They prefer being spoken to sincerely, not smothered in pats and hugs and baby talk - a tone-deaf sort of love.
He's wearing a seatbelt, driving at speed limit, and taking his eyes off the road to check sports news on his mobile device.
He murders an otherwise good presentation with jokes about mental illness. The laughter that ripples through the room is faint and disbelieving.
His parents are too polite to discuss the issue publicly, but he's overheard them hash it out at home. He doesn't understand everything they say, but he knows enough to know they'd be embarrassed. He knows how to make the next family get-together more entertaining.
She's brought paper shopping bags full of winter clothes and toiletries to an elegant restaurant. The waiters pretend not to see any of it poking out from under the tablecloth.
His small feet thrumming on the back of my car seat.
To what extent would my life have been different had I grown up next door to him? I consider this as we sit on opposite benches and pick at our salads. He might have been an advisor or advocate. Or maybe still too much removed from what was going on. I might not have listened anyway.