"Don't think I'll escape, why would I escape you? Don't think I'll replace, how could I replace you?" Don't Confess(this thing that breaks my heart) Tegan and Sara
That's what everyone seemed to tell me. Shit happens, be happy. Be optimistic. Do what you like, like what you do. Just smile, everything'll get better in the end. Dear gods I hope so.
It wasn't as if there was a lot to be happy about in my life, l but damnit I tried hard to be happy. Happy for someone. I'm not sure who. My invisible friends, maybe? Not real friends though…I lacked those. Ha, lacked them? They just didn't exist. Not one. But I was trying. Trying hard. That's what I get for getting moved in the middle of high school. No friends. Just an optimistic social outcast.
I was on my way there. School. The hell-hole. I took the bus to school. The parking lot wasn't big enough for anyone but the seniors to drive to school. So I sat on the bus by the window, little white ear buds plugged into my beaten IPod. My sanity was stored in that little machine. Really, how was I supposed to be happy when all the music that I listened to was depressing, or angry? But it kept me relatively happy. Even though all of it was about losing love, or war, or something of that general idea. My morning playlist consisted of upbeat, fast songs. Hurt disguised by happiness. Story of my life.
I sat by my window, staring blankly out at the suburbs of Vancouver. Against Me! blared into my ears. I held my black messenger bag in my lap, even though I knew I could put it in the seat next to me- no one ever sat by me on the bus. My head rocking to the beat of the music, my lips moving in silent song. "Stop! Take some time to think, figure out what's important to you.You've got to make a serious decision. Stop! Take some time to think, figure…" My mouth stopped when I noticed someone sitting beside me, staring with an amused smile.
She was beautiful. I'm sure my eyes were opened to wide, and my mouth was hanging open. But I was in awe of the girl sitting next to me. I slowly reached up and pulled an ear bud out, closing my mouth in the process. My mind was racing for something to say to her. Anything…hmmm…..
"You're new." I muttered out.
Her laugh was pure gold, syrupy and loud. My stomach flipped and goose bumps emerged on my bare arms.
"Yea, I am. From Quebec. Is it that obvious? Shit, I'm trying to be invisible…" Her accent hinted at French, now that I listened for it.
"You couldn't be invisible if you tried…You're b-" I stopped myself. "bold." How incredibly stupid.
She smiled though. Her grey eyes glittered happily.
"Bold? Hmm… never heard that before…but in neon clothing how could I not be?"
I laughed with her, now noticing the bright orange shirt that hugged her tightly. "Live. Love. Laugh." it read. I moved my eyes back to her face, and studied it more closely. Perfect white skin, wide grey eyes, thick brown hair. Gods, she was amazing. When I looked away I noticed people on the bus were beginning to look at her. It made sense, no one sat by me until this morning. I could only imagine what they were thinking. This gorgeous girl sitting next to the school dyke. I saw some watching me, waiting for my reaction to her. I tried hard to ignore them.
"I'm Tegan." I told her, "And if you want to have a good reputation at this school, you may never want to look in my direction again…"
She frowned at me. "I'm Amber. And I don't know what could make you think that, but I'll do what I please at this school. And if I want to look in your direction, or talk to you, I will. Who really gives a shit what these assholes think?" Her voice had turned rough.
A small smile grew on my face, and I realized that maybe if she knew why no one wanted to be near me, then she would change her mind. I didn't have to tell her, I couldn't go on as if I were normal and she could still want to be around me and I could love her and everything would be fine. Or I could protect her from the harassment that she would receive and just tell her. That seemed like the nobler thing to do.
"I don't think you understand. No one talks to me; no one sits near me unless they have to. It would probably be best for you if you just…just...didn't acknowledge my existence."
"Why? What could be so wrong with you that I should just at as if you are nothing?"
"I'm…well gay. And because of it everyone hates me. Girls are afraid to be in the same room as me. As if I'm going to rape them or something. And guys just think I'm a waste of gravity because they can't get in my pants."
She laughed. Loudly. I nearly cried. I couldn't believe it. Most people just looked at me in disgust. But she had to laugh in my face. How cold could she be. Anger grew inside me.
"Why the fuck would I care. So what you're lesbian? Big deal. Whoop-de-fuckin-doo! Tegan, my best friend in Quebec was gay; as flamboyantly gay as you could imagine. I loved him more than anything. He was killed about two months ago. That's why we moved here. So I could get away from that memory. I couldn't care less who you love. And no one else should either. And-" I felt my eyes well up, and I immediately started to rub at them to make the tears go away before she noticed, but she I wasn't quick enough. "Oh honey!" she grabbed me in a rib crushing hug. "Why would that make you….no one wants you do they? The whole world is totally against you, isn't it? Goddammit! I fucking hate humans. We're so shallow."
For the first time in a year, tears began to fall from my eyes, soaking into her shirt. I felt so weak, and yet so wonderful all at once. Because this beautiful girl wasn't afraid of me. And maybe she would never love me how I was beginning to wish she would. But, damn, I was just overcome. Overcome with happiness.
My first step towards optimism.