This is basically what my alter ego would do if confronted with my worst fear. Please be kind.
Dedicated: To all in the closet gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals out there. Love.
"Yes, Daddy, I'll take a shower." I called through the closed door, eyes still glued to my computer monitor. "I'll take a damn shower when I'm good and ready." I muttered to myself, rapidly clicking the arrow keys needed to play the game of Snake I was immersed in. My other pages included the LGBT page for my campus, an internet art site on which I was browsing through rainbow pride and the internet chat room where I was meeting my girlfriend at eight. Summer was far too long to be stuck here in Homophobia Southern Christian Land…
My snake accidentally ate itself in the game and I sat back with a groan of disappointment. I had been so close to my high score…my eyes looked back at me from the huge vanity mirror that had been in my room since before high-school. White and weathered, it was the focal point of my white whicker furniture and blue walls. I stared at myself in the mirror, holding onto my eyes until I was forced to look away with shame.
"Katie, are you taking a shower?"
"In a minute, Dad!" I called back, trying to keep the bitterness from my tone. Sarah hadn't gotten online yet and I just wanted to talk to her for a few minutes. Sarah was seriously the best girlfriend in the world. Just three months and I am in love. I had met Sarah at the Coming Out Day on campus last year…we had exchanged numbers and even then I was blown away by her beauty and friendliness. We went to Drag Shows, clubs, watched movies and drank hard lemonade while discussing the future of culture and the world. And as they say…our friendship caught on fire…
'Hey, baby girl. How's it going?'
My heart leaped. Sarah! 'Bout as well as anyone can expect of Hell.'
'This isn't fair. You don't have to live that life, baby girl.'
'What else can I do?'
'Tell them the truth. It's that simple.'
We've had this conversation a lot of times before. She's all about being open to everyone at all times about her sexuality. She just doesn't understand what's it's like growing up with and being raised by ultra-conservative Southern Christian parents. Nothing I do is right unless I'm obeying them without question, going to church twice weekly and praying to the Lord nightly.
Screw that. I rubbed my eyes tiredly, sighing. 'I can't tell them, gorgeous. You know I can't…'
'It's okay to be scared of what might happen, but I'll always be here for you…you know you have a place at my apartment…'
'I'd move in right now.'
'As long as you make those cookies I'm crazy about.'
'As many as you can eat, I promise, my Sarah!'
I laughed aloud, beaming at the words on the screen. Harsh knocking jarred heavily against my skull.
"WHAT?" I yelled at the door.
"Don't take that tone of voice with me, young lady. Get your shower."
"Uh, just a minute, Dad, okay? I'm talking to a friend from school." I smacked my forehead hard, biting my lip hard enough to break skin. I had slipped! Dammit! They weren't supposed to see, hear, know about or even think that I wasn't who I said I was. "Going now, Dad!"
'Be right back, love…I have to take a shower.'
'Want me to join you?'
I laughed, blushing lightly. That dirty girl. 'Hell yeah, baby. Hot water, you and me…what a party.'
I blew the screen a kiss and grabbed the towel off the back of my chair. I left my door open, like I always do. Just a quick shower, I hate to leave people waiting to talk to me. I shut the door behind my toweled self and started to change, noticing something weird. The chat window was closed. I knew I hadn't closed it before. I sat down again and opened up my chat system again. Hell, I'd even been logged out!
I logged back in, opening up the chat window again. A message from Sarah blared at me the second it was up.
'Katie, they know.'
My heart dropped into my stomach and my stomach dropped lower. I held back my bile and shakily pulled a shirt on as my Dad's voice called me to the living room. My younger sister's door was shut. This was bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD. I walked into the living room and stood there as my parents regarded me silently. My Mom's eyes were red and puffy, she was crying. Dad's eyes were puzzled and…judgmental. I knew it. I knew it!
"Yeah, guys?" I tried to sound casual and unafraid, but it was all I could do to keep from throwing up right then and there.
"Oh, Katie…" Mom whimpered, tears welling up in her eyes again. "I always thought you were such a good girl!"
"I am a good girl, Mom." I said quietly, trying to keep emotions on lock-down. "You know I am."
Mother just shook her head and buried her face in her hands, crying. Dad took over, standing out of his easy chair.
