"Lauren, Lauren and Julie got, they gah-got mad at me the other day."
"Mad at you? Are you sure?" I had learned that though Geoff was quite intelligent and quick, he often misinterpreted social behavior. Just the other day he had come in to class looking all depressed because he thought Ashley was mad at him, when in reality all she had done is tell him that he wasn't allowed to go into the girls bathroom.
"Ya, theh-they were real, they were real mad."
He didn't once look me in the eye and was busily fiddling with his oddly small and inset ears. I could tell he was ashamed of something. "Why were they mad at you?"
"Cause, cause, they were mah-mad cause I went over, went over to their house."
I knew there was more to tell. "Why did that make them angry?" He was silent, his eyes looking down at the ground and his fingers still toying with his ears. "Geoff," I said rather sternly, "tell me what happened." Then the floodgates opened and he talked so fast he could hardly breath, froth forming at the edges of his mouth like it always did when he got worked up.
"I, I wanted to go over, over, over to Lauren and Julie's house, buh-but they said no. And, and one time, one time they let me go in, into their garage. And, and then, and then, I like, I like their garage. And I wanted to go into their house, cause, cause I wanted to go into their house but they said no, and then later, and then, and later whe-when I asked them real, asked them real nicely they said no. And then, then after a long, a long time I asked them, I asked them again if I could go into their house and, and they said no. But I, I want to go over to their house, and I wanted to go, wah-wanted to go into Lauren an-and Julie's room. And then, and, and, and then the other day I decided, I deh-decided that I, I, I wanted to go in Lauren and Julie's room, and, and I went over to their hah-house, and, and nobody, and no one was home so I thought, I thought, I thought that they wah-wouldn't mind if I went, if I went inside, cause I wanted, I want to go in Lauren and, Lauren and Julie's room. And then, and then, when, and then when they come home, they, they got real mad, cause I, they find me in Lauren and, Lauren and Julie's room. And, and they got real mad, and as-asked me how I, how I got in. And I showed them, showed them how I clah-climbed in through the, in through the dah-dah-down, through the downstairs window. And, and they took, theh-they took me home and, and my parents got real mad cause I, cause, cause. Ask me, ah-ask me, never, never go into other people's rooms, unless, unless they say its ok."
I was dumbfounded. "You broke into Lauren and Julie's house while they weren't home!?! Geoff, you know better than that! You know never to go into someone else's room unless they invite you in. What were you thinking?"
His voice was quiet, timid, ashamed. "I want, I wanted to go, I wanted to go into Lauren and Julie's room."
"Why?" I asked, still not understanding.
"I dunno, I just, I just, I just want to." He was quiet for a minute. "I, I like, I want to kah-kiss Lauren and Julie."
"Cause, cause, you know, cause they, they look really, they look hah-hot. But, but ask me, ask me, thats not a good idea."
"Ya, that's not a good idea."
"But, but why? Adel, Adel and her bah-boyfriend, they kiss. I sah-saw Dylan kiss, he kissed Chelsea once. I see, I see lah-lots of guys kiss, lots of guys kiss girls. Why, why can't I? Why can't, why can't I kah-kiss Lauren and Julie?"
I thought about it for a minute, unsure as to how to respond. Finally I gave him the best answer I could come up with. "Cause it would make them mad, Geoff. And you don't want to make them mad, right?"
He nodded affirmatively, but still looked unsatisfied. "But, but why dah-doesn't Adel get, why doesn't Adel get mad, get, get mad when her bah-boy-boyfriend kisses her? She would be real mah-mad if, if I kissed her, buh-but, but, but when her, her boyfriend, when her boyfriend kisses her, then, then she looks happy."
There was no way of answering that question. "I don't know Geoff." I tried to use that phrase as little as possible, because I had seen it used so many times by the other kids to easily dismiss him or blow him off.
"Do, do you think, will I ever gah-get to kiss, get to kiss a, a girl?"
"Of course Geoff," I reassured him, "I guarantee that someday you will meet a girl who will fall in love with you. Just be patient." He smiled, looking far more assured. I just wished that someone could promise me the same thing.