The Closet

2 min
Image of Spring 2019
Image of Short Story
We were running down the halls, my brother and I, racing to get to the bathroom. When he shoved me into the closet, I landed with a loud boom. The wind from my brother whizzing past slammed the door shut. I sat for a second, thinking to myself how ironic this was, me sitting in the closet. It meant so much to me, figuratively and literally.
I sat in the darkness and remembered my first sleepover which had just been over the weekend. When I arrived, I saw two girls from school and a girl I had never seen in my life. There was pizza and games in the basement of her house, and we did that for a bit until one of the girls suggested that we play ‘truth or dare’. I hated that game with all of my might, but I was scared to say anything because the girl who suggested it was one of the “quote unquote” “Mean Girls”. All of us gathered in a circle and we look to the birthday girl and asked, “Truth or dare?” Her immediate response was, “Dare.”
No one could think of anything when I blurted, “Call your crush and tell him that you like him, Well, if you like boys, I mean.”
She looked at me with a glare and asked, “Who do you like?”
Avoiding her question, I shot back, “Do you really need to know?” The honest truth was that I had a crush on her even though I knew she could be a jerk. I loved the way she laughed and how she could make a whole room stop and stare. I could feel the tears welling up. “I have to go pee!” I blurted out, not wanting to cry in front of them.
The tears had already started pouring down my face when I saw her mom standing in the kitchen. She asked, “What’s wrong, honey?”
“Nothing. Just girls are mean so I can’t tell them.” Then, I whispered, “I don't necessarily like boys.” I crossed my fingers and prayed that she wouldn't judge me for it.
I stood there for a minute then looked up and saw that she was on the phone. She hung up and asked, “Did you say something, honey?”
“No, but I want to go home, though.” I stammered.
“First sleepovers can be hard,” she said with a comforting smile. “Let’s call your mom.”

When I got home, I went straight to bed, feeling sick to my stomach. I got up in the morning and my brother and I raced to the bathroom. And that brings us back to now me, sitting in the closet, just sitting there. I stood up to leave, and I know this is kind of cheesy, but my heart was still there, tucked away on the top shelf in a shoe box. I went out in to the world where I would have to hide from my parents and my friends.

The next day I got a call from one of the girls from the birthday party.
She said, “I have to tell you something”
“What is it?” I respond, slightly worried
“I think I have a crush on you, and I think that you like girls, too,” she answers in a quiet voice.
Happiness rushes over me. The relief is like a flood. I didn’t have to be alone. I had a rock, a friend that had no secrets. Finally I could be myself, at least sometimes.

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