She has always found comfort in his eyes. Even when the intimidation started to pound tenfold, when there was a brief moment of startling impact as she met a boy and his shadow, she’ll remember the kindness in his eyes, the honest concern in his face not revealing any cruelty that she could see. Maybe it’s a bit far fetched to hope that eyes are the window to the soul, but his seem to express more than words ever could.
The more time she spends with him, the more she decodes his eyes, learning to deduce the meaning behind a glance to the side, a cursory look at someone’s person, the way eyes would tighten and widen and rest half-lidded on his face, head tilted to the side as sleep overcame any thoughts of studying. And the more she decodes, the more she marvels; brutal honesty such as his is hard to find, and as the results of such a discovery burn into her brain, his forthrightness imprints into her skull.
Here is a person able to portray an honest depiction of himself with no worries, no concerns, without alienating himself from others as a result. It's both exhilarating and terrifying, talking to this boy and knowing that every word he speaks is nothing short of truth. She marvels at the secrets hidden by the light casting shadows on his eyes.
Of course, no soul is without secrets that can’t be found, shadows emanating from the corners of smiles with no real meaning and under closed eyelids. A solitude kept with hands in pockets, scars and wounds hidden behind a duct taped jacket, a casual wave intended to keep distance. An anxiety near water and anger and a fear resting underneath the skin of a shadow.
But did you know? She’s a weak girl who keeps her opinions to herself to please everything and disappoint no one, so for someone who can smile just by hearing her thoughts she’ll wait for as long as it takes for a chance to trace and draw out those scars, hunt down those false grins and smooth the pain out of them no matter what burns she could receive in the process. Because he smells of tape and dust and days spent outside holding hands to chase away the darkness, because he looks like the sun and a gentle breeze and in moments when his lips press against hers, she swears she can hear starlight.
It’s startling for one person to be able to show and give her so much when she has yet to learn of how to even give herself, settling for half-baked thoughts of concern that try to make everyone happy and therefore fail. If she were to even hint at wanting it, she knows he’d probably try to rearrange the alphabet so that I was next to U, despite how ridiculous and unnecessary, and really it would cause such problems everywhere that it never fails to make her feel like she just might be something amazing after all whenever she thinks about it.
One plus one has always equaled two, but she knows deep down that the two of them aren’t even close to the same number, he of his fractured perfection and honest embraces. In the line of threes and fives and all the other odd numbers of the world, he’d slip in between the even cracks and move down in a system of symmetry. Meanwhile, she'd get placed in a sequence of odd numbers that didn’t cease to isolate her in a blank white palette.
But they’re not numbers, and she’s glad because she loves the feel of holding his hand, hoping that one day maybe they will be able to intertwine fingers seamlessly, pressing against each other’s wounds. The feel of the crook of his arm around her when they’re alone is the closest she’s ever felt to invincible, with words passing back and forth between them as they talk about whatever they can, whatever they want, because they have that freedom in these moments and she’s never felt like she was chainless until now.
So she’ll be happy that she exists and rest her head against his shoulder and listen to the colors of his heartbeat and the way they blend into a vibrant painting that she’s reluctant to share with anyone else. She’ll rest her hand against his collarbone and see the shades of his burdens and strength and pray for a chance to take one or two problems off his sagging shoulders, close her eyes, and bask in his proximity. And maybe one day she’ll speak to him as he does to her with the words he’s probably never thought she’d look up, and open her eyes and let him see everything she can never put into words because she’s never been good with them.
And maybe when that day comes they can paint a fracture-less story together.