Rated T but I don't know how that will go as we delve further into the story. Just a warning for language for now. Enjoy! Favorite, Follow, and Review!

"Shina, this is definitely not the route that you want to travel. Being a lesbian would only cause you so much trouble! It's a difficult path that will end up controlling everything that you do." I barely registered the voice that was trying to pierce through my head... I could only see the disapproving eyes that were probably filled with disgust if I took the effort to look deeper...

"Do you know how difficult life will become? No one will accept you! Your friends, your family; your aunt, uncle, and cousin in Tobago would be so ashamed they would never talk to us again!" The voice that used to comfort me so... dry my tears... make me smile... is now the source of my pain... what has this night come to? "The family would mock me endlessly! They already mock your sister for becoming pregnant at 18, and you want to go and love another girl? We would forever be looked down upon with shame! And if you really go down this way I will not hesitate to throw you away to your father, he can fucking take care of you because I will not stand for this!"

"Mom's right, Shina, I mean, look at what they say about me? I ruined my life at a young age and you don't need to do the same. We don't want that for you!"

I can't just take this... I just can't... I have to try and fight... "When I become famous... make a name for myself... it won't matter whether I'm straight or bi or a lesbian! Why should it matter if we are looked down upon anyway?! It's our lives... it' my life to choose who I spend it with, right?" my voice sounded so weak, so strained... I'm crying too much... I can't stop crying...

"Shina, my cousin is a lesbian and she as to keep her life a secret." A calm voice reached my ears, "It will kill you inside to have to keep everything a secret. It's not accepted..." that voice was always so accepting... now the owner of that voice... in his eyes... nothing but disapproval...

"What about me, Shina, did you ever think of what would happen to our group? If you go out with Angel, I'm going to end up feeling like a third wheel and the whole group of friends is probably going to end up breaking apart. Remember how when Brady and Melody first started going out it was so awkward to be around them, well that's how it's going to be if you and Angel date!" wasn't she supposed to be my closest friend? The friend who would always have my back no matter what? And she's the one who sold me out? "Shina, people get beat up for dating the same sex... and you know what... if it comes down to you getting beat up for it... I won't be the one to stop and help you... because we're warning you now... we're letting you know the risks..."

After getting screamed at from all the people I thought I trusted, I was finally told to sit in the living room so they could discuss this shit hole of a problem between themselves. My gaze was blank as I focused on a portion of the wall in front of me. The tears had finally stopped falling by now and I felt numb... Is this their true faces, what I am seeing tonight, is this really how they are? Someone cleared their throat from the kitchen entrance and I blinked away the daze. Looking up, I saw my Mother's infuriated face.

"You know, I feel kind of betrayed that you went behind our backs and tried to date her even after I had voiced my disapproval." Mother literally snarled at me, "You better have your shit together. You're coming home."

My eyes widened, "Am I going to move back to Philadelphia?!"

"That won't be necessary if we got the fucking point across to you. You better apologize to Mom and Dad and hope they fucking forgive you."

Mother stormed out of the house and my sister and her husband followed behind, a little more calmly. I felt exhausted as I pushed myself up and forced my legs to carry me over to the people I had grown to call Mom and Dad since they took me in even though their daughter had only become friends with me for a year. It's been three since that time that we decided to put them as my guardians so that I could live here and go to school here... four years of me living here...

"Mom... Dad... I'm so sorry that I went behind your backs... but... I don't even know what was going through my head... I'm so sorry... I was stupid... I wasn't thinking..."

"It's alright Shina... I just hope you make the right choice when you come back... think it over... I think all you need is a break..." Dad hugged me tightly and afterward, Mom did the same.


I hid my total disgust at the person calling my name out... instead I put on the sob face and looked at my best friend to see what she wanted.

"Listen... I'm sorry if you're mad that I told everyone the truth, but I couldn't handle keeping it a secret... but please... you can't date Angel... it will break everything apart."

It hurt, but I nodded my head and pulled the short, rotund brunette into my arms for a hug that she probably thought was for my comfort... pathetic bitch... nothing you ever do for me will ever be for my comfort again... I hugged her for as long as I could tolerate before I let her go and bid the owners of the house farewell.

Quite unsteadily, I left the house and made my way to the black truck in which my family was waiting to take me back to our home in Philly. I was careful to keep my emotions in check and closed the truck door quietly instead of slamming it like I wanted to. It was safer not to piss everyone else off more than they were already... The ride home was deafeningly quiet and I knew that the moment we got home, the silence would drag on after one last showdown...

Just like I thought, the moment I got through the doors, I followed my mother to her room where my brother-in-law and sister were helping the frail woman to her bed. The moment she was laying comfortably, the three of us stood in front of the dresser and simply watched as she took deep – calming I would assume – breaths before she addressed me coldly.

"Shina... If you really want to date that girl, then I'm letting you know right now that I swear I will kill myself, because I will not suffer through the humiliation that would be to come."

"Angel... we... I... it's not going to work... I'm so sorry..." I whispered.

Angel's face fell and a crestfallen look washed upon her whole composure. Deep brown eyes lined with Kohl started brimming with tears, "Shina... we... can't we figure this out?"

My eyes burned with the sting of tears, but I blinked them back, "We can't go out Angel... It just won't work out in our favor..."

"We... we can do it secretly again! And then when you graduate –"

"Angel, we were caught... the secrecy won't work! I... I... My mom is threatening to send me to live with my father, Angel, so... even if we were together... we wouldn't even be together... we would be separated anyway... And I've come too far to throw my education away as well... If I go to Philly to live with my father, neither of us will be happy... Angel, please... you should try to find someone better than me..."

The tears finally started to cascade down Angel's face, leaving wet trails along her pale cheek, "I don't want to... It's not like I have any luck with relationships to begin with..."

