by David McCoy
I feel scared,
I feel sick,
I feel ill--
--ill with fear.
Have I made the right choice?
I've never told anyone before,
I could lose all my friends,
I could lose my family,
I could even be killed!
Is it worth it?
I think I'm the only one.
If I do this I may go down alone
I may go down in flame
I may go down frozen by their cold shoulders.
I may go down.
He's my friend, my best friend,
Soon that might change to "he was my friend,"
Soon I will tell him...
Soon I might be betrayed,
Soon he might tell the world,
Soon I might be hunted
by the very people I
care for most,
Is the freedom of honesty worth it?
I have kept this secret for so long,
Like all prisons, my mind is beginning
to crumble from holding this prisoner,
I must tell or the guilt of my lies will kill me,
I must get this over with while I still have the
strength to deal with it,
I must do this while I have the will to live,
We all have our secrets,
but eventually the acid seeps through.
I'm on my way to meet him,
the world seems so dark.
The halls narrow to a single dot and then vanish--
all I can see are the visions in my mind.
Fear can blind us all.
No 14 year old should have to deal with this,
can't I be accepted for who I am?
loved for who I am...?
be who I am?
Life is meant to be so much more,
but I might be left to face solitude,
\hatred and rejection,
I might be forced to run for my life,
I might be forced to face mobs,
I might be murdered,
I wish I could afford to be young.
What if he tells my "peers"?
Will I be harassed,
or turned into the school punching bag,
will the administration look the other way?
will they lynch me?
will the cops look the other way?
will my teachers flunk me out of school?
will they tell my parents?
will my own parents abandon me?
is this what I have to look forward to
if I tell him?
Oh my God! There he is!
So what's this secret you've been meaning to tell me?"
I hesitate in terror.
"C'mon... Dude you can tell me!"
"I can't! I-I-I-I just can't... You'd hate me."
"Dude will you just tell me! I promise I won't hate you!"
I can't tell him, I just can't,
we've been such good friends I can't risk losing him,
but I have to do this.
"It's too hard for me to say it... Guess."
I'm standing here listening to him guess away,
but he is way off.
I hear his words, but I'm at the point
where I can't understand them.
I keep staring at the ground
fearing that I'll hear him say it,
fearing my heart will stop when he does,
But a voice in side of me says,
"Just do it, tell him!"
"Wait, ok I'll tell you."
Will this be the last safe moment of my life,
will this be one of those moments that I'll regret for
of my life?
am I about to trigger the events
leading to THE end?
It's as if this moment is being stretched into infinity,
as if time is slowing,
the air feels so still.
I look at his eyes as he blinks in slow motion,
fearing that when they open
I will see another person
fearing that I will see hatred...
For a moment my lips won't move,
but then I hear the words come
David McCoy, 16, is a high school student in West Lafayette, Indiana. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This poem first appeared in XY #14 under the title "fact."