My eyes gleaned across the class room. The teacher was talking, but it wasn’t anything important, just more boring prattle. I glanced around, without thinking my eyes came to rest on Brent. I started to think……. his eyes, his hair, his slim body, his….”no, I wouldn’t think about that” I mentally slapped myself” I’m not like that, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not attracted to boys, I’m not” I quickly pulled my eyes away from him, I tried to think about how pretty the girls were, but I couldn’t, I just didn’t feel it. The rest of the day I paid extreme attention to everything the teacher said.
I paid so much attention to what she said that by the end of the day, I had no home work. When I got on the bus, I sat next to my two best friends. Just like always Jessie sat on my right, ken sat on my left. We talked, and then ken said it, he got this really big smile and said” hay guys guess what? ” and of course now were both curios, and asking what, and he answers with this huge smile” well, I got a girl friend!” Jessie got a really big smile and said” oh that’s great ken!” I congratulated him to, and thumped him on the back (something I do to drive him nuts, he hates it). Jessie turned to me”hey I’m surprised that someone as good looking as you hasn’t snagged a cute girl, Joey”. I felt my ears get hot, but just shrugged. I would get a girl one day, I was attracted to girls, I had to be, even if I didn’t feel it right now, I was. Before this conversation could get much farther, the bus stopped by my house. I quickly said goodbye, and ran off the bus.
I was bored, not much to do, no homework, TV was broken. So I was just lying on my bed, my hands behind my head. Finally I rolled myself from my bed, slipped my shoes off, and headed over to the computer. I considered playing some music, but instead got on the internet. I sat there for a couple of minutes considering what site to go to. My fingers, seeming to will themselves, typed in ‘how do you know if you are….’ I stopped typing here, took a deep breath and typed the last word ’gay?’I clicked the search button, and waited for the results. A few seconds…. I stared at the search results. I moved the pointer to the first link, but didn’t click it. I was afraid of what I would find. I was afraid I would find myself, described in those pages. That it would confirm my worst fears. I glanced at the mirror on my wall. I thought about Jessie saying that I was good looking. I suppose I was, I had light green eyes, I was slightly tanned, but that was normal because the summer had just ended. I ran my hands through my springy black hair, which generally would be styled, but I had decided to let it go more natural this year. My nose and jaw were well defined. But over my natural good looks, my face was strained, and I could see anger and confusion and fear in my eyes. I closed the internet window, still not having entered the link.
The rest of the day I just sat in my room. I texted some friends and read a book. That night I lay awake for a long time. I didn’t want to sleep I had too much to think about, too much to worry about……I fell asleep before I could finish my thought. That night I dreamed, I’ve grown to hate my dreams more than anything.
I dreamed. I was in a room. I’d had this dream before. I saw a boy, a beautiful boy, brown hair, and brilliant blue eyes. He was muscular, but in a stringy kind of way. He was about a year older than me. He smiled a cute little smile. He was wherein loose clothing, blue jeans, a Hurley T-shirt, and a shell necklace. He walked over to me, and put his arms around my waist. He rested his forehead against mine. He kissed me very gentle, then deeper. I took his shirt off. We kissed deeply for several minutes more, he took my shirt off, and he pressed his body against mine. I reached my hands around his neck. He unbuttoned my pants, and then unzipped them. He pushed my jeans to the ground, and then pulled me down onto the bed on top of him…….I awoke with a start. I was sweating, and breathing hard. I pushed my blanket off. I went to the bathroom, and washed my face off. I hated that dream so much. I’d had it several times already. Ever since I had started to get these feelings for boys, about half way through the summer. I couldn’t deny it any longer; I had to admit it to myself. I Joey Boxer was a gay 14 year old. There I said it. And for almost 45 minutes after words I cried silent tears into my pillow.
The next day I felt a little better. Like I could finally accept myself. I also felt worse in the way that I was on of those gay people. I got up earlier, so that I could think and do some research.
