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Near the rocks

By Nir Leffler

Night, dark, cold. It wasn't one of the nice Saturday nights, but the sea has its own beauty any time.

I liked to walk around the beach in spite of the cold, smelling the sea, hearing the waves shattering into the beach.

And it was one of December's freezing Saturday nights. In the morning, the skies were gray and it was raining but as the night came it stopped and I found myself walking alone on the beach at 1 am. It wasn't the safest hour or the safest place in the world but I wasn't scared, I had a lot to think about.

Specially thinking about this lousy week at school, how I got an F in math (again). About how I was thrown out of the class by my English teacher for talking during the lesson, and of course about my next F, in History in next week's test. Totally depressing. I approached the sea wall, which was quite high, and the noise of the waves was getting stronger but I didn't notice it very much until I was really close and then I saw a figure standing there, high on the rocks, at the peak of the sea wall.

Well, I haven't thought that there was another lunatic like me, going around the beach on Saturday night at this freezing cold, and he also stood right on the edge of the wall and it seems like its a matter of seconds until he'd fall so I began climbing on the slippery rocks, that were covered with sea weeds, toward him.

I was only 2 rocks away from him, when suddenly he turned his head, saw me and yelled, a short yell actually, lost his balance for a second, and almost fell into the cold, dark water.

Only then I had the chance to take a good look at him. He was tall, about 1.75 meters, brown hair and white face, like an angel. His eyes were big and inside them I could see the reflection of sadness, such great sadness like all the pain in the world was concentrated inside this boy who was about my age.

"Hi" I told him.

He didn't answer. well, okay, if he doesn't want to be friendly that's his problem.

I stopped going toward him, instead looking on the black sea, the white foam and the sharp rocks that stood in silence, at the bottom of the wall.

After a few minutes I began walking again forward, getting closer to him.

"Don't come closer !" he told me, almost shouting the words.

"Why ?" I asked.

"Because I don't want you to" he answered in a bitter tone.

"You haven't bought these rocks, I have a right to walk on them too, right ?"

No answer. I got closer, now only rock away, and saw 2 shining trails of tears along his cheeks.

And then, suddenly he threw one leg forward in the air and I figured out that he is going to throw his other leg also, and after that all his body down, toward the sharp rocks, and then I'll be really alone on the beach, so I sent one hand, grabbed his hand and pulled him toward me.

"Let go, Let go" he shouted pulling the opposite direction trying to break free.

"Only if you promise you won't jump"

"Why ? I have a right to jump like you have the right to walk on these rocks"

Actually, he had a point there. "But it's pity, like, what's the point killing yourself on a cold Saturday night, on this freezing beach, when its almost certain that you body will drift and no one will find it. Its better jumping from a window".

"But I live on the first floor."

"Well, I guess that's a problem, but then you can always take pills."

"We don't have enough at home and at the Pharmacy they don't sell it without prescription AND MAYBE YOU'LL LEAVE ME ALONE."

Well I guess I annoyed him a bit "Only if you'll promise me you wont jump. Anyway why would you wanna jump for. Like, I know you might have many reasons, like I myself failed in math and on Monday I got a history exam which I'm going to fail too, but you don't see me going to jump.

"Trust me, it's not about marks"

"Then what, your girlfriend dumped you, hey, that's happened to everyone"

"I wish it was it," he sighed. "You can let go now, I won't jump."

"Promise?"

"Yes, at least not in the next couple of minutes."

"Okay", that was good enough.

I let him go and he sat on the rocks and I sat next to him.

"What's your name", I asked him.

"Mike, and yours?"

"Derek"

We sat there in silence for a few minutes.

"Why did you try to jump?", I broke the silence.

"Because I don't have force anymore and, soon... soon anyway I wont be able to live anymore"

"Why ?"

"'Cause... 'cause I can't. I'm sick of hiding, not talking, not telling anyone"

"Not telling what ?"

"That I'm gay."

I guess he expected some shout of surprise from me, some sign of disgust and repulsion. But he didn't get it. "And its worth jumping because of it?"

"Yes. Going everyday to school, seeing all the gorgeous guys and knowing that they all have girlfriends, Hearing them talking on and on about girls, kissing girls. Want to stop lying everyone, stop concealing what I am. But I can't, if they know they'll hate me, I won't have a single friend, they'll all run away, cursing me. bash me. One guy already asked me "Why are you looking at me all the time, pervert, queer". And hearing that every day, I don't think I can stand it. And my parents, well, they'll probably throw me out of the house if they found out. And they can discover it, every day with all the pics that are hidden in my room" He begun crying softly, quietly, shining tears falling on his cheeks.

"So you decided finishing it in the quick way ?"

"Yes, the easiest, I just didn't have enough courage, and then when finally I gained it you came."

"And is it worth it?"

"I don't have any other choice"

"You can try keep living, you know. It might work"

"But how ? I have like no-one in the world. No real friend that I can talk to about this, tell him everything, and that he won't run away when he'll know"

"Well, you got me, I guess" I told him

"You, I barely know you for 10 minutes"

"So what. you already told me almost all of your life story. And you can go on, I'm listening"

"But...but, don't you care that I'm, like, you know..." he asked, surprised.

"That what, that you are gay. So what. you look like a really nice guy and it doesn't really matter if you prefer guys."

"What about you, are you straight ?"

"Until now I only tried it with girls, but I'm quite open, you know, and besides I never knew anyone that is really gay and it sounds cool."

"Cool ?" he asked, quite shocked, I guess.

"Yep, why not. So, friends, OK."

"Sure."

We stood up and hugged each other for about five minutes.

"It's getting very late, I think we should go back" he said. I didn't want to break up the hug but it was really late so I said "OK."

We stepped down slowly and begun walking on the sand, going back.

I thought of something "Let's bet you're afraid to go into the water"

"You're crazy, we'll freeze out there, getting into the water in this weather, you're..."

"A moment ago you were ready to kill yourself and now you're to scared to get a little wet ?"

"You know what" he shouted "I'm going in if you're going in."

"We'll get in together" I told him and begun running toward the water and Mike run next to me and we got in together, with all our clothes on, and splashed water onto each other, and screamed because it was really freezing, and after about 10 minutes we got out soaked with water, shivering from the cold and freezing wind, but laughing and shouting. We got home half frozen, I found out he was living 15 minutes walk from my house.

I haven't done the history test 'cause I got flu and stayed in bed for three days. When I got back to school I did it and got B+, YES!!!!!!!!!!.

Anyway Mike and I are the best friends in the world and everything is happy and beautiful and shining and good, and that's it.


Nir Leffler, 17, is a high school senior in a city near Tel-Aviv (Netanya), Israel. He is not out yet. He can be reached at nirl@netmedia.net.il


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