National Day of Silence. April 19. In case you don't know, it's a day when students vow to be silent to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
Even if you don't agree with someone, can't you still be civil to them? They're entitled to their opinion as much as you are.
The dormant fire within me rose to the surface and I stepped threateningly toward the closest name-caller, my hands clenching into fists. The girl lost her smirk and backed up, so unused to such fury from a usually placid person. Bullies were cowards, weren't they. A small hand stopped me, Cyndi's touch ever so light. It would've never caught my attention if I wasn't so honed to watch out for it, to always react within a moment's call. Anything for her. I tilted my head down to my best friend, all anger evaporating when I see the emotions drowning in her eyes. The depression. The hurt. The anxiety to get away. Far away. Anywhere. Just go now. As always, the sadness on her face was unbearable, no matter how pertinaciously she tried to hide it. Poor baby, your face is too readable to possibly be inscrutable. Those jerks put that expression on her face. With that, fury came rushing back. I wanted to punch their front teeth in, rip their lips off, and basically beat the stuffing out of those jerks. However, Cyndi meant more to me than those idiots. She didn't need to be exposed to this any further. I pulled her through the crowded hallway to the world outside, a chorus of laughter trailing after us. We didn't stop until we get to our usual hangout. The fourth floor of an abandoned apartment building. Apparently, the place was haunted, but we'd seen no sign of paranormal activity so far.
Cyndi plopped down on a cardboard box, sighing softly. I grinned, trying to lighten the mood and walked toward her.
"I know... you like me," she whispered sadly.
I stopped. She wouldn't meet my eyes. Her back was facing me. She was atypically stiff, tense.
"Cyndi..." She didn't turn around. She wouldn't look at me. Why, Cyndi? Why won't you look at me? Am I that disgusting to you? Please, Cyndi, don't hate me. Not you. Please, not you. That familiar ache started up, an ache that never really leaves. It was in my chest, digging deeper, deeper within, sinking its poisonous claws in. This girl, my best friend, she had the power to hurt me deeply. She didn't walk away. That knowledge helped loosen the weight in my chest, the ridiculously tight compression in my heart, but only a little. I knew she was torn, wavering frantically between wanting to run away and guilt. She didn't want to deal with this; she didn't want to hurt me. However, her conscience wouldn't allow her to just abandon me here. It was still difficult to talk while trying to keep the heat in my eyes from overwhelming me. Seeing tears would guilt trip her even more. And I don't want that. "I know..." I swallowed the lump that rose up in my throat along with the tears. "It's hard coming out when your parents are hardcore homophobes..." She still refused to look at me. "I'll..." Quickly, I shut my mouth to trap the cry that was threatening to come out. Why the hell did it hurt so much? She would feel guilty if she heard. That wasn't what I wanted. She… Sometimes, she was too kind for her own good. "I'll wait for you."
We've been together for years. Since preschool. Since the day I tripped over a sand castle she built and she still put a band-aid on my skinned knee. I knew everything about her. I loved everything about her. Even more than anyone else. I knew what she liked. She liked all fruits except for tomatoes. She ate sandwiches but not the crust. Well, only a little because she's not one to waste perfectly good food. She'd read for entertainment sometimes, but most of her books don't really have much educational value. They were mostly romances. She loved to dance. To exercise. To move. I knew she had two black and one red circular birthmark arranged in a shape of an obtuse triangle on her right arm. Cyndi was the nicest person in the world. She was an angel. Heck, she could make the meanest jerks soften and smile at her. Cyndi was so adorable and sweet. And kind. She's a beautiful person, inside and out. If there's volunteer work, she's out there and working on it. If you're down in the dumps; then she's the first to try to reverse that. She─I never thought─didn't know there could be such a kind soul. Until I met her.
"It's not right. We shouldn't... like each other that way. That's not... not right," She whispered, dropping her head into her hands.
