I remember sitting in my usual place at the courtyard stairs, reading a book from the high school library, when I heard this laughter from the “goth group” below me. I tended to ignore everyone unless something caught my attention, and I wasn’t sure exactly why this particular voice called to me so. It was…more mature than the rest, for sure. It was smooth, deep, but still a youthful voice. The laughter was so deep and genuine. When I finally saw who that laugh belonged to, I was caught off guard.
This guy was not like the others. You could tell that he dressed this way because that is who he is, not because he wanted to fit in, not because he wanted to stand out. And he was dressed very similar to me – right down to the combat boots and camouflage. He also didn’t seem too uncomfortable in a beard, either – most 17 year old boys shaved just because puberty felt unnatural on their faces. But he just seemed like someone out of one of my storybooks. Suddenly, he acted as though he had lost something, and a very confused look overcame his countenance. I didn’t realize I had been staring at him this entire time until I noticed he was looking everywhere because he could feel eyes on him. Before I could look away, his gaze went up to the top of the stairs and our eyes met.