Canada…he was always so quiet always melding into the crowd. You had never seen a man so…so…how can you put it. He wasn’t shy, he was very soft spoken. Yes, he was soft spoken. You usually observed his actions and how he would react to them. How his eyes showed comprehension, and a type of maturity. You’ve tried getting close to him but let’s say…you never truly could. You didn’t know how to approach him, or how to even start a conversation with him. You had a fear deep within your heart that he would reject you. Or that once you got to know each other you would find out that you didn’t get along.
It wasn’t until this one day, you were walking alone. Imagining how it would feel if someone was walking next to you. Having a conversation with them, that would make you feel contempt with the day. That’s when you saw him. He was walking down your neighborhood looking exasperated. He was holding a piece of paper in his hands, and looking at each of the houses then looking at the paper again.
You got a surge of courage, you were going to walk up to him and see if he needed help. You took a deep breath, clenched your fists trying to edge off your anxiousness. You walked a little faster and you quickly got closer to him. You were two feet away from him; he had yet to notice you. And he did not notice your epic failure as you walked past him with your head down and your hands in your pockets. Ugh, how frustrated you were with yourself. How could something so simple get to you? You could feel your heart racing, each beat got you more fidgety, and each beat got you weaker in the knees.
You were prone to these sudden examples of social anxiety. You couldn’t count how many times you had to excuse yourself from social interaction. You remember that one time you went to a basketball game and you almost passed out due to the screaming and chaotic atmosphere displayed at the game. Thru the years you were able to control these attacks, they had even become infrequent.
As you kicked yourself for not being able to help him, you heard calls being directed towards you. You stopped in your tracks; yes those soft whispers were all you needed for you heart to defeat your insecurities. You spun around on your heel and saw him with his head down, whispering words you have heard him say countless of times. “I guess you couldn’t see me.” He was about to leave when you said, “That’s not true; I can see you perfectly fine.” You couldn’t believe it, you said those words with such clarity. It surprised you usually during your first meetings with people, you would talk so…let’s just put it that people would ask you to repeat thing more than once.
“Oh…Uh…” what should you say. You stared at the ground, moving your feet. “Um…do you need any h-help?” you let the words flow, as you tried your best at making eye contact.
“Y-yeah, if it’s no bother?” he said.
“I-it’s not a bother.”
“Well, I’m looking for this place.” He showed you the piece of paper.
You read it then responded, “Oh, that’s over there.” You pointed the house next to yours. You then started to wonder why he would go there. Nobody was living there at the moment. You heard it belonged to a young man, who would occasionally come during spring and rarely in the fall. You had never gotten to meet the man.
“Thank you. My papa let me borrow his home for the winter. He told me, well forced me to move out of my cabin in the woods. Saying things like, “Maple syrup won’t get you out of your shell.” Or “Pet bears will never introduce you to a beautiful woman.” Oh sorry…my name is Mathew Williams. It’s nice to me you…” he held out his hand.
You couldn’t help but giggle at his little ramble. You shook his hand, “My name is (f/n). (F/N) (L/N).” The ice was broken, and the tension was lessened. You let out a breath, “It’s very nice to meet you Mathew. I guess were going to be neighbors.” You were quite happy and worried, yet more happy than worried. The man you were “observing”, the man you seemed to have fallen in love with, ever since that day that you saw him at the skating rink, was going to be your neighbor. Your heart was doing the Macarena in your chest.
Mathew blushed and looked away. There was a pause, and then he said boldly as he could looking straight into your eyes, “I guess my father was right. There is a “beautiful chéri down the road”.” It took you some time to fully absorb what he just said. As it hit you, your face turned red and you felt like hiding. But you stood there with the courage that you were sure your heart had kept from you, just for a moment like this. “W-would you like to go for a coffee tomorrow?” he said quietly, he too trying to keep a hold on his courage, as he prepared for rejection. “S-sure.” You said. All the while you too turned redder than the Canadian flag.
“Hohohon, well ‘ello zere Mathew.” A man interrupted putting his hand on Mathew’s shoulder. “Seems my son ‘az captured your ‘eart, and maybe ‘e’ll capture something else tomorrow. ‘e is my son after all.” He says as he winks at you. You both turned even redder, if possible. And with that your courage left. “M-mathew, I’ll see you tomorrow, a-at seven. Have a goodnight. A-as well as you, mister…” “Francis” the man said, with a smug smile on his face. “Francis.” You left as quickly as possible to your house. You fumbled with your keys and dropped them. As you picked them up you looked toward Mathew and France. You gaze fled to your door. And you opened it and went in quickly, shutting the door behind you.
Mathew stood outside shocked…he just got a date, with the girl he’s been “observing” for the past few weeks. Then he remembered what his papa had said. He turned to Francis and punched him in the shoulder. “Ow, Mathew what was zat for?”
“Y-you know why.”
“Oh Mathew, I didn’t mean what you and ze chéri zink I meant. I meant you might capture ‘er lips tomorrow. You pervert.”
“Shut up papa.” Mathew started walking away, ignoring Francis.
“Why do you only treat me zis way, Mathew? Do you not care for your papa?…Mathew…Mathew! Wait for me, Mathew! ...Open ze door Mathew. It’s freezing.”