He wasn’t charming like the heroes in fairy tales. He didn’t stand out or wear fancy clothes, and he didn’t meet the requirements I’d made from the fictional characters in books. He was soft-spoken and shy. I used to misjudge his kind heart for weakness. He was different. The boy who went unnoticed. It wasn’t until tears burned behind my eyes, and my heart pounded in my chest, yet I wore the smile anyway. No one cared as I lost myself, and no one noticed as I went missing to spend my time alone. No one heard me when I cried myself to sleep. They wouldn’t understand anyway. I don’t know why, but for some reason, I looked up one day; and I saw him staring; understanding in his eyes. A small gentle smile crept across his face. I won’t tell you that our story is beautiful or the kind you read about in books, but pay closer attention to the ones who go unnoticed; for my hero wasn’t a knight all dressed in shining armor. It was a simple, quiet boy who saved me.
Photo: Sam Wolff