.
He's the son of a bitch who never fed him dinner
Who never took him to art class
Who always expected greatness
Who never knew where to expect it from.

He called it hell on earth

and she called it life.




.
He sat in the hallways during lunch
drawing pictures of Batman and Robin,
as kids passed by with squeaky shoes
scraping the cold linoleum.


They whispered, but he would pretend to ignore.
They were all Jokers anyway,

and in his comic books,
Batman always won.





.
He begged for home schooling
But she refused.


"You're a kid. Live it up."


And he lived up the life of checking underneath his bed
for monsters.
And searching his closet
for zombies
Every night.

He lived up the life of TV dinners
and cartoons
and keeping all the doors in the house locked
and the blinds shut

and she never said anything,
even though he could still smell her sour cigarette breath
on his clothes.





.
He’d never been in love,
and although that was common for most young boys,
he felt singled out.
he’d admired a few girls from afar,
but never
ever
talked to one of them.

She was the first.






.
A sunshine girl.
She was like a daisy on a summer day screaming “pick me. Ooo me!”
She sat beside him in the hallway during lunch one day
and asked about his drawings.
She wanted to know about Batman
and his adventures fighting a shark with a light saber.

He knew she thought he was strange.

They all did.
He couldn’t even sit and draw right
with her beside him.
But he never told her to go away.
She came back each day.





.
They called her condition “Anorexia Nervosa"
5’4 and eighty two pounds exactly.
She was thirteen, he was twelve
and when he looked into her eyes he saw beauty instead of bones.

Anxiety and Anorexia

They fit together perfectly.






.
He called her daisy, beautiful but fragile.
She didn’t go to school often
because the doctors were required to run tests
and weigh her once a week.


She once told him that she wasn’t scared to die.
And he never once doubted her,
even though he was scared.





.
He met her mom a few months later,
a thin woman with bags of shame under her eyes.
And she told him

You break her heart, I’ll break you in half.”

Every time he crossed the street after that, he double checked for her car.





.
She kissed him on his thirteenth birthday.
He tasted like chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.
And even though he begged, she wouldn’t eat a single bite.



.
He was never able to fix her,
that beautiful Daisy who smiled like the sun
and danced in the rain for only moments at a time.
But she was fixing him.
He took the bus with her to Chicago
And as she screamed at the bus driver for charging them wrong,

he began to scream with her.

He no longer checked for monsters and zombies.
And he showed his drawings to his teachers and smiled at their praise.

Kids quit talking as much.
And he destroyed hell on earth.




He did it all






just to see that smile of his
wilting Daisy.





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