He was plain. There was nothing special about him. He was lanky with too much gut from years of drinking. His hair was thinning prematurely, and he tried to hide it by wearing it long or, more frequently, wearing hats.
He was tall enough to look awkward. All of his t-shirts looked two sizes too large. If we’re being honest, they were. It’s hard to clothe that frame.
He wore glasses ill-suited to his face shape. Without anti-glare, looking at him was like looking into some sort of abyss. It was empty and soulless.
Whenever he gained weight, his face ballooned out like a chipmunk foraging for its very survival. He tried to hide this by growing a beard. To a certain extent, it worked, but he let it become unruly. At this point, his childlike nose poked out from between the whiskers, and he just looked silly.
That’s all he was: silly.
And yet with all this silliness, his mediocrity and his inability to style himself in a manner that indicated any thought at all, he was confident. He was cool. He was fun. He was the laid back type of person whom you always want to be around because he makes everything look so damned easy.
So despite his awkwardness, his overly-worn hats and glasses that made it impossible to tell whether his eyes were green or blue anyway, I fell in love with him. In spite of myself, I found my mind drifting to him whenever it wanted, whether or not I wanted it to at all.
And despite all of his own insecurities, he carried himself with enough confidence that he was magnetic, his charisma always pulling me closer to him when his arms weren’t physically wrapping around me and bending me to his will. He twisted and pulled and I melted against him, this plain, not-special, awkward boy who was trying too hard to be a man.
What was it about him? It wasn’t visible. It was chemical, running through his veins and jolting across neural pathways. It was gustatory, sliding across my tongue and sticking in my mouth with a sweetness that was only as bitter as I imagined. It was tangible, electric, breath-quickening and pulse-quickening.
What it was that drew me to him, kept me at his side and begging for me, left me looking after him when he’d already walked away, was an eddy of forces so subtle and quick that I was already gasping for breath by the time that I realized what had happened. And by then, his animal magnetism had already replaced oxygen as my primary source of survival.
That is the power of the main who looks plain from the outside but feels like a storm once he’s inside you. Flowery descriptions seem so far from apropos when it comes to the boy who slouches and drinks too much and isn’t sure of his own self worth.
But when I think of the awkward boy with all his flaws, even through the filter of my broken heart, I cannot help but see a little beauty.