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Son Not Sure Where to Look After Hearing “I Love You” From Dad

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Local teenager Russ Mitchell, Jr. was uncomfortable and unsure where to direct his gaze yesterday after hearing his father say, “I love you” to him for unprompted reasons.

“Uh…,” a visibly shaken Mitchell Jr. stated. “At first I thought he was joking, but then he kept his hand on my shoulder for, like, almost a minute, and told me about how he lost his grandpa’s belt buckle in college or something. It was super awkward. I’m not sure if Mom put him up to this or what, but either way, I hope it never happens again.”

“I don’t even think he was buzzed or anything,” he added.

The unusual event led the 16-year-old boy with zero experience engaging in intimate connections to search for “literally anything” to fix his eyes on until the attempt at emotional bonding passed.

“I reached in my pocket for my phone, but it was charging in my bedroom, so that was out… and I tried just looking out the window, but the stupid curtain was closed,” Mitchell Jr. explained. “I eventually just sort of zoned out on a lamp, but then the cat finally walked in, thank fucking God. My dad seemed pretty happy to see Pumpkin by that point, too. I don’t think that cat has gotten so much attention in her entire life.”

The elder Mitchell, still highly disappointed in himself over the emotional outburst, attempted to explain his behavior.

“I honestly don’t know what got into me. The other night, I walked by my wife watching one of those “Madea” movies on my way to the kitchen, and something just must have got planted in my brain, I guess,” Mitchell, Sr. said. “I’m just glad my own Pop wasn’t alive to see it. He raised me better than that.”

At press time, all was back to normal in the New England household, with both father and son successfully averting their eyes from each other as they crossed paths in the hallway upstairs.