The six of us sat at a large, dining-room-like table at the back of the coffee shop. Almost all of us didn’t have class until 5:30 because our morning and mid-afternoon classes were cancelled. So we went to the coffee shop at the square to do schoolwork together.
This naturally turned into a chatter fest rather than study/work session. We talked about things our group needed to do during May before summer session started and about the upcoming film festival, among other things. We were the upbeat ambiance of the usually quiet coffee shop.
I sat next to the only working person in the group. He wrote his heart out while I tried to find the motivation to do the same.
He reached out and grabbed my thigh and squeezed it multiple times, in the most non-sexual way possible. He’s just a touchy person.
For the first time, I was 100% joking about my negative body image when I said, “I’m squishy.”
I could feel his sadness. He stopped and instead rubbed my thigh shortly before pulling his hand away. His usually-loud breathing became silent. He slouched while sighing out. “No, you’re not,” he said quietly, but reassuringly.
As he moved his hand away, I wanted to tell him so desperately to keep it there, but I couldn’t because I felt like nothing I said would make a difference. He knows my struggle and knows that I usually joke to make light of an otherwise serious situation, but this time, the time I fully joked, he hurt the most.