The Boy Who Wouldn’t Talk

Today, July 8, 2011 was a gloomy day from beginning to end. I woke up to my Bank’s alert that my balance was 0 and the nearest branch was 30 miles from where I moved.

Driving puts me in a transe similar to light hypnosis and all sort of strange old stories come to my mind which have nothing to do with my present life or anything of significance for the present or future. However, it is clear they are still buried deep into my soul and for some unknown reason demand their right to be expressed now.

Here’s Today’s Random Memory:

I was in middle school at that age when confusion is the name of the game. When I kinda like guys but I mostly hated them because they called me “Rodica Pisica” (Rodica the Cat) and insisted I had legs that looked like tooth picks (the nerve!). Our class had about forty students and it was co-ed. Because I was not sure or had enough confidence to speak with the popular guys who kept teezing me, I noticed a pale, dark-haired student in my class who spoke to no one. He was brilliant and had good grades especially on our written tests but he didn’t want to communicate to other people. He wanted to be left alone!

During recess, while all of us went outside and played he sat in his seat and stared at the walls. I guess I never had a gut feeling of appropriate and inappropriate and more and more often I stayed behind to try to get this boy out of his shell. I didn’t like him in a sexual way at all, I had no fantasies that he would kiss me or even hold hands. My purpose was purely empathetic. I could not imagine someone could be happy if they didn’t communicate with others and I was determined to change his unhappy situation. No one asked me, it was clear I annoyed him with my questions and pushing candy on him, but I just did not give up. I kept asking him about his family, if he had brothers, what was his favorite food… He never answered, and continued to stared at the wall. Only once he threw his hand towards me, made an animal noise and said:”Leave me alone! I don’t need you!.” Silence fell upon my monologue again and I had to admit this was a “case” I could not solve. I could not make him happy if he wanted to be unhappy and antisocial. And no, then I did not know the term and features of someone with an antisocial personality disorder. I just thought he was shy and that under the facade of indifference there was a treasure, a budding young man who just was waiting for someone to discover him! That person was clearly not me!

Heart broken by my defeat, I gave up. I went back to playing hide and seek, he continued to sit in the classroom, speak with no one and stare at the wall. His face was getting paler and paler his eyes popping out more and more.

Then, one day he stopped coming to school.

At first, we thought he had the flu, than someone said he moved. Soon it became the talk of the school. He disappeared! He ran away, but why, where? After a while the Police came in to interview us. Who was close to him? Everyone pointed to me. What did I know about his “Plans?” the interrogator asked. What was I talking to him about? I told the Police the truth, that my attempt to make friends was not a success and they believed me easier than I would have thought. At the end of the interrogation I dared say:

“Officer, could you tell me what happened to him? Where is he?”

The officer lifted his eyes and said. He killed his mother and buried her in the basement under some coals. Some kids were playing and found her body. He stole all his money but we found him and he is in jail awaiting trial. ”

I was motionless, thinking of the many times I wouldn’t give up asking him stupid questions and my God, he was crazy, he was a murderer, not a lonely shy soul in need of my empathy.

“Young lady, next time you want to help someone make sure who they are first. That is if you want to stay alive… you seem smart, if you know what I mean.”

Yeah, I did know what he meant, and each time life brought me face to face with similar challenges,  always remembered the boy who wouldn’t talk… and I moved on to save someone who talked, even if it was less challanging, I had some chance to better a life and not be murdered!  To this day that remains a vary attractive point and my love of life always won!

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