I took a long time in the shower, letting the hot, steamy water flow over me. I was chewing on the end of my mood stone, something I always did when I was really stressed. The mood stone was something that my grandpa had given me when I was five, after I had thrown a tantrum. He said if I ever felt angry or frustrated, to hold the stone, and just sit there, until the stone turned a calmer color. I never went anywhere without it in my pocket. It wasn’t only to help keep my temper, but also to remember my grandpa.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to tell my friends……at least not for a while. Especially not Jeremy, he was a strict in his catholic belief. He was a major “if you sin you will burn in hell” kind of guy, and according to those reliogous types, being gay was a hugegantic sin.
I didn’t bother to dry my hair, pulled on my clothes. I was wearing a lose, dark green t-shirt, and tight, dark blue jeans. I looked at myself. I was a wreck, dark circles under my eyes, I had barley slept. I was pale. My eyes looked bleached and depressed. My hair was a mess, despite trying to comb it straight (I had been tossing and turning the few times I did sleep). I looked like a hobo with fashion sense.
I saw the bus coming. Darn, no time for breakfast. Oh well, I never ate a lot any way, not like I’m anorexic, I just am not hungry. I grabbed my back pack, and yelled to my mom” I’m going, the school bus is here!” I ran out into the warm, English air, the warmth of the hot summer still sticking around. But autumn, was starting to set in. winter was always nice, especially when it snowed, our little town was covered with white, it was really pretty. As I got on the bus, the doors closed, and it started to move as I went up the aisle, I spotted Jessie and ken waiting for me, just like always. The third row from the back. Left side. The way we had sat since kindergarten. We had been tight friends since then. But could I share my new found identity with them?
There smiles faded when they saw me.
Jessie said” my god, you look like u went through a rinse cycle, what is wrong Joey?” I assured them it was nothing, that I had just stayed up to late, but I could tell it was clear l was not telling the whole story, which I wasn’t. I sat down, the conversation was boring and filled with tension, there was clearly something wrong with me, but I refused to say a word about what was wrong with me. I would tell them eventually, just not yet, not here. Too many ears, and the last thing I needed was for one of them to explode in surprise and scream” you’re gay??!” ok, maybe that was a bit of a exaggeration, but still, hope for the worst, then you will never be disappointed. So I kept my mouth shut.
The day went pretty normal, normal amount of work, normal boring teachers, normal amount of whispering in class and note passing. But more than normal, I heard the gay jokes. Sure, it wasn’t an unusual amount, but to hear people scorning and hating on people like me. I mean I know people didn’t mean it on a personnel level, but I sure felt like it. The worst was Rosti. He had always been a major a-hole, but it was worse because he simply despised gays. He was tall, at least a head taller than me, and I was 5’3”. He was German, but spoke with no accent; he hadn’t been to Germany since he was 2. He was blonde with blue eyes, and always had an ugly sneer instead of a smile. Soon, I would find him to be my worst enemy.
When I got home, the first thing I did was get online. I went back to that link, I typed it in without hesitation ‘how do you know if u are gay?’ there it was, it all matched how I felt and acted. Yep, all of it the feelings, the dreams, and the rush of emotions I got when another guy I liked touched me on the arm or brushed against me by accident. And most of all how happy it made me just too…know. I found a gay youth support site to.
That night I slept, and wondered. Why was I like this? Was I ever going to change? Was this really a sin? Was I supposed to start liking fashion and dancing now? But one question dominated over the rest: I wonder if I could grab a cute little boyfriend? I fell asleep on that thought…..I had a deep dreamless sleep. But, the thing is, I didn’t have to fear my dreams anymore, because they were part of who I am.
