Other couples giggle and walk down the halls in sync with their arm tangled over one other. My romance is kept locked away in the shadows; no one wants to admit what society won't like. I am in love with my best friend.
When the final bell rings we are found on the trek home, casually discussing the most random topics. We laugh heartily, scream into the wind, and spring up and down at the sight of a school buddy driving down the street. We've been friends since before elementary school, and have survived the most ridiculous circumstances. There are so many things to love about her: her short, shaggy hair, her insane sense of humor, her nutty personality. We joke so much about our flaws - being teenage girls - but I can not begin to express my emotion for the way she flails her entire body when she rants. Or the stuttering social awkwardness she displays in the simplest of interactions.
At first, I was convinced I was straight. I was lucky enough to be born into a family that is very accepting, but I wanted to be 'normal'. I was set on the goal of graduating college and getting married and having kids. Now everything seems so benign and pointless. Cliche.
I remember how I refused to go to her house. Not blatantly, of course, but I always found an excuse. "Too much homework, plans with another friend, being sick." There was always something in the way or I subconciously told myself I shouldn't. I didn't understand why, up untill her mother left us alone in her living room.
We giggle at some inane YouTuber before her phone powers down. After frantically searching for a charger, we rifle through some old CDs: Beetles, Pink Floyd, Bon Jovi, Eagles. Classic rock has always been a favorite. Living on a Prayer sends us into an odd dance party. We scream-sing lyrics at a frequency human ears don't deem possible and bounce around majestically.
And here we are, in the dark. The television flashes mindlessly, but our focus is one one other. One of us dared to utter some awkward joke, and once the laughter subsided, we just...look at one other. Her bangs fall in front of her right hazel eye and her skin almost glows, she is so pale. How do you tell your best friend you've had dormant feelings for her for over a year?
How do you tell her you are bisexual? Sure, she is technically transgender, though not yet fully transformed. And she still likes guys, right? Even as a sophomore, she has never dated. What do you say?
"Chloe?" I mutter.
This seems so dumb. Her eyes flutter, or maybe it's my imagination? What is she thinking? "Yeah?" She asks, nonchalantly.
"I-um- I've kind of have something on my mind. It's probably dumb."
"I doubt it." Chloe awaits my next response, which I definitely take too long to give.
"So, do you like girls?" I cringe inwardly.
She looks down, as per usual at this type of question. "I don't know. I mean, probably."
"I like you," I burst out. " I have for a while now. I've felt all weird around you lately, especially after Brandon and I've broken up. I don't really know for sure and I hate to make things weird before bed and all and I just," I begin rambling. I cover my face with my hands. "I didn't think I liked you. I'm so weird. It's...It's kinda complicated. I don't know if I like girls or guys anymore. I think both. It's weird. I'm weird. I'm sorry for talking. I made things so weird. I'm so-"
She suddenly grabs my hands away from my face and pulls me into a kiss. It's sweet and relieving. Better than Brandon's.
"You're not weird. You said what I couldn't."
For once, I'm not worried about what society might think. I am in this moment, my moment, in this crazy world. I am accepting of who I decide to be. I am me, and ready to overcome these awful prejudice standards.