Rose from Anonymous

April 22, 2010
By Anonymous

"Are you and that girl going out?" I'm asked by a member of a social group I frequent, when she notices the rose I've been carrying. "No," I respond, rather awkwardly. Some things are better left unspoken in the social life and gossip obsessed world of teenagers.

I didn't lie, exactly. Technically speaking, we’re not ‘going out’. True, we’re not exactly ‘just friends’ either, but there was never that discussion of , “oh hey, I like you, you like me, let’s be girlfriends in the romantic sort of way!”. Really, we might as well be girlfriends, but it's so much simpler just to lie about it and act otherwise.

This friend of mine rejoins me and we go sit underneath the stairwell at the front of the school. We sit silent, and I fondle the leaves of the rose she sent me for valentines day. Its petals are somewhat wilted and a bit browned at the edges, and I wonder at how the orchestra could have charged $4 for the dumpy thing. I notice the thread of the name tag attached to it is coming untied, so I mess with it for a bit, trying to get it back on. I recall second period, when a girl next to me had noticed that the tag said anonymous and had questioned me about it. I had told her I had no idea who it was from, but this wasn't the truth.

I could have told her the truth. But then what would have happened? She could have given me an odd look. Or even worse, she could have congratulated me. Or she could have asked me more questions about it. That would be the worst yet. That's my business. I don't want to talk about it.

I look over at the girl who had asked me if we were going out. I had told her who the flower was from when she asked. But what if I had answered her other question in the affirmative? Probably nothing much. She would have widened her eyes in surprise and then told me that it's cute. But she's a busy little person. I doubt she'd keep it to herself for long. And then we'd become a topic of interest; we'd be another one of those lesbian couples in which either member of the couple is known for nothing more than for being a lesbian in a couple. We'd get attention. I don't want that.

Word would get around. My old best friend who used to know everything about me and now knows nothing about me would learn of it. What would I say? She knows my friend, too. We used to all hang out together every weekend in eighth grade. If she learned of this new relationship, I'd see her during robotics club and she'd see me with our friend, and the awkwardness amongst us would be thick and slimy like a wall of margarine. I'm not ready for that. I like my relations quiet and easy.

People don't need to know about this relationship of ours. I don't often lie, but this situation calls for it. I'm not ready for confrontation; I'm not ready for status. I'm not ready for the massive alteration in my social life such a truth would call for. I'll gladly hold my rose, and gratefully maintain its tag of anonymity.

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