George found eye contact difficult. He’d read somewhere that you could only really make eye contact with five people a day before you frazzled your brain so he was sparing with his gaze. Some people thought him odd, others shy and a few just guilty.
The biggest problem though was Reggie. George loved Reggie. Not that he could ever tell him. After all Reggie was The Man. Reggie held rooms of people in the palm of his hand. He commanded attention. Once, George had been caught out staring, when Reggie spun round and grabbed his gaze. It was like a lock had formed before Reggie let him go.
No one knew of George’s infatuation, beyond his sister Pelly. She teased him but took him to shows where George hid in the shadows and soaked up every smooth gesture, every silky vowel as Reggie bestowed heaven on his audience. He ached for the next time while dreading its arrival. At the end, when Reggie held up a hand like a blessing, it was another small death.
‘I got tickets!’ Pelly squealed. ‘For your birthday too. A treat.’
George grimaced. ‘A treat?’
‘Front row centre.’
George’s heart felt like it would give out. ‘No no no. No I just can’t..’
Pelly squeezed his hand. ‘Silly. Back right.’
George sunk in his seat as the people around him stamped, demanding more. It had been perfect. All his favourites, with Reggie in that wonderful suit.
‘And now,’ intoned Reggie, ‘I must go.’
George closed his eyes. This time he would surely die.
This wasn’t right. George opened his eyes, blinking into a spotlight. What was happening?
‘… there’s a special person I want you to meet’
The light dimmed; George’s gaze was fully on Reggie – and Reggie’s on George.
‘George.’ Reggie’s stare pulled George onto the stage. His head spun; the crowd sung happy birthday. Unknowingly he met their stares – friendly, loving, empathetic faces. He even let Reggie drape an arm around his shoulders.
Reggie eased him towards the steps and Pelly. ‘Nothing could be better,’ George whispered.
Reggie grinned. ‘Come to my dressing room.’
Maybe, thought George, it could.
This was written for the Flash Frenzy prompt 131 here