There are stories and then there are stories written with the intent to break your heart and then heal it all over again. The Beginnings of Grief by Adam Haslett is one such story. The story is also kind of strange, at least according to me and when I think of it in its totality, it does not seem that strange. I know I am being contradictory; however you would have to read the story to understand what I am saying.
At the centre of the story is a teenager trying to come to terms with his homosexuality and the death of his parents. He is so estranged and full of grief, that he finds whatever connection he can get, even if it means it is in his bully, who tortures him at school for being gay. The story is but obviously sensitive and yet there is a withdrawn emotion to it, which is left to the reader to figure and help us realize that sometimes, even brutality is a sort of unspoken kindness.