Warren’s weak chin alone wasn’t too awful, but it drew you right in on his uneven, crumbling teeth. That crushed any hope he had for a partner. It looked like someone had permanently punched in the lower half of his face. Truly. No one noticed the glint of his speckled green eyes or his wavy black hair.

You can’t fight your genes. My grandmother said that with a satisfied smile, as if she had granted all her grandkids some amazing wish, but Warren probably wanted to wrestle with his genes. I was his best friend, but that’s no consolation for the lack of love and great sex. I prayed for Warren with sincerity and hope. I wanted God to deliver someone who could see the person others did not.

Time marched on and we drifted apart. I called him to check in and his loneliness reached across the miles. He seemed resigned to his lot in life and that made me angry. Not at him, but at people in general. We swipe past a person without hesitation and I know there’s no fighting the way we interact today, but the decent core in me stiffens at the thought of anyone left alone in this world. Life is too cruel and it seems we all deserve that person we can relate to for however brief a period it may be.

I called Warren last night and he didn’t answer. I didn’t leave a voicemail because I’ve said it all before. I just sent him a text. The kind everyone needs. I think you know what I mean, don’t you?

© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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