For the next two weeks, nothing particularly special happened. But I did manage to figure out what all my friends thought of gays. No one really had bad feelings towards them, accept Jeremy (that was obvious), and Jessie. Oh, why did it have to be Jessie? One of my two best friends just had to be a homophobe. Well, no one ever said it would be easy. Then one day I pulled ken aside. I said I had to talk to him. I was holding my mood stone, which had gone black, in other words, I was anxious as heck. I glanced back up at Ken
Ken glanced anxiously at me” hey man you ok? You’ve been acting weird lately”
I almost decided not to tell him, but instead looked him in the eyes” ken….I have something to tell you…..I’m……..” I faltered, but kept eye contact”I’m gay “. His eyes widened, in a second I saw shock, pity, and I thought I saw just a wisp of anger….or was that hate I saw in his eyes? Then I tore my gaze away from his. I felt a tear slide down my cheek. He hated me now, I was sure of it. Then I felt him wipe the tear from my cheek. He sighed” hey, if that’s how u are, that’s how you are, and I know, that u will be the same as you always have,” a small smile played across his face” as long as you don’t hit on me, I’ll be fine with it.”
The rest of the day we talked about stereotypes, and how I wouldn’t be different. He was really great about it, I was so happy he accepted me! I told him he was the only one that knew, and I trusted him not to tell anyone. He was happy I trusted him so much. So that’s how I came out to my first person.
That night I dreamed, I dreamed the same dream that I had on the night that I had come out, only this time me and the boy went farther…….. But when I woke up, instead of being angry at myself, I was actually happy, just replaying the dream in my head. I was accepting myself. But still, there was always that little seed of hating myself. Under my happiness and self pride, the thought” I hate that I’m a fag,” always stalked my days.
My clothes had grown darker to, not that I wore all black or anything, just that I wore darker colors. That entire week, I was on a role of coming out. Soon all my friends, accept Jeremy and Jessie, knew about my sexuality. They almost all took it just fine. People started to notice my clothes to. Ken one day said” hey, are you going emo?” and glanced nervously at my wrists and arms. I laughed, and said” no of course not, I’m just changing my clothes to match my mood, so how are you and the girlfriend doing?”
Ken” um, yeah you see…….” He smiled” we….we had sex.”
My eyes grew large” are you series? You’re kidding right?”
Ken sighed” hey you wouldn’t understand, you have never wanted to have sex.”
“What? Are you kidding, of course I have thought about it, just not with a girl. And I’m just saying I’m surprised you lost your virginity this young!”
“Hey I’m 15, how old should I be?”
“I don’t know, but just be safe, and if that’s what you want to do then I have no right to stop you”
After that we pretty much dropped the subject. I couldn’t say I wasn’t surprised; ken had always been a player. But still this was shocking, but I really was just appalled by the thought someone could do that with a girl (no offense to anyone). I mean girls are great for friends and stuff, but to do something like that, ugh, I just couldn’t imagine myself. Now if I found a cute boy…… nope, wouldn’t think about that right now, had to do my math.
That day on the bus, I was by myself. Jessie had an extra credit assignment, and ken had detention (he had got caught putting a ton of sugar into our ADHD teachers’ coffee, which made our teacher hyper and crazy.). So I sat with Jeremy. We talked and joked, and then about five minutes from his house, I looked at him. His face was really cute, and he looked so carefree. I was going to tell him right now. You just got this feeling of fear and anticipation when you were about to tell. But you just knew when it was time. I looked into his eyes, which I always did when I told someone. I said it quickly” Jeremy, I have something to tell you, I’m gay”
The bus pulled up to his house. His eyes became shocked, and then hardened into hatred. He stumbled to his feet; all the other kids were not even playing attention. He crossed himself, the said quite enough for only me to hear. “You will burn in hell,” it had gone wrong, terribly wrong. For just a second I thought I saw regret in his eyes, and something else, but I didn’t get time to figure it out. Then he ran away from me as fast as he could, which was fast, because he was pretty athletic. I couldn’t help but think about how hot he was, even as he had said I was damned by God, and then fled from my very presence.
When I got home, I cried. Oh my goodness, this was a horrible thing, of all the things that could have happened. This. Damn it. Why did I feel so bad? I didn’t care what anyone else thought as much as this. Why? In my heart I knew why. I had a big crush on him. I mean sure, I liked a lot of the boys in my class like that. But not like this, I didn’t have feelings this strong for them. But for Jeremy, it was more; I wanted him to hold me, to kiss me to...love me. And the boy I loved hated me.
