The competition was over. I had done horribly with no award to show for it.
Everyone told me "good job", but I stood there feeling empty for more than just losing.
My cousin comes up to me. He sees what I'm feeling, says the exact word.
It stands between us like an elephant. I nod and look away.
He tells me I did good.
And for some reason I'll never understand.
I hold my arms out in a hug and smile at him.
We share a moment of silence, his eyes calculating. Staring.
I return to myself as he hugs me, and it's the sincerity that shocks me. Hugs between us had always been awkward and forced by parents. It had never been like this.
I realize I had never intended to ask for a hug.
Things don't always happen the way we intend them to.
But sometimes, they turn out even better.