Its a learning process

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Antonio's POV

Rain was grounded for a week. I could only see her at school. I kept working with her as I took my time with her. We talked and when she didn't feel like talking, we didn't talk. 

I decided to do something to see how she would react. It was a simple gesture. As I walked her to class, I reached down and touched her hand. She recoiled a bit. Okay I'm going to need to work on this.

Each day, I did the same thing and each day she recoiled less and less.  It was progress. 

Then one day I did it again but this time she didn't recoil. She actually allowed me to hold her hand. To me this was amazing. To her, she didn't make a big deal about it.

Baby steps.

At one point I was talking to the guys as she stood there. Now here was the thing about Rain. I noticed she would watch other people, trying to learn social cues. Since she lacked in that area, she would try to emulate what other people did. I learned this quickly.

I also learned to follow her lead and if she was emulating someone, she was trying to learn. This was something I wasn't aware of. She was that astute.

As we talked I felt a hand slide into mine and fingers interlock with mine. I looked down and noticed she was holding my hand. I looked at her and she smiled. I smiled back. More progress.

It's the little things that meant more. I know people would be like hurry up but when it came to someone who had Autism, you can't rush things no matter what.  They do things in their own time and own way.

Rain started to become accustomed to holding hands. She was hesitant at first but slowly she became more comfortable with it. This was nice. No pressure and no rushing.

When her grounding came to an end I spent time with her. Besides playing board games, we also played My Little Pony. Yes I played with the toy ponies because she like them.

"Oh Twilight Sparkle we must hurry," I said in a high pitch voice.

"Fluttershy we'll hurry before Nightmare moon arrives," she said as we moved the ponies around.

She became so animated as we played. Then after awhile we took a break. We sat on her floor surrounded by ponies.

"I like this," she said.

"What?"

"That you play My Little Pony with me. I know people think it's babyish and weird but to me it's easy. People are hard," she said as I looked at her.

"How so?"

"I know people think I act like a child because I play with toys but toys are fun and don't make fun of you. They don't call you names or laugh. They prefer to be played with. I would like to think so," she shrugged.

"You have this whole other world to you. I think people don't understand it," I reasoned.

"Oh they understand it but they don't care. Most people are too self absorbed with themselves to care. They think because I have autism it makes me stupid, weird or beneath them. I know I have autism. I know it's a neurological disorder. I know I don't relate to people well because they make no sense," she shook her head.

"Then it explain it to me," I suggested. I wanted to hear her take on things.

"I watch people. I hear and see everything they do. They act childish when they want to be adults. They're condescending to others because they think they're perfect. They judge without listening. But they never listen to people. They hear what they want to hear and not everything. If it doesn't interest them or fit to their ideals then they don't care."

I looked at her as I listened.

"People assume without getting facts. They say one thing and do something else which is the definition of hypocrisy. Have a neurological disorder doesn't make you stupid of less of a person, it just makes it harder on you to understand different things. It's quite simple when you break it all down. Explain to me and I understand. Treat me like I'm stupid and I ignore you. Why do I want to associate with people like that," she asked me.

Wow, she had a lot of valid points.

"I think we tend to forget that everyone is human and has feelings because they don't see the human aspect," I said to her.

"No. People are ignorant. They're not educated," she corrected me.

I sat there amazed how insightful she was. There was more to Rain than anyone realized. Everyone looked at her one way but when you went deeper, you saw so much more.

"Why are you looking at me like that?  It's weird," she said to me.

"I was thinking of taking you on a date. What do you think?"

"Are you going to be late and make me think you stood me up," she asked me.

"Well, no. I don't plan on it."

"We don't plan on a lot of things but shit happens," she shrugged.  I looked at her shocked. I've never heard her swear before. That was new.

"Okay, I promise not to be late," I told her.

"Okay then I will go on a date with you. Nothing noisy or lots of lights. It bothers my brain," she said as she grinned at me.

I chuckled.

"I promise no noisy place and not a bunch of lights," he smiled.

"Then it's a date," she said simply.

"It's a date," I agreed.

We went back to playing with the ponies before I left to go home. I walked inside my house and dad looked at me, "did you have fun but not too much fun?  I don't need to be a grandpa yet."

"I want babies. I need cheeks to pinch," mom yelled from the kitchen.

"No babies," dad said firmly.

"Awwww," she said.

I shook my head and rolled my eyes, "yeah.  Rain is amazing."

Mom came into the living room wiping off her hands, "aww my baby is in love."

"Mom!"

"There is nothing wrong with being in love.  Now don't be a doof and married this girl. Give me lots of babies," she said emphatically.

"It's disturbing how much you want babies," I said to her.

"I'm Italian. We have big families.  Well somewhat," she said giving dad a look.

"What?  I did the best I could," he shrugged.

"Well Antonio can give me lots of babies," she told him.

I decided to let them argue while I went upstairs. I think a date should come first before any babies.  My mom was crazy.

I got ready for bed and laid on my bed. I thought about my date with Rain. I think I had an idea of what to do but I was going to need some help and I knew exactly who to help me.


Get ready because Antonio's and Rain's date is next.

Antonio is taking his time with Rain since this is all new to her. You'll see things progress with them gradually.

Trust me it will be completely worth it.

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