Thoughts on a Sc0ut

From a hidden Elaine

The first time I met him he seemed, for want of a better word, unique. A slight awkwardness, a bouncy walk, as if nothing could tether him to this earth. But it's not this meeting that I wish to relate.

The next time we met he showed his true mettle. Who else would travel 2 hours in order to cycle 15 km, delivering a bike to all but a stranger, with no mention of compensation? As the hours rolled by, and the rain increased in ferocity I eagerly peered through my curtains. Eventually a flashing red light emerged from the darkness. By the time I had reached my door the bike had been stashed away in the garage, and a familiar face bounces out of the shadows sporting an impossibly large grin.

Awkward greeting are exchanged, and I invite him into my home. Offers of towels, showers and dry clothes are presented, and politely refused; the request of a clotheshorse fulfilled. I start preparing dinner, the least I could offer in thanks. Suddenly he reappears in my peripherals; Wasn't his shirt dark blue before? Turning my head I confirm my suspicions. He's standing there, this strangely shy man, wearing nothing but a pair o dark brown trousers, bare toes curling on my kitchen floor.

They say the clothes make the man, in this case I think they hide him. The view is so unexpected I have to do a double take. His shoulders and body are much narrower than the loose fitting T-shirts would leave you to believe. His torso formed the perfect inverted triangle, with a tightly nipped waist, the muscles forming shapes expected of a male model, not an out of work computer technician. Surely this is not the same man who entered my house so meekly? A quick glance at his inquisitive face, and fluffy brown hair as he bounds away to explore my home confirm that it is.

Some time passes, the steaks are almost cooked, still he has not reappeared I go in search, and find him lying still and silent on my sofa. My negligence to the steaks is rewarded by the fire alarm setting off the security sirens. While I try frantically to remember a combination long forgotten neighbors come to offer their assistance to cease the din. Finally all is quiet again. Still he sleeps on.

With his dinner ready I watch him sleep so gently for a few moments. Softly I stroke the soles of his feet in an attempt to rouse him. Successful I note the confused look on his face as he momentarily forgets where he is. After my meal is finished I find that it is now my turn to observe him, as he observed me on our previous rendezvous. With the tables turned I observe him observing me, observing him, a turn of events that he appears slightly amused at. I notice how he eats his meal, veggies first, with a clicking in his jaw as he chews his pre-cut meat. I notice the obvious pain and disappointment in his eyes as I remind him of a lost loved one. The pain mingles with with the looks of joy and rapture at having a companion for the evening, an event that appears a rare occurrence in his life. At times he looks so blissful, then an action, accent, or turn of phrase on my part and the pain overtakes his features again. I try to make a mental note each time, for both our sakes.

The conversation stagnates, and I retreat to my beanbag of serenity. We sit there in a comfortable silence, partaking in a faceless communication. He begins to sing softly to himself. What is that tune? I steal a glance, he sits, completely focused on a small screen in his hand. A few more minutes pass. I notice the time, the darkness, and think of the distance he has to travel, and the dangerous means he has to do so. I refuse to let him leave on his own, I drive him to his door or he spends the night. After much protesting he concedes, opting for the free bed to save my petrol.

Gradually the conversation turns to hardware, a hobby and passion for us both. As he begins to talk about projects that he wishes to do his face becomes animated, he edges closer. Now, beaming, he's lying on the floor beside my beanbag, looking up at me. I become acutely aware of his state of undress, and try not to gaze at his perfectly formed chest. When did this happen? When did this faceless stranger enter my mind in such a manner? How did he become so physically close? I have the strangest desire to want to touch him, to hold him; nothing sexual, just feel his body heat against me. I fight this, knowing any approach would be met with fear and confusion, mistaken for desires not present.

The night moves on, much quicker than time usually moves, of that I'm sure. Eventually I decide it's time for me to retire, and we each go to out beds. Lying awake I can hear him showering. Bit by bit I feel sleep overtake me, I welcome its embrace.

The next morning he sits quietly in a darkened room, waiting for me to be ready to leave. I drop him at a bus stop on my way to work. The goodbye seems unnatural and fake. We should hug at least, surely? And he's gone, quick as that. As I head into work he's there, on that faceless communication again, he beams at everyone telling them how strangely happy he feels. My heart overflows with joy, that I could have affected his mood thus. I look forward to the next time I can enjoy the Sc0ut's company. Until then, Adieu.

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