I cried when I got home. It had gone so terrible wrong. And even though I knew he hated me, I just loved him more. Tears soaked into my pillow. I took a knife and slid it across my wrist, again and again, until blood flowed as freely as my tears. My pillow was ruined, covered with tears and blood. I bandaged my wrist. But my tears still dripped onto my bed and jeans. I felt something climb my back. “Hey Attila, what are you doing here with me? You silly little ferret, did you come to make me feel better?”
I cradled the playful little creature, and slowly my tears stopped. He looked at me, with pure black eyes that had a playful twinkle in them. I sat there for several minutes before he started wiggling, wanting to be free. I let him go, and watched in sad amusement as he tumbled and ran out my door. Oh, how simple my life would be if I were a ferret! No being gay, no having to worry about religion. Just wanting to run and play.
The next day, I tried to talk to Jeremy several times. But each time he shrugged me off. He simple refused to come within a ten foot radius of me. Every time I would try to talk to him, he would throw some hateful retort at me. And every time he shoved me away, or his face contorted in anger, I saw that same look in his eyes. Regret and something else, but I could never hold his gaze long enough to see.
Ken said” what’s with Jeremy? He seems angry today. Especially at you”
I sighed” I told him about me last night on the bus, and now he hates my gay guts.”
Ken said” well he’s a religious nut, why did you tell him?”
“We’ll, ken I have a huge crush on him, and he just looked so happy and…and I didn’t think of the consequences. “
“Oh, well good luck with that.” Ken rolled his eyes”because he really has the hots for you now. “
At the very end of the of the day, I was late for getting out of class, my back pack fell, and all my books fell out. When I got into the hall, the only other in the hall was none other than Jeremy. He was walking out of the bathroom. I ran to catch him. He glared at me”get away me freak!” he wasn’t wherein a back pack, so I grabbed his shoulders and pushed him up against the lockers. He was generally stronger than me, but I had the raw emotion to back up my actions. I growled into his face” listen Jeremy, I know you don’t like that I’m gay, but I still want to be your friend! Please just forgive and forget.”
I felt him shiver, as if my touch chilled him. I looked into his eyes, and there was that look, the look of regret and that other emotion, it… it was longing. It all came to me. He wanted me, and this is why he had taken it so badly when I told him. Because I made him think about his feelings for me. He leaned forward; his shoulders still pinned to the lockers, and kissed me very softly. And I kissed him back. For almost 30 seconds we stayed like that, our lips barley touching. Then he pushed me away. I saw tears in his eyes. He stuttered” no…no I can’t be…I’m not, I’m not…...”
He choked on the last word, but I knew what it was. Gay.
He gave me one last, sorrowful, longing look. Then he ran. He ran away. I saw a tear sparkle in the air behind him for just a second, and then it was gone, shattering against the floor. I sank to the tile, my back against the lockers now. I cupped my hands around my face. Why had this happened? Why did I have to love him so much? And he liked me to? Jeremy was gay? I sat there for a few minutes, my emotions running amok. Then I rose to my feet, and picked up my backpack. His was still lying by his locker; he hadn’t got it when he left. So I picked his up. I would give it to him on the bus tomorrow. Oh damn it all the bus! It was surely gone by now. I’d have to walk home. Good thing I only lived about 10 minutes by foot. I trudged home.
When I got home, I tried to text Jeremy, but he refused to answer. I know this sounds cheesy, but I couldn’t get rid of the taste of his lips. I wanted him to be able to kiss me and hug me without having to be guilty. I wanted to feel his body against mine, his hands holding mine. I wanted him to be my boyfriend, for us to be able to hold each other, to love each other, even to have sex together( hey don’t blame me it’s the hormones). But I knew that as long as he felt the way he did, we could never be together. All because some book says that it’s wrong for homosexuals to love each other. That night I dreamed of Jeremy, and us kissing, and of religion, and of hell. But my favorite dream was that we were boyfriends. But deep in my heart I knew that was a foolish, none existent dream. And as long as it was, I would be unhappy.