Note: None of the characters in this story exist. And by no means is Natalie like me, in any way. I just wanted to write this, because it would be challenging for me. If you are homophobic, please don't read.
I came home from my first day of school, and planted myself onto my thick, queen-sized mattress, and pulled my backpack up to where I was sitting, pondering my terrible day. I couldn't bear it anymore, which was why I had left early. I couldn't stand the questions, the rumors, the snickering, the avoidance, the people giving me dirty looks, as if I had some sort of plague that was contagious. As if I were the problem.
But I'm not the problem. No. I don't know how such things came to be, but I know that they are. The first time it ever occurred to me was not long ago. In fact, it was last May, when I was spending the night at my friend's house.
"So, Natalie, do you like boys yet?" Tess, who had been my best friend for as long as I could remember, asked me with obvious interest. It irritated me that she had to ask me that every time we got together. As if somehow, within the seven days between our frequent sleepovers, I had met the man of my dreams.
I gave her the usual groan. "No, Tess. I…I will eventually. I'm sure. I just…don't yet."
Tess sighed. "Are you sure, you don't, like anyone?" Tess should know if I did. Didn't she trust me to tell her, if I liked someone? Who would I tell before my raven-haired friend, with those vivid blue eyes? With such full lips, and a nice smile. I jumped, halfway between my thoughts. Why was I thinking like that? At first, I tried to convince myself that I was just jealous. That I wanted to be as beautiful as Tess was. But then, something else hit me. I had never cared about being beautiful.
No, I had thought. No, no, no, you're not looking at your own best friend like that! I didn't want to be like that! I couldn't be!
I had gone home the next morning, and vowed to forget it. And I succeeded, until the next day, Monday, when I went back to school.
"Hey, Natalie," my friend, Patricia said to me in art class. "Did you hear those girls in T.A.T.U. like each other?"
"I know," Tess said from the chair to the left of me. "That is so sick. Those girls are probably each other's only friends! I mean, all their other friends probably think they're after them, or something."
I knew that Tess was my friend, but she didn't know how I was feeling. "I…I need to go to the bathroom. I'm…going…now," I lied. With that, I ran from the classroom. What was wrong with me? I didn't like T.A.T.U., and I had only heard one of their songs. So, why had it bothered me so much that Tess hated them?
I examined my face in the mirror. I was still Natalie Jackson, seventeen years old, with auburn hair, and dark brown eyes. So, why was I feeling so strange?
"Natalie?" a voice asked. It was Tess.
I jumped. Oh, God. What was I going to tell her, what could I tell her? How could I answer anything she asked me, if I didn't know the answers myself?
"I…I'm sorry about what I said in art class. I didn't know you were a…" Tess began.
"I'm not!" I snapped at her. "So, just go away!"
She noticed my tears, streaming down my cheeks. "Wow, is it your time of month or something? I can leave you alone, then."
"Um…" I hesitated. "Yeah, it is. I'm…yes."
But I wasn't so sure anymore. Anyway, I felt a bit better. Tess had acted like a jerk, and I couldn't love someone like that. I just had to wait, and pray that there wouldn't be others. But there had been, which was one of the reasons why I was on my bed, crying, after the first day of school the next year.