Thursday, December 27, 2012

Funny Boy

There are two twelve-year-old girls in Unit One. They share the room across from Benjy's, and they both look about fifteen. They are the friendliest young things you'll ever see.

Every time one of them passes his open door she sings, "Hi, Benjy!" At bedtime they poke their heads in and wish him a good night. They are a couple of warm, kind, smiley girls. (I can't imagine why they are in the hospital -- they seem so happy!)

Today when Lars and I entered Ben's room we noticed a card on his bedside table. It read: "GET WELL BENJY!!!!!" (He has a cold.) Inside were the signatures of every patient on the unit.

Who made this card, Ben?" I asked.

"Oh, Jenna," he said. I wasn't sure which of the two is Jenna, but I knew she was one of the dynamic duo.

"How nice," said Lars.

A look of panic crossed Ben's face. "She likes me. No, LIKES me."

I tried not to smile. "How do you know?"

"She said, 'Benjy, don't tell anyone but I like you. As in, crush.'"

"Oh," I said, looking at my shoes. I caught Lars's grin out of the corner of my eye.

"It made me want to throw up."

"Oh, Ben..." said Lars.

"Not in a bad way! I just -- I don't feel ready for this!"

It was so cute I almost died.

"Don't worry, sweetheart," I said, stroking his curly head.  "You don't have to be ready. Just enjoy the fact that she's a nice, sweet girl, who wants to be friends."

"It's starting," Lars said to me as we walked to our car a few minutes later. And he squeezed my hand.

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