A burning arrow pierced my heart right then and there, searing a fiery path through my body, wreaking havoc everywhere it touched. Hearing that from her, something in me broke. I had to remind myself, chant in my head over and over again, that it wasn't her words. Those were the stuff her parents fed her. It wasn't her fault. Cyndi was a kind person. A good person. She would never think that way if her parents didn't instill that mentality into her.
I stepped toward her, my voice clear but soft. I let all I believed in flow out of my mouth, fusing with the words that left it.
"How can love ever be wrong?"
Cyndi stayed completely still. As if she wasn't breathing.
She whipped around, jumping out of her seat, anger showing up for the first time ever, her face furious and scared at the same time. The agony, the tears in her eyes awoke mine further, plunging the knife deeper. She screamed for the first time in her life, her words eventually lowering in volume as pain gripped her throat tighter and tighter. "How do I know that you truly love me? What if I do go with you and you decide to leave me? My parents won't accept me anymore. The homophobes at school won't leave me alone if they knew. They're already this mean when they only suspect." She shoved her hands through her hair, squeezing her eyes shut. She crumbled to the floor, curling into herself. "How would I know if you...?"
I dropped to my knees beside her. Wanting to hug her, to comfort her. Not knowing if I should. Her pain was my mine. She was hurting, so I was, too. The first drops of liquid squeezed through my tight self-control, sliding down the side of my face. The pressure closed ever tighter around my heart, strangling it. Don't, please, don't. Smile, sweetie. Be happy. Just don't be unhappy. Please. "What do you want me to do?"
"...Die for me."
I didn't understand how that would prove anything, but her wish was my command. Even though I loved her so much or maybe it's because of it, she was in agony. If I couldn't do anything for her, I should just die. I only caused her problems. I only hurt her when she was the one who saved me. My life is hers. I would always want to please her. Her will was my pleasure. There was nothing I wouldn't do for her. I would do anything and everything for her. I got up and turned, smiling as tears pooled in my eyes. I headed to the window. Why couldn't I do anything for her? She was my savior. She was my love. Why couldn't I repay that debt? Why did I only hurt her? What the hell was wrong with me? I put my knee on the sill and grabbed the frame of the window.
"W-what are you doing?!" I turned to her and I smiled, simply happy for her attention, as my eyes burned. "Get back here!"
With this, you'll be happy, no?
"Goodbye, Cyndi." I tilted backwards as she rushed to the window. I was content that my last sight would be her, the last words I hear would be hers. "I'm sorry." That you were hurt.
It felt as if it were a dream. I could feel my body fall in slow motion, going down, down, down. As her torso leaned out of the window, her nails digging into the frame. Her mouth opened.
It's so extremely difficult to catch your heart, to get you to understand, when you always run. Don't turn away.
You're making it unnecessarily hard.
Even if no one wanted you anymore, if the entire world told you to disappear because you're falling for me, just know I'm still here. I'll be your world if you let me. Take my outstretched hand and know that I would never let you go again. As long as you accept me, as long as you want me, I will stay by your side. I will protect you. Until you are ready to love me, I will watch and protect you from a distance. I will wait for you.
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting listlessly. Waiting endlessly. Just waiting, waiting. It's been eleven years. I can wait more.
I'll wait for you, Cyndi. Don't forget that. 'Til the end of time, if need be. If you just want a friend, I'll be here. If you agree to something more, I'll be more than willing to comply. If you want me to leave, you don't have to say it twice; I'm gone. Sweetie, whatever you want, I'll do. So don't worry. I'll wait for your decision, how ever long that may take. I just want to be with you, be it friend or lover. Your happiness is my only wish. So take your time, honey.
Now, Cyndi'll be happy, won't she?
I still remembered the day I confessed to her.
"Cyndi, I love you."
Her eyes widened ever so slightly. Then, she calmed down, coming to the wrong conclusion. She's so modest... And kind. And beautiful. And the list goes on. "I love you, too. You're my best friend."
I nodded my head. "I love you as a friend... and so much more than that. Even if you don't say it back, I want you to know because you're the most important thing in my life."''
She stared at me, not moving a muscle.
Thanks for reading. A lovely present and future to you.