"Katie, what you are doing is a moral and deadly sin. Homosexuality is a sin!" His voice got louder and louder until he was shouting at me.
"Don't raise your voice at me, Dad." My voice was low and even. I was pissed. "I will not be yelled at."
"You are our daughter, living under our roof and you dare to carry on a sinful affair under our roof! What would your grandparents think?"
"Probably the same thing that you are."
"Katie, tell us that you aren't." Mother said from her chair, raising her eyes to me. "Tell us you were just joking around. I-I know how college students like to experiment.."
"Mom, I'm…" What to say? I was caught. Their good little Christian girl wasn't so…perfect after all was she? I thought of Sarah and how bold she was. I needed to tell them the truth. "I am bisexual, Mother. And I'm in love with a wonderful girl."
Mother screamed, clapping her hands over her ears. She sobbed, trying to drown out what I had just told her. I gave my Father a glare as he stepped up to me, a hand raised.
"Don't you dare, Dad. Yes, I am bisexual. No, I will not take crap from you or anyone. You want to hit me, I'll call the cops on you. I've done it before to Christian boys who think they're all righteous when they are the worst hypocrites of all."
I watched as Dad flushed and stumbled back into his chair.
"Yes, Dad. I'm GAY." I spat the word at them, watching with pleasure as they winced. "A homosexual. I'm in love, I am love and I support love. LGBT is the best community, we're all like family. We care for each other and-"
My Dad glared at me, getting up again. "Get out! Get out of my house, you dirty whore! You aren't my daughter, you slut!"
It took me a moment to realize that he had open-handed slapped me. Fire started to burn on my cheek; Mother and I looked at him in shock. "Sure….William. I'll get out."
As I turned and went down the hall, I pulled my cell-phone out and dialed three numbers.
"Hello, 911, what's your emergency?"
"My Dad hit me. Can I get someone down here to help him cool off?"
I hung up five minutes later when the cops were on the way and started to pack; my clothes, books and stuffed animals. I paused, panting, a high-heel in my hand. It hit me then. They knew. They had reacted just like I thought. I was banished from the house. I was being banished from Hell…
I looked at the mirror. The good little Christian girl looked back. I don't even know what happened next.
One minute, the mirror is perfect. The next, all that's left are shards scattered across the room, glitter fills the air and I'm laughing in the dust, spinning about. "FREEEE!!"
I packed everything into my suitcase in record time, leaving most of my stuff in that room. My little sister would see that they sent it to my aunt who'd give it to me. I got on the bus with my suitcase, laptop carrying case, purse and backpack. I giggled when the cop cars passed the bus, headed for my house.
I got off at the stop with the Starbucks near to the highway. I called her.
"Sarah, can you come pick me up? Yeah…I got kicked out of my house. Uh, exit 236, I'm at the Starbucks. Can we go get pancakes at that ocean-side diner we like? Really? God, I love you. Thank you so much, gorgeous. See you in a few hours, I promise. Drive careful, you've got a lead-foot. I love you. I love you. See you soon."
She pulled up barely two hours later; I jumped in after shoving my stuff in her trunk. We pulled onto the highway and drove, my hand holding onto hers tightly. We didn't even speak, we just watched the world go by out the windows.
We pulled into the parking lot of that tiny sweet breakfast place by the beach when the dawn was just starting to break.
"Baby girl, what's this?" Her voice was so soothing, I didn't even hear what she had asked.
Her hand brushed my shirt; I felt her wince as she picked up whatever had caught her eye. Her fingers glittered with a sharp dust.
"Oh, that's glass glitter, I guess."
"Omigod, did you hurt yourself?" She instantly forgot her fingers, checking me over for scratches, punctures, anything. "You broke glass, how do you not have any injuries?"
"I think I threw my Bibles at it…" I mumbled, trying to remember. I think I had too, either those or those stupid prayer books that preached heterosexuality as the only way to be.
"Just glass glitter, I think you're okay."
"I am now." I said, taking her hand and squeezing it. "As long as I have you…"
"Feels good not to pretend anymore, huh?" She asked, smiling at me with that smile that makes my heart flop.
I pulled her into a kiss that lasted until the pancake place opened and long after too. Glass glitter sparkled in my hair for weeks after. The mirror was broken, I no longer had that good little Christian girl to hide behind. I was myself. Finally, finally free. Free at last…