“Have you ever thought about being a model?” I ask as he steps one leg inside the spa and pauses. After only a moment, he sits down on the other side and looks out at the city lights.

“When I lived in New York, I had someone come up to me and offer me a modeling job, but I thought they were only saying it to mess with me. was the one perusing models to paint and not used to being on the other side. I didn’t…” He looks at me now, his eyes shadowed with an emotion I can’t name.

“Would you now? You’re still young and I don’t know what you looked like then, but you really are a beautiful man, Bodhi. Plenty of people will be knocking on your door now that I’ve given you a haircut and your beard is gone.”

Did he purposely keep his hair long to avoid people?

“You can ask. I see it all over your face even in the dim light.” He shifts a little to look out more at the city than me.

“You don’t have to talk about anything that makes you uncomfortable. Ever. All you have to do is say the word. There’s something about you that makes me want to know every little thing about you, but I can also tell you don’t like talking about yourself much.”

“Growing up we didn’t have much money, and I was alwaysgrowing too fast. My mother couldn’t keep up with my growth spurts, so my clothes were almost always too small for me.” He glances at me but goes back to looking at the lights. I don’t fault him. Sometimes it’s easier if you don’t have to look at the person you’re speaking to. “I’ve always been quiet. I guess too quiet because from the time I can remember kids were always making fun of me. Either for my clothes that weren’t quite long enough, not clean enough, or for not having any friends.”

I gasp and cover my mouth with my hand. Why are children so cruel? 

“I got used to not having any friends and hearing all their comments behind my back. It got better for a little while in high school. I shot up again and started lifting weights which caught all the girls’ eyes. I know most boys don’t know how to talk to girls or women, but I wasn’t used to talking to anyone but my mom, and soon enough the girls who tried to talk to me or go out with me and use me started to whisper about me too.” Bodhi tips back his beer and finishes it.