He watches his sweet mother and her blonde mop of hair walk nervously around the kitchen in her blue dress and the beige moccasins he got her for Christmas. She makes her way to him and kisses his cheek again, and Even lets her, revels in the tenderness of it all. Sometimes he wonders what he would do without her loving touch, without her unwavering adoration. Sometimes he wonders.
She knows most of his secrets but his most shameful one: he wishes to be reborn every night. A gentle smile spreads across her face as the thought forms itself in his mind, but it feels more akin to a stab to the chest. I must bear it. Their eyes meet and he smiles and cracks the joke he practiced in the bathroom before joining her in the kitchen. She smiles again and takes a sip of the twin decaf tea that Even knows she hates.
Even is nervous as he walks to school. Mutta graciously offered to meet him a few blocks away and walk with him the night before, but Even declined. He wanted to do this for himself. And so he walks. His legs feel funny, but he does his best to match his steps to the Bruno Mars song playing through his headphones.
He clutches the straps of his backpack as he nears the gates of the school.
He suddenly feels his breaths shorten and heat spread through his body. He stops walking right away. An arm wraps around his shoulders and makes him jump, the intrusion oddly comforting as it gives a real reason to his increased pulse. You almost gave me a heart attack. Mutta, strong and reliable Mutta, in his brown hoodie and black jeans and wild dark curls. Mutta who, if people were one of the four elements, would be Earth. Strong, stable, woody, dark soul. Mutta who was home to all of them. Mutta hugs him and Even takes a deep breath when his scent finally fills his nostrils, overwhelming him.
But now he means the words. Maybe not everyone, he doubts Arvid will cut him some slack. Three months, two weeks, and three days. Downplaying or downright dismissing what happened. He knows the boys will eventually bring it up, but for now he wishes to pretend he was just out traveling. Even spent nights going over all the ways this day could go. And he planned each and every single detail. He rehearsed the jokes he would tell, the stories he would recount, the smiles he would offer, and the touches he would initiate as opposed to the ones he would indulge.
Even knew that as long as he sticks to the script he meticulously wrote for this day, he would end up just fine. Everybody at Bakka already knew about his comeback after all, so he planned for their anticipation and refuses to give them more things to talk about on his first day back. The only blind spot in his perfect plan, however, materializes before him the moment Mutta and he step into the schoolyard. If Mutta was Earth, then Mikael was air, for he was all over and around him, invisible to the naked eye, but imperative and indispensable as he clung to his lungs.
If Even inhaled too much, he choked. Mikael was air.
Haunted by Your Touch by Jeaniene Frost
And Even needed to re-learn how to breathe. Mikael is the only variable in his script and he is the reason Even drafted so many versions of today. What do you do when the air you breathe feels like poison? But Even figures he can make it work. His heart is hurting in his chest the moments before Mikael finally wraps an arm around his back, and for a moment, everything is right in the world. They part eventually, because Elias and Adam join their circle.
And for the first time in a while, Even truly believes that everything is going to be alright. I liked you better when you were awkward and only placed two words in any given conversation. Even laughs until his stomach hurts and barely notices people staring at him in the hallways.
He used to value his individuality. But not anymore. Even can still feel the flames tickling his skin. Earth to Even. There are many reasons Even fell in love with Mikael out of all his friends.
Still Have Questions?
And this moment is a gentle reminder. The boys keep talking about some new guy with a rare skin condition and he checks out. Even visits the school counselor after lunch and they talk about his day so far. He smiles, turns on his charm, and speaks in a particularly deep and confident voice. He sits in a relaxed position and makes eye contact. And when things get a bit tough, he digs his nails through his thighs. On his way out she tells him that she and the entire school are proud of him and of his decision to come back and finish his third year at Bakka.
And he thanks her before showing himself out. So in the split of a second leading to their imminent impact, Even tries to think of ways to make it as harmless as possible.
More about the "touch and hold" gesture
He could wrap his arms around his back and roll to the side. It could work. Or they could both fall on the ground as Even visibly towers over him. Or they could both bump foreheads. Or he could hold his ground, plant both feet firmly against the hardwood floor, and just let the smaller boy bump into him. He feels silly for a second. He probably looks very weird standing like that. Even, who for a moment, wonders if he sees life at a slower speed than most people, if little things matter more to him than to most.
His heart races as he leans against the wall. His pulse has quickened and his blood is buzzing. Even feels energized in an odd way, like those characters in the cartoons when they get slightly electrocuted. He needs hugs and cuddles, all of them. Even sees him again later that afternoon—with Adam happily hugging his shoulders after he explained his touch-starved logic to the group—and his heart almost burns at the sight.
The boy looks young, probably a first year. Probably helps with avoiding eye contact. The hood of his jacket is thrown on top of the snapback and a thick green scarf covers what remains visible on his face. Even realizes that the only bit of skin this guy is showing is his nose as even his hands are in thick gloves.
