[SubmissiveGuyComics has also done an ‘eye contact restrictions‘ post for our NaBloWriMo project. As a side note, this is the first true piece of fiction I have written on the blog. Kind of a big deal for me.]
“Are you lookin’ at me?” I do my best Robert De Niro.
He is, of course, looking at me. He laughs.
I look back at him, repeat, “Are you looking at me?!”
This time he hears a tone. He does a mental shuffle to figure out what this game is. He shifts his focus from my face to a spot behind my right shoulder.
“No, Ma’am,” he says. “I’m not looking at you.”
“You were though, weren’t you?”
“Yes, Ma’am, I was.” His eyes return to my face, thoughtless instinct.
“Are you LOOKING AT ME?!”
He looks at the floor between us. “I was, yes, but not now.”
“Good, don’t look at me,” I say. “Not until I tell you it’s allowed.”
I watch him for a moment then, awkwardly standing there with his eyes downcast, not sure what to do with this. Oh god, he’s almost unbearably sweet. His thick black lashes throw half moons onto his cheeks, they flutter as he tries to figure out where to focus, what to do now.
“I’d like some water please,” I say.
I offer it as a respite, something familiar and easy. I see a small smile of relief as he nods and turns to the kitchen, strangely moving his head and neck together as if he is in a brace.
When he returns he doesn’t know where to look, his gaze gliding around me until it settles again on the floor. It is strangely heartbreaking, as if he is trying to unravel his social graces and doesn’t know where to put them. He keeps his eyes on my feet as he hands me the glass.
I smile as I take it. I know he can see it in his peripheral vision. I place a hand at the back of his neck, hold him gently, my thumb grazing the nape, feel him unlock a little under it.
“Thank you, boy,” I say.
His voice has become small, unsure. “You’re welcome, Ma’am.”
“This is going to be difficult isn’t it?” I ask him.
I feel his head rise automatically to address me and I put a little pressure on his neck to keep his gaze to the floor.
He sighs as he realises I am reminding him, nods. “Yes, Ma’am.”