I can’t sleep. This thought is rattling around my head and I need to get it down. I’ve hinted at it in the past, but it seems very stark and clear at the moment and I want to put it down.
When I was at school, there was a girl in my year who always smiled at me and said hello, using my name. I didn’t really know why she did this and was probably vaguely suspicious that I was the butt of some unseen joke (I was bullied a lot at school and it made me suspicious of people outside my small friendship circle). We didn’t have any lessons together and I wasn’t entirely sure how she even knew my name (I don’t know how I knew hers). It’s only really in the last few weeks that I’ve realised, twenty years after the event, that the reason she always smiled at me and said hello was because she liked me. Not necessarily in a teenage crush way (but maybe), but in a friendly, platonic way.
I don’t know what it says about me that it’s taken me twenty years to work this out. I suppose I can blame that on autism and mind-blindness. Now I can’t stop wondering what might have happened if I had realise this at the time. I feel that in some sense I let her down, that I should at least have stopped and talked to her, not that I would have known what to say. I wonder what would have happened if I had done that.