Choking on Avoidance

My eyes slid sideways to catch a glimpse of him, the curiosity too intense to ignore. It pulled at me, slowly trimming away my shell of self control. The first thing I noticed was his eyes; they were an intense shade of blue. Wow. Immediately, I forced my gaze forward and my shell reconstructed in all of its defiant glory. A feeling of disgust bubbled and brewed in my stomach. I have no reason to be curious at all. My life is not a cheesy romance story. I will not be fooled into thinking that this is anything more than a simple act of kindness. Brainwash, brainwash, brainwash...

To distract myself and placate the paranoia that had slowly been building up again, I glanced to my right, and upon seeing nothing, behind me. All I could see was the vague shape of trees, trees, and guess what, more trees. Boring. I sighed and looked forward once again, staring at the space between Windy's cream colored ears. The bright colors of the autumn leaves littering the ground were dulled by the darkness and the quickly fading light. Soon all would be invisible in the pitch black. I just hoped that I'd make it home before then.

At this point, the silence and awkwardness had started to become like an itch I just couldn't scratch. I mean, I couldn't just suddenly talk to this person that I don't know. What real reason do I have? Why does anyone talk to a stranger? And what is with this circumstance anyway?! I mean, really. No one, and I mean no one, ever goes into these woods, but don't ask me why. So why the heck is he here? My curiosity threatened to overflow into words, but my conscious brain held it in check. Stupid, stupid me! I struggled to fight the urge to run over and bang my head repeatedly against one of the many trees surrounding me.

Instead, I looked over to my left again. Inwardly, I just sort-of shook my head at myself, temporarily giving up. This time our eyes met. A shock jolted my heart and my eyes grew wide. Whoops, big mistake looking over. He smiled easily at me, not in a way that suggested it's a habit, but in a way that suggested sincerity. I was only able to keep eye contact for a brief split-second before I had to look away. My little critic instantly went to work, overanalyzing my avoidance. It cost me too much to push him away, so I just let him flood my mind with negativity. And this is why I choose not to interact with people.

I suppose he took my unintentional sideways glance as an invitation to a conversation as he broke the oppressive silence with an unassuming, generic, "So..." Oh, how very classy of him. I waited with breathless anticipation for him to finally say something with any hint of intelligence behind it. "What were you really doing all the way out here?" I glanced at him in disbelief. Really, man? "I told you, I was riding." I desperately tried to keep the annoyed tone out of my voice. Is he implying that I was lying earlier? Do I really seem that shifty? Well... I do tend to glance around a lot... But it's not like that's a cause for suspicion, right?

"Oh, really? It's just that these woods are... kinda out of the way." The poor soul was still floundering to keep the conversation going. I let out a deep breath and rolled my eyes. "Well not for me they aren't." I replied shortly. Hey, wait a minute! Just what was I doing? Just a moment ago I was bemoaning the silence; now I'm trying to nip the conversation in the bud? Inwardly I smacked myself on the forehead. Oh, I'm just one smart cookie, aren't I. Ugh.

The End

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