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About a Boy

2010 May 30
by Pamela

In high school there was this boy. He was always dirty. His clothes were stained and never fit properly, his hair super greasy and never combed. Most people assumed he was a nerd, meaning that he was so brilliant that basic hygiene was beyond him.

But I knew better. I saw his quiz results on several occasions and they were mediocre.

Fast forward 17 years later. I’ve often wondered what became of him. With my adult vision I now see what I didn’t then. That boy was likely the product of an abusive or neglectful home. On the occasions he’s come to mind, I’ve wished him success in this world. I envisioned him happy and successful, raising wonderful children with a beautiful wife.

Today he handed me my french fries out of a drive-thru window.

On the one hand I was happy to see him because he looked so much better. And if you look better you must be better, right? But there was an emptiness behind his eyes. I often go out of my way to see him again in hopes of seeing something different. Because I want to know that he broke free. Every sad story deserves a happy ending. Too bad we aren’t living a fairy tale.

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