• Lyla Bollag

The Question

“And what do you need?”

His eyes said, You. But his mouth said, “water. All I need is water–thanks–sorry..I..I’m not good with people; bye.” He turned around, walking fast to the door but the other called out and said, “Hey, wait, you left this here!”

He looked back as the other called out to him from the store, holding up his blue Patagonia sweater and saw the name inside it. He walked slowly back and grabbed it.

“So, the name’s Lyle?” the other asked. He put it on, roughly, awkwardly, painfully and answered, “Yes.” The other stepped forward, reaching eye level and asked another question.

“So, does this “Lyle” share another name?” They asked in a way which seemed odd, but came out smooth, almost satten-like. He stood there, frozen, not knowing what to do; he felt true empathy for the actual deer caught in actual headlights. He’s never been good with answering direct and forward questions, especially ones pertaining to this. It seemed almost unreal they were asking him about this, he never thought something like this would happen to him; he thought he would remain invisible as he’s always been, seen as only awkward, nothing more than an average nerd with severe social anxiety waiting to retract back into the comforts of home; away from the dangers of people. His foot began to tap, and his temperature started to rise.

“Uh..um, n..not at the moment.” He looked away as he answered. “I..uh, I gotta go; bye.” He turned around as he did before, walking at a faster pace, with one location in mind: Home. For most people, “Home is where the heart is,” but for him, “Home is where the Ativan is.”