The next day, I took a deep breath and silently encouraged myself. I opened the front door, ready to take a few steps to Comen’s, just to satisfy my curiosity.
When I opened my door, though, Comen was standing in front of me. “Whoa!” I started back.
A few minutes later, we were sitting side by side on my front yard. Nonchalant, Comen stared at his toes. He seemed tempted to pick our flowers and play with them. I handed him a smooth rock. He took it in silence.
I looked at him. Comen was the type to have a tiny ponytail tied at the nape of his neck. His eyes were a cloudy gray. “Why do you do that at your doorstep every day? And not talk?” I asked.
“You mean why I act weird,” he mumbled.
Taken aback, I couldn’t react.
“I’m waiting for my father,” he continued. “Mother told me he went hunting. He’ll come back soon. I want to be the first to see him when he comes back, and yell at him for taking so long.”
Comen had been sitting there for as long as I could remember. His father was probably……
“Do you like the rock?” I asked instead.
Comen tossed it up and caught it again. “Where did you find it?”
“Let me show you. There’s a huge pile at the back of my house.” I stood up.
For the first time in my life, I saw him smile. Together, we sprinted away.
What a lonely, lonely boy, I thought. “Smile more,” I encouraged. His smile vanished as he blushed self-consciously.