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I wrote this story a few months back. This was originally an assignment for my English class. After my teacher graded it, she highly recommended I publish it to Teen Ink. I hope you enjoy this story!
¨You can´t have a boy in your bed.¨ My mother sneers while washing the rest of the dishes. I sit alone, on the kitchen table, facing in front of my mother. ¨He was not in my bed mother, we were sitting on my bedroom floor.¨ I say, crossing my arms. ¨What I'm trying to say is, you need to stay away from teenage boys, you know how they are these days. All they want is…well, you know what I mean.¨ She says, glancing at me, then back at her dishes.¨I'm not going to get pregnant, mom! You won't even have to worry about that! Plus, Jonah is gay-¨ But my mother reeled back.
¨Enough with the gay stuff!¨ She yells, dropping the plate she was washing into the sink. She spun on her heels. ¨All of this ´Oh! I'm gay! I identify as this and that is bullcrap. Those people are just confused or doing it for show. Either you are straight, or you stay single.¨ My mother snarled, pointing her index finger at me. ¨And I better not hear any of that gay stuff out of your mouth again.¨ She says, turning around again, facing the sink as she continues to wash. ¨Fine,¨ I bark back. ¨But don´t think your beliefs are going to help anyone.¨ I say, getting up from my chair as I head towards my room. I step inside my room and close the door behind me, and I look at the spot where Jonah and I were sitting, and it looks like he left his stuff there. I sigh. Jonah and I are like two peas in a pod. It's been that way since 4th grade. I remember seeing him for the first time. He came up to my desk, his face was red. Jonah was a shy guy, and he still is. I still remember him fidgeting his small fingers and asking to have lunch with me. I remember his blue eyes, which are now brown, and his beautiful smile, which remains. I remember us being by each other's side every day, every week, every month, and every year. My mother had no problem with our friendship until we reached puberty, and ever since then, she has acted so vilely against me and Johna's friendship.
Each time Jonah would come over to hang out, mom would throw a fit, threaten Jonah if he ever ¨ Dared to ruin my life¨, and always make me keep my bedroom door open. It affects me, and it also affects Jonah, although he does not try to show it. And today, well, Jonah and I were working on our school project, and mom stormed in and started screaming at Jonah, forcing him to leave the house, not even giving him the time to pack up his belongings. Now I barely see Jonah. I only see him in the hallways and at lunch. We used to be on each other's backs, and now it's like we slid off of each other. But it's not me, or Jonah.
It just appears that I and Jonah have decided to meet new people, Jonah has a crush on the captain of the soccer team, Jordan. And me, well, I have not met anyone new. Nobody likes me, and most of the school does not even know I exist. And my lonely days are starting all over again. I hate it.
I exhale the breath I was holding in and sigh. I pick up Johnas stuff and neatly place them on my dresser. I waste no time and I took out my phone from my pocket, and dial Jonah's number. It rings twice, and he answers.
¨Hey dummy, it's me.¨
Jonah laughs. ¨I know it´s you. Just following protocol.¨
¨Protocol for what, exactly?
¨ Phone conversation. The person who picks up the phone is supposed to say hello in a questioning manner, to make sure it's the person that is calling you.¨
¨Anyway, what did you call me for?¨
¨You left your stuff here.¨
¨Oh, that's right!¨ Jonah exclaims. I smile. How could Jonah be such a goof? ¨Just drop it off at the office on Monday and I'll pick it up.¨ He says, as I hear him open a can of soda. As I try to think about what to talk about, I think about my parents. I think about my mother, and I think about my father as well. My mother is a mean person. Not a woman to compliment and make conversation with. She takes almost everything personally and is always throwing a fit if she doesn't like something. Just the other day I got a B on my math test, and my mother flipped. My mother has always been like that. But my father is the opposite. Instead of always being mean all the time, my father would always show kindness to everybody, even if he didn´t like them. My father is always willing to help me with my homework and he is very easy to talk to. I tell my father almost everything, and I still get snuggles and back scratches from my father, and I'm fifteen. My father is an introvert, and he usually is shy toward new people and has a neutral face ninety-five percent of the time. But that does not change the fact that he is a good person. I love my dad, so much. The thing is, he works a lot. And sometimes I don´t see him at all.
That's why it is so hard to think about him.
¨You still there?¨ Jonah asked. I snap back to reality. ¨Yeah… I'm okay,¨ I studdered. I try to think fast about what to talk about. And it comes right to me.
