[personal profile] seabird78
No romance for me today, but there was a moment worth sharing:

I was at the gym this afternoon, making circles around the track, when I passed a baby-faced 20-something boy who acknowledged me with a nod and a shy smile. I figured it was nothing more than the look often exchanged between fellow runners and kept going at my slow, steady pace.

When I came around again he was waiting for me at the break in the track. His hands were flapping in a way that I've observed in others with autism, and though his lips weren't moving, his expression suggested the concentration of someone rehearsing something difficult to say. When I reached him, he stammered, "Excuse me, I'd like to challenge you to a race."

I could tell that getting this out had been a challenge for him, and I figured there was no harm in indulging him, so I said sure, and off we went. He put on a burst of speed that I could not compete with, and though I pushed myself as hard as I could, he blew way ahead of me, and was stopped waiting by the time I completed my lap.

I congratulated him on his win, to which he mumbled an apology. "It's okay, I said. "Speed is not my strong suit. But you got me to go faster, so thank you."

He nodded and seemed to understand that I was not upset about my loss. I slowed back to my normal pace, while he reverted to walking, and seemed to retreat back into himself.

Initially, I wondered if this was an attempt at flirting. Now I'm not so sure, but regardless, I admire the boy for working up the courage to communicate, whatever his intentions were, since it didn't seem to come easily to him.
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