It hurt so bad to see her crying... it killed me to know that I was the cause of her distress... "Angel... somewhere out there, a better, smarter, stronger, prettier person is waiting out there to fall in love with you... I'm... I can't support you... I'm... I'm weak... and if you go out with me, we'll only end in heart break..." I pulled Angel into my arms, "Angel please... please try and find someone else... I want to see you happy..."

Angel returned my embrace and I pressed the side of my face against her head, relishing the feel of her soft, raven locks. But, alas, I had to pull away... and when I did, I left my hands on her shoulders, "Angel... Angel can you look at me, please?" when she lifted her eyes, I continued, "Please don't do anything reckless... it's painful now... but I promise that it will be okay in the future... it hurts now, but it will dull... We can both get over this wall and the both of us will be successful in life and we'll find someone to love us... We'll be able to get through this..."

Angel remained quiet, sniffling occasionally. Her eyes drifted back to the ground and I almost thought she wouldn't talk to me again, but then, I heard a soft, "I promise."

I finally let my tears fall and I pulled Angel into my arms once more, "I'm so sorry..." I held onto her tightly, "I never wanted to hurt you!"

"I know... It's okay..."

"It's not okay... but that's why you have to find someone better... okay?"

"... Okay..."

It hurts... a lot... and Angel probably feels worse than I do... but I have to let her go... my Angel... my innocent and pure Angel...

"Shina, are you excited for graduation?"

I turned around to smile at Angel. I have to say, she looked really nice in her red cap and gown; I felt awkward in mine. "Hell yeah, I'm excited. I'll be going home again. I won't have to deal with you know who anymore!"

Angel smiled at me and I smiled right back. I still can't believe that a year has already passed since that tragedy that had happened between us... and we are still as close as ever... I'm glad... she doesn't hate me... I don't know what I would have done if she had just stopped talking to me. I would probably be very hurt, but, I guess I would deserve to have that pain, right?

Angel suddenly laughed, "Haha, Shina, your cap is lopsided."

My train of thought was lost on that familiar laugh... and then I realized what she had said to me, "Oh... really?" I smiled and tried to fix my cap, but all I served to do was get a mouthful of my blonde streaked raven hair and my red tassel. I spat with an irritated growl, trying to rid my mouth of the unwanted entities.

Angel laughed once more and she finally put a hand on my shoulder, "Let me help, hm?"

Her hand glided across my cheek as she moved my hair to the side. The gentleness of her touch froze me on the spot as she continued to neaten up my appearance. In no time I was presentable again and the class was ready for graduation, what good timing. Angel wasn't too far off in our line-up, but as the lines of seniors began to leave, she had to get up first. I watched her go, elegantly walking out of the building, offering me a small wave when she caught my eye. I blushed at having been caught, but I waved back. I was now alone, all my other friends scattered around the auditorium. I kind of liked being alone... it gave me time to think and remember everything...

There were plenty of ups and downs throughout my high school career. I remember when I used to always suffer, and then hope for this day to come so that my struggles would end... but now, as I watch classmates and friends walk out that door one by one, I can't help but believe that this day just came too quickly... I mean, there are plenty of occasions where I just wanted to drop everything and run back to Philadelphia, but... that would be weak.

My turn finally came to strut my stuff down to the stadium to graduate, so with a heavy sigh I stood up and, with my head held high, I walked out of the auditorium and towards my graduation.

"Shina is this everyone?" mother asked, holding my camera.

I let out an irritated groan. So much for group photos, three fourths of the people I told to come didn't even make it! But... at least the people who did come were close to me... including Angel...

Whoever was there took nice pictures together with me and our diplomas and roses... and when the time came that Angel was taking her pictures with me... I suddenly had a scary feeling... As I watched my mother and sister smiling behind the cameras, I couldn't help but think of how hypocritical it all seemed... I mean... what if I had chosen Angel over them... would they be smiling like this and congratulating us? They would hate us for sure...

"Look at my daughters! I'm so proud of you!"

Mom's voice broke through the moment and Angel smiled, wrapping me in a tight hug before saying goodbye to Marie before making a speedy escape. In the back of my mind, I was growling and snapping for Marie and her mother to keep their distance from me... so sick of their crap I was... but I couldn't be like that... not in front of Dad either or Marie's brothers and their friends... so after taking a deep breath, I mustered up a smile.

Everyone greeted each other and we got more pictures in, the occasional hiss coming from me when Marie just didn't seem to know when to quit her nonsense... She seriously photo-bombed my family photos! Uhhhg the things she does just to piss me off! When the sky was finally turning black, both families bid farewell to each other with promises that we'd keep in contact.

I waved to Marie and her mother as they went to meet her father and the further they got the quicker my smile fractured and caved in on itself. I spat in annoyance.

"She doesn't know when to quit it, does she?!"

"All in the past now Shina, let's head home now." Mother smiled as she ushered me into our truck.

On our way home, we reminisced about the past five years that I had been away from home... and oddly enough, we skipped over Junior Year memories. Inside, I scoffed. No one wanted to remember that. It was a painful time for everyone, wasn't it?

"Shina, look at you... a high school graduate from two schools... you're the apple of this family..."

"Haha... yeah... I guess I am the one who's going to restore our honor, nee?" I joked half-heartedly.

"You have to get rich and famous so that we won't have to ever worry about money problems anymore... and with your skill and education, you'll be taking us far right?"

"... Yeah."

"What's wrong Shina?"

"... Huh? Oh, I was just thinking that no one was going to be judging everything I do now that I'm home..."

"Well, there is no need to worry. We love you just the way you are."


Something horrible clicked in my head after that was said... a realization... that scared me... and yet... I think it just... shaped my future...

You liars... all of you... are just using me... for your own gains... aren't you...?