¨Hey Jonah… can I ask you something?¨
¨ What´s up?¨
I take a small breath as I prepare to ask Jonah what Iv been wanting to ask him for 2 whole years now.
¨How did you come out to your parents?¨
Jonah stops slurping his can of soda. He stays silent for a moment. He was so silent I could even hear his baby sister in the background, babbling. Then I hear Jonah placing his can of soda on his living room table.
¨Well, it's a pretty long story, you sure you wanna hear it?¨
¨Hit me with it.¨
¨Well then,¨ Jonah replied, making a sound while I heard him plop down on his sofa.
¨Two years ago, in eighth grade. I was 13 years old, and I had a rough day that day. Seems like having math for the last hour is hell. Anyway, I take the bus and 20 minutes later I'm home. I could smell my mother cooking my favorite dinner, so I put away my stuff and helped my mother prepare the table. As we all sat down and started eating, my mother started talking about a show she was watching and said that one of the characters came out as gay. And honestly, when my mother brought that up she seemed pretty cool with it and so did my dad. So I took all the courage in me, and all I said was ´Mom, dad, I'm gay.´ And my mother, well she dropped her fork into the plate, and she was like ´Really? You´re gay?´ and I said ´Yeah, I am.´ And my dad, being the intelligent guy was just like, ´I figured that. Amelia, how did you not know this?´ and then my parents started going back and forth on how my mother was so clueless.¨
¨My mother eventually told me that she loves me no matter what and was just shocked for a moment.¨
¨Oh wow. Lucky¨
¨Yeah, you can say that… are you thinking about coming out?¨
Coming out. That thought felt so weird in my brain. I tried saying it out loud but, it also feels weird on my tongue.
“Well… I don’t know. It all just feels…weird.”
“Jonah, did you forget? My mother is super homophobic, and my dad well… I'm not so sure about him.”
“Oh yeah, that's right,” Jonah replies. “Well, do you want to do it?”
“I… don't know. I-”
“MARLIE! DINNER!” My mother shouts. I jump, startled. “Coming, mom!” I shout back. “Well Jonah, I have to go. Il update you if anything happens.” I say, hanging up on him. I shove my phone back into my pocket and open my bedroom door. I walk out to see my father in the living room. I became ecstatic. “Daddy!” I squealed. I ran over to him and wrapped my arms around him in a big hug. My father hugs me back, his face staying neutral. I could feel his warm body cheer my cold one up. “Now Marlie, do not slob all over your father. He just got home from work, be respectful won't ya?” My mother scowled. “Calm down, Emily. She’s excited to see me. Let her be.” My father said reassuringly, as he kissed my forehead. My mother rolls her eyes. I can't help it. I just get so… excited to see my father. I barely see him. If my father wasn’t here, I would be going crazy right now and would have to have dinner with just my mom. That would have been hell.
Thank god for my father.
I help my father put away his jacket and backpack, which smells like the cologne he always wears. Sometimes I wonder what kind of cologne it is. But at the same time, I don't want to know. You never know where men buy their cologne these days.
“So dad, how was your day?” I ask, trying to pick up the piece of salmon on my plate with my fork. My father sighs and continues to play with his food. “It was…ok. Could have been better.” My father mumbled, looking down at his plate. I stop to look at him. I look at his beautiful, brown freckled face, the brown eyes I have inherited from him. I always looked like my father. I had almost everything from him, from his brown luxurious hair to his brown eyes, to his smile. My mother has blonde hair and purple eyes, and a white round shaped face. My father has a slightly oval-shaped face.
I got the round face from my mother. And the dark skin of my father.
I keep looking at him. My father may look neutral ninety-five percent of the time, but I know my dad. I know when he is feeling sad, he even had that gleam in his eye. I just know he's upset. “Dad… are you ok?” I ask, trying to sound helpful. My father looks up from his plate to face me. “I'm okay sweetheart, just stressed.” He replies, not even smiling. My father rarely smiles, the last time I saw him smile was…well… I don't even know. All that I know is that it was a while back, and it's not fresh in my memory. I wish I could see my father smile again.
“Well, aren't you two going to eat your food? Or is there something else holding you back?” My mother snarled. My father does not answer, in fact, he just ignores my mom while she's snarky, which is ninety-eight percent of the time. But as she said that, I thought about something that I never thought I was going to do today…or at least never do. But what about your mother? You know how she will react. Or your father? You don't know anything about that. The other side of me thought. The other side of me wanted to hold me back, warning me that this might be the worst day of my life. But the other half of me wanted to be heard… even if I know how my mother will react?
