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Mirror This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Ilook into my mirror, and even then I can't see it. I can't see why anyone wouldcare, I can't see why anyone would seek a relationship with me, I can't seeanything. It's like my mind is muddled by a mass of thick fog. Whether I seesomething good or bad in the mirror, I don't want to accept the answer I receive,nor do I listen to it. I ignore it and keep looking, like there has to be morethat I haven't seen yet. That's probably because the person who meant the most tome has broken away. And no, that person isn't dead. Instead, we've been"separated" by our parents. I still can't believe whathappened.

I was always the good kid. It's not that I always listened, it'sthat I always followed my heart, and kept my head on my shoulders. But at thesame time, I wouldn't dare consider breaking too many rules. The whole "goodkid" image stuck with me until eighth grade. That's when something happenedthat changed my life forever.

When I moved in sixth grade, I was generallypretty lonely. Then I met one kid and we became friends. By eighth grade we werebest friends. That was all fine and dandy, until it turned out he felt certainattractions toward me, and to be honest, I think I felt the same about him.

Yeah, already it's a weird story. Buckle up, kiddies, because we're notdone yet. What happened? Well, let's just say that a bit before my birthday, Igot a "present" I will eternally regret. But I was generally happierthan I had been in my life, until our parents found out.

Can you sayworld-wide catastrophe? The guilt trips went on and on daily, and we wereimmediately separated. My family coincidentally decided to move back to where wehad lived before. I guess they thought that would magically fix things, and Ihonestly wish it had.

I'd like you to try to imagine the fact that I wishdaily that either A) I was a girl or B) he had been a girl, or something, becauseI'm not a big fan of conflict. While I've always had a few quirks here and therethat set me apart, God apparently didn't feel like the oddities I alreadypossessed were enough.

You see, I wanted to walk down the halls and lookat all the pretty girls, and be interested. I mean really interested. But I lookat them, and I don't see it. I just don't see it. I see people, like me - nothingdifferent about them. I don't see girls the same way others do. I want to be ableto take one out on a date ... to find that special lady, to love her forever, tobring her flowers, and tell her how I thought about her all day, and then hug herand tell her how much she means to me. I want to treat her with respect andcare, unlike my father and my uncles and cousins. They all take women forgranted. I want to be honest with her, to tell her what I think of her, and neverlet that spark of love die. To marry her, and know that my life is complete. Allthese thoughts and dreams ... I want to make up for what so many others have doneand treat that special someone right.

But nope, reality had to come inwith its big hammer and shatter it all.

Now, I imagine that if we werehaving a conversation, you would ask me if I'm gay. Well, that's a very goodquestion, but I don't really have an answer. I don't like setting things likethat in stone, but, from what I can tell, I am. So, do I live with what's beingshoved in my face, or do I continue to ignore it, pretending that one day it willgo away? So far, I have been attempting the second. It's not that I'm homophobic,it's just that my parents are, because I have talked to them. There is no waythey would ever accept it. How much it dries my throat when I try explaining thisto people ...

How much I want to be like others, and yet how much I wantto love, and be loved.

This is the part where I should say somethingreally profound and meaningful so you all gasp in astonishment at how I magicallybrought it all together. I'd love to say that I had some really catchy phrasethat would somehow stand as a golden rule for life, but there isn't one.

See, even after all of this, when I look in my mirror, what do I see? Isee the same thing: a tortured kid riddled with thoughts and attractions hedoesn't want to have. Pained by his loneliness since he lost someone he cared somuch about. Forced to grow up at an early age. So complex, such extremes of everyemotion. I see tears flowing down his cheeks. I see me.

And that's okay.I can deal with not understanding myself. And I know there are a lot of peoplewho are going through similar things, that's a given. You don't need to spendyears trying to make sense of it, because you can't. Believe it or not, being ateen isn't about what you know, but what you have yet to learn. You just get aload more questions, and absolutely no answers.

But, hey, that's life.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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