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John

December 1997

The Price to Pay for Silence

My story begins back in the beginning of summer. I had met a few friends my freshman year. I also had a girlfriend, and still do, but I'm gay so I'm trying to break things off. But that's another story. Okay. In my freshman year, I had a friend over and we'll call him Mike. I knew he was straight because he had a death-defying crush on a girl in our class. But Mike's voice sounded a little feminine, but not that noticeable.

I had him over a few times and played games and all that summer stuff, and listened to him obsess over that girl. Ugh. I wasn't attracted to him though. I just thought we were friends.

My dad and I were driving to my grandparents' house, which is about an hour away, and then he turned down the radio and looked at me and asked, "How well do you know Mike?" I was a little confused but I answered, "Pretty good, I guess." I couldn't understand where he was going with this conversation. He looked worried but then he asked, "Do you know what homosexual means?" "Yeah, why?" I answered. Oh God, here it goes, he knows, he knows, I thought. I didn't want him to find out like this. Okay, I'd let him talk.

He looked at me seriously and asked, "Is Mike gay?" "How would I know that?" I answered. I was confused, did he think I was gay, too? Ahhh.... I just wanted to get out of there. My dad regained his thoughts and looked back over at me and said, "I don't know, I thought he would have told you, I don't know. I don't want you hanging around those type of people."

What the hell, my dad is telling me to stay away from the very thing that I am. I was mad and frustrated and just wanted to jump out of the car and end this conversation. "What do you mean by that?" I questioned, forcing myself not to blurt out I'M GAY! But I didn't. He shook his head. "Just forget it," he said. There was complete silence from then on but the thoughts in my head were continuous. I thought my dad was going to confront me for being gay, but he told me to stay away from gays. This could be good because he has no idea that I'm gay, but bad because he wouldn't know how to deal with it.

Neither of my parents have any idea that I'm gay and that's good because I have no intention for telling them for a while. But sometimes you have to sit and hear things you don't want to hear and that's the price you pay for silence. Please write me at kv609@aol.com


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