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I don’t know how long I held onto Maris before I pulled away. She’s so beautiful, and I can’t stare right at her for too long. It’s like staring at the sun. I’m sure I’ll go blind if I do, and I always drop my eyes after just a few seconds.
Maris’ hands stayed on me, though. They traced down my shoulders and arms as I stepped back. It gave me this tingling, shivery sort of feeling that raised goosebumps all over. I hoped she didn’t notice.
“I-I’m … I’m sorry,” I muttered, sniffling and trying not to see if everyone in the place stared at me. “It’s been a … well, I’m sort of … I think I …”
“Johnny,” she said, and her voice soothed my angst to silence, “it’s okay. It’s all right to hurt.”