What the. The boys exchange suspicious looks and he joins them almost immediately. Has the new kid been lying?!
Was there physical impact? Was he wearing all those layers inside too? Where is this going? How the hell is that a thing?
- Touch Portal, Remote control for your PC or Mac;
- At Your Touch.
- The Service Driven Life: Discover Your Path to Meaning, Power, and Joy.
- The Adventures of Freddie the Little Fire Dragon: The Watch That Saved The Briar Woods Dam.
I looked it up online. Like allergy to water? Allergy to the sun? Both exist. But allergy to touch? This is like an attack on the external party. Like the X-men. And we would know if he was an X-men. What is it? Like everyone refers to me as the fucked up kid. They eat their roasted vegetables, Even does the dishes, then they both on the couch in front of Netflix.
Even goes to the pool before school today. He puts on his silicone swim cap and his speedos and dives head first. He does five laps of Breaststroke, three of Freestyle, and two of Butterfly. He lets himself float before the pool starts filling up with other people and spreads his limbs in a star shape. He floats for a few minutes, closes his eyes, and breathes through his nose, doing his very best to ignore the smell of chlorine and chemicals.
He dives into the water until he reaches the bottom then comes back up again. He plays around the pool like a child and lets water heal him how it knows so very well to. Water all over and around him. When he is in water, he is not surrounded by air. He is free from it, from him, from everything. Only in water is he completely free.
Or fire, he thinks, then shakes his head. The only reason he started swimming in the first place was because his therapist recommended to establish or at least attempt a relationship with water as opposed to fire. And while he was skeptical at first, Even ended up falling in love with it. The water. It kept his mind off of air and fire.
Even is in creative arts and Isak is in science, he learns. He sees him running from one class to another in the countless layers he bundles himself in. Even sees him running everywhere, suddenly hyper aware of his every movement. And his body almost tingles whenever Isak walks past him in the hallways—although the boy never spares him a glance. He had once been the kid with the weird mental condition and weird mental breakdown after all. What does bipolar even mean? Even rolls his eyes. Has Adam seen the kid?
He looks absolutely harmless and adorable in his huge puffer jacket and his two thousand layers. He actually wore a beanie to school today, and Even could almost see his eyes. Are they always flushed? Even wonders. Isak is not horrible and mean. He knows he can make it work. So that Wednesday afternoon, Even waits for it to hit right outside of the library.
Only this time, Even faked a bathroom emergency to let himself out early and camp outside the library. Isak should be coming out any second now. It all works according to plan. Well, almost. The doors swing open and Isak and his twenty-one layers nearly bump into him, nearly. Isak, however, seems shaken from the near proximity, and his eyes—green, so green, a beautiful contrast to the red on his cheeks, so red—are wide and scared. He feels terrible. Perhaps Isak really made this whole thing up because he cannot stand to be touched.
- Splitting Sides.
- Secret Agent in Submission Part 1 (The Erotic Adventures of Scarlet Dionysis).
- Miss Your Touch GIFs;
Perhaps Even is making him uncomfortable by stripping him of his personal freedom and forcing him into a triggering situation. Even does see fear in the short moments they spend staring at each other. But it is not fear of being touched. If anything, he is glowing with confidence and self-assuredness. He is glowing with it, but he is taming it. Isak walks away after that and Even is still buzzing from the warmth and the heat that just spread inside him. Even swims after school when the pool empties.
His local pool is closed on Mondays, and his skin is aching with the need to be submerged in water, to not think about air, to not think about fire. He puts on his silicone swim cap and his speedos and tiptoes his way to the smaller school pool. He stops walking the moment he spots him, Isak in the pool, floating alone.
But his discretion is not quite enough, for Isak has already heard or felt him, immediately diving back into the water until only his face was visible. The question itself is odd. The pool was for anybody who wishes to use it as it was currently open. Isak spoke of it as if he owned it. Could you please give me a minute? Even is shaken with it, the politeness, the vulnerability. Isak comes back into the locker room bundled up in a long towel that covers him from neck to toe.
Even walks back to the pool and dips a toe to test the temperature. The water looks clean, too. He hopes no dumb kid got any funny idea. But then he realizes something.
Longing for your touch
Isak was in the pool, swimming in the chemically treated water. Is he okay? Does he do this often? Does he only burn others or does it hurt him to touch others too? Does the water somehow make it better? He did look quite peaceful before Even interrupted him. Does it feel good for him to be in the water? Does it feel as good as it feels for Even? Teacher and Student Resource Kits Download these kits for use in your classroom. Students can work individually or in groups, but we encourage teachers to complete aspects of there source as a whole class activity. This provides opportunity for students to pool their knowledge of the past and engage in deep, deductive thinking.
It can also be used by students in level 4 to support their understanding of the early contact between Europeans and Indigenous people. It is equally well suited to helping students in level 6 research the movements, events and ideas that led to the Federation of Australia in Open every Sunday am- pm.
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