Tick tock tick tock. Two hours gone. Two hours stuck. Two hours debating… call or die in peