He was asked, by his peers, whether he watched Fashion Week. He was sore to say he had missed it. They asked him about his fingernails, which he was inspecting quite comfortably. In need of a manicure, perhaps. He considered it.
"Are you gay?" I asked him, when I caught up later.
"No," he answered. I smiled, a genuine smile.
"The other Year 8’s think you are. You might want to [for your future reputation at the school, I should have told him] be a little more cautious of the signals you send out."
Imagine what he said next! It took me off my feet, for a moment. Get this.
"I don’t care what they think. I’m not!"
He walked away, with his face set, and somehow, an elegance about him.
It takes an incredible amount of self-confidence and bravery to be able to say that, when you are eleven, turning twelve. I admire him greatly for it, and long, terribly, to be as brave as he.