“I love you,” he said, gathering his lunchbox and stumbling out of the van. “I think so anyhow. I mean, no one really knows what love is, but I think I love you.
“Well we at least know it’s a chemical reaction in our brains,” I answered lightly ” I love you too.”
“I’m pretty sure I love you,” he says, and walks away with his feet halfway into his boots and his head down. He climbs the stairs to the apartment and doesn’t look back.
I blink back tears as I drive home. Thinking of the little boy alone in his bedroom. He plays video games for hours or watches “Ben Shu-Pie-ro”
“How many people died from the coronavirus now?” He asks. Or “what year did they first make Nickels? Or “Is there any proof that God exists?.
So many, many questions.
“Do you ever think about it that you were actually created?” He asks one afternoon. “I mean people really shouldn’t commit suicide because if God created them that must mean that God actually wants them here.”
“You’re a good thinker,” I say, hoping he’ll remember his own words five years from now because some days I feel sure he will be the one committing suicide.
“I hate you!” He yells the next day. “I hate God! I hate everything!” And he yells until he cries and when he is finally done crying he can finally talk.
He doesn’t mean the words he shouts at me. He doesn’t have words to say the things he feels or he doesn’t say them for other reasons. I am not sure which. I do know it isn’t me he’s angry at. Nor is he angry at God, really.
He holds so much inside himself.
So much potential.
So much love.
What is love? I don’t know if I can tell you.
But I can tell you this:
I love this child so much.