The Closet


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Image of Spring 2019

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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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