I saw that boy from a block away.
It wasn't too hard to pick him out of the swarming masses thundering across the pavement on this dim, cloudy day. He was one of those people that stick out, especially when they're trying not to. And I could tell from his overwhelmingly average clothing that he was, at that very moment, trying not to. His eyes were too far apart and his grin was too wide to be completely acceptable. I knew the look far too well, because that's how I always seemed to be, and it got me into a lot of trouble. Right away I liked him, even though I knew nothing about him, and was sure to never see him again once I passed him; we had our awkward look in common.
I expected that to be it.
What he did was look, right back at me, and smile.
I immediately started picking at the string of pearls at my throat, which is what I did when I entered a state of panic. My people-watching habit always got me into the biggest messes. Once, I almost got mugged by a guy for looking at him funny, but had gotten saved by a chivalrous taxi driver. I looked out at the traffic, whizzing past at light speed beside me. No taxi.
I seriously don't need this today. What (...) am I supposed to tell him? That I was simply admiring how odd he looks?
I pulled at my blue sweater and pretended to dig around in my jeans pocket for something as he got closer. “I don’t know what you mean sir.” I practiced in my head “Looking? At you? No! That would just be rude.” I sighed, knowing It would sound just as pathetic out loud.
I watched him creeping closer and closer, pushing past businessmen until he stood right in from of me, blocking my path. (...) here goes.
“I’m sorry sir, but do you think you could let me-“
His grin was splitting his not-quite-right face right in half, making one of his ears move higher than the other. His rain coat was being brushed back and forth by pedestrians in too big a hurry to say excuse me. He seemed to be about my age, but the unchecked happiness on his face made him seem like a child.
“Thank God, you came.” He said.
He took my hand.
When his fingers surrounded mine I was swallowed by feelings. It was as if he had decided to hand me all his extra gladness. Along with untamed glee came excitement, fear, and major confusion. The touch felt warm in the fridged air. My mind suddenly jumped to a line of Shakespeare, which was fitting, because the emotions I felt were like good poetry. Lyrical, impossibly true, and so right. The random nervous pieces in my head began lining themselves up and fear was replaced with realization.
The fact that he was a stranger and I was about to miss my train probably should have thrown me, but I was too busy looking into his face, trying to figure it out. Being waited for filled something up in me. A void that I had spent hours prodding at, like a tongue at a missing tooth. I don't know how it happened, but he was the answer to all my questions. I had found my lost tooth.
"I've been looking for you forever." He said.
"And I, for you."