Bird of Paradise



She walks past our house but doesn’t look over.  He is pleased to see her and follows at a short distance, not wanting to interrupt her conversation with two friends.  She heads to the park to kill some time on the swings.  He pauses, in plain view, carefully placing his PE bag on the grass and pretending to search his pockets for something.  Nothing happens.  A minute passes.  He picks up his bag and shuffles on, breaking his routine once again to enter the enclosed area nearby.  He wanders around, feigning interest in his surroundings, placing his bag carefully on top of the equipment and picking it up again, pretending to look for something, wanting to look as if he has a purpose while casting furtive glances in her direction.  Surely it must be that she simply hasn’t noticed him.  She is his friend.  She stuck up for him when…

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