I get up from my chair.
“Mom, dad, I am a lesbian,” I say, just like that. Nothing else, not anything else. Just that. I look at my dad. His eyes met mine. His eyes grew wide. He seems…Shocked? I saw my father shocked. I became shocked as well for a split second, but then I remember my mother. I turn to look at her. Her face turned red, her expression filled with rage. I knew she was going to explode any second.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY!?” My mother screamed at the top of her lungs.
Yep. She exploded.
My mother clenches her fists as she kicks the table, causing it to shake. “You are NOT a lesbian!” My mother shouts. “And I will NOT have a daughter who pretends to like girls!” My mother growls. “All of this gay stuff is made up!” My mother says once again. “Honey, that's enough-” “NO! It is not enough! Arthur, tell her that being gay is wrong-” “I SAID ENOUGH!!” My father shouted, getting up from his chair. I look to face my father. My father is…angry. I have never seen my father angry before, and I thought my father was nice to mean people. I was wrong.
“You will NOT talk to our daughter like that,” My father snarled, staring at my mother. “You should be lucky our daughter was brave enough to tell us. YOU should be proud of her!” My father yells, pointing his index finger at mom. “And I better not hear another word about how being gay is disgusting out of your mouth, because being gay is a gift from god, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.” My father says firmly. My mother stared at him, I could see the look of shock and disgust crossing her face. “And I want a divorce.” My father muttered. My mother gave a small gasp, I stood there, completely unaware of my father wanting a divorce. My mother sighs in frustration, she turns away and storms into the master bedroom. Three minutes later, my mother storms out of the bedroom, carrying a leather suitcase. “Well then, if that’s what you want. Goodbye, Arthur. And I hope to never see you two again.” My mother sneers. She snatched her hat and her jacket from the hangar and stormed out of the house.
So my mother is… gone? Gone. She left…just like that. Not even thinking twice about her daughter. I take one last look behind me. Then I look around. I start to realize that my mother is not coming back.
And I will never see her again.
I look back at my father, his face showing all sorts of emotions. Emotions that my father has never expressed before. I start to tear up at the thought of having a broken family.
And I break down into tears.
My father immediately starts running towards me, pulling me into his arms. I wrap my arms around his body, I cry into my father's shirt as he tries to comfort me. “It's okay sweetheart. It's okay, I'm here,” He whispers into my ear, massaging my brown-haired head. “I will always be here for you, I love you, and that will never change.” He whispers again, as I continue to cry.
My mother may be gone, but my father will always be there.
And I'm thankful for that.
It is now night, and I rest on my father's body, my head on his chest, his arms wrapped around me as he keeps me close to him. My father has put on our favorite show, helping both me and father to feel better. I start to tense up a bit, and as I do, my father lowers his head to face me. “What’s bothering you, my love?” My father asks. I look up to face him. I debate whether I should ask him or not.
But yet again, he's my father and I can’t hide from him.
“Why did you want a divorce?” I ask, afraid that it would upset him more. But my father keeps his face calm, and he takes a small breath before speaking. “Me and your mother… well… we just don’t get along anymore. Don’t worry about it. I will tell you more when you're a bit older.” He reassures me. I nod my head. “I agree. You and mom seem incompatible.” I say. My father gave out a small chuckle, kissing my forehead. “Yeah, your right. She wouldn’t even bother to be with me anymore if she knew I was bisexual.” My father revealed. Bisexual? My eyes grow wide, and I shoot a look at my father. “Your bisexual?!” I question in surprise. My father gave me a silly look.
“You didn’t know? I thought you knew!”
“What do you mean? I never thought once you were bi!”
I and my father stared at each other, and then we burst out laughing, our laughter filling up the house. My father starts playfully messing with my hair. I look up to see my father, and he's…smiling. My father is smiling. I haven't seen him this happy before, and it's been years since my father has smiled, his beautiful, white teeth showing, his smile full of happiness and love. I pull my father's head towards me and kiss his cheek. My father giggles as he kisses my forehead once again. I release his head and plop my head back onto my father's chest. “I'm glad you told me, dad,” I say, cuddling closer to him as my father starts to scratch my back. “I love you,” I say to him. “I love you, even more, sunshine.” My father replies, resting the side of his face on my head, starting to sing my favorite lullaby he used to sing to me when I was little. I start to feel much better, the pain in my chest disappearing. I may no longer have my mom, but I still have the most amazing dad in the world.
I close my eyes and drift off to sleep.