Moments of Beauty
The boy who thinks he’s invisible, but I see him.
I didn’t know anyone else knew about this spot. Well, not exactly, I know I’m not the first person to ever find it, but I’ve never run into anybody else here.
The expression on his face is comical. Something between terrified and busted. I watch him as he watches me, and I wait for him to say something. But he doesn’t. He just stands there gripping a camera in his hands like it’s a life raft.
“I won’t bite.” I say, in an attempt to break the ice.
He frowns for a moment then says, “I know.”
“So why haven’t you said anything?” I ask.
His Adams apple bobs as he swallows, “Ah, I’m not sure what you want me to say?”
I shrug, “I don’t mind. You could say something like, ‘Hi Eliza, nice running into you.’” I do my best to imitate his deeper voice and he cracks a small grin.
“Hi Eliza, nice running into you.”
It sounds so much better when he says it. His voice is deep and husky, it sends a shiver through my body and I grin back. “Hey Hux, what are you doing here? I haven’t seen you here before.”
He scratches his temple before answering me. “You know who I am?” he asks.
“Of course I do. What, have I been living under a rock for the last seventeen years?” I ask incredulous. I’m actually a little offended he doesn’t think I know who he is. We’ve lived in the same town since we were born.
The corner of his lips lift slightly at the sass in my tone. “No, but I’m not exactly your kind of crowd.”
I raise a brow, “Are you trying to offend me?”
He shakes his head, just slightly, “No.”
“So what’s with the line of questions?” I shoot back.
He scratches his temple again, “We don’t, I mean, I’m not,” he sighs and looks at his feet, “I just didn’t think you knew who I was.”
My hands have moved to my hips now, “Why wouldn’t I? We’ve lived in the same town and gone to the same schools since forever.” Then I realise what he means, “Oh, you think I’m one of those conceited bitches who doesn’t acknowledge people I deem as beneath me. How nice of you to judge me when you don’t even know me.”
His head shoots up and there’s panic in his grey eyes, “No, I don’t think that.”
I snort, “Really? Cause that’s the vibe you’re giving off right now.”
He shifts his backpack around and puts his camera inside the open pocket then zips it back up. “This is a really strange conversation,” he supplies.
“You’re the one making it that way. I was being friendly,” I snark at him. And I don’t know why I’m acting like this. I’m not normally so defensive. But his short answers and the fact that he clearly thinks I’m one of those people annoys me. I don’t care if other people think I’m like that, but not him.
Swinging his pack back over his shoulder he chews the corner of his bottom lip for a second and nods, “Yeah okay. Sorry. Guess I’m not a great conversationalist.”
“Do-over?” I suggest, and when he nods I continue, “Hey Hux, fancy seeing you here.”
He hooks his thumbs into the belt loops of his dirt covered jeans, “Hi Eliza, nice running into you.”
I can’t help the smile that takes over my face, “So, what are you doing here? And why are you so dirty?”
Looking down at his jeans he gives me a sheepish grin, “I was de-rocking a garden bed this afternoon, it’s dirty work.”
I snicker because my mind goes to naughty places when he says that. And the twinkle in his eyes says he knows exactly what I’m thinking, so I don’t hold back. “Dirty work for a dirty boy, huh.”
He chuckles, “Something like that.”
Oh my…I’ve never heard him laugh before, it sounds so good. But that’s when I notice a big blackish-blue bruise on his upper arm, “What’s with the bruise? Did the rocks object to being de-rocked?”
He glances at his bicep and grimaces, then clears his throat, “Something like that.”
Right, doesn’t want to talk about the bruise. I change the subject, “Nice spot huh?” I say looking around at the moss covered boulders and the crystal clear water around my ankles.
“Yeah, I take pictures here sometimes.”
And I’m shocked he gave me that much of an answer. But before I have a chance to ask him about it he says he has to go. I can’t deny I’m disappointed, I’ve wanted to talk to him for ages. But he’s not exactly approachable.
“Oh, okay. It was nice to see you Hux.” I say as he begins walking away from me.
He looks back at me over his shoulder, “Yeah, you too.”
Then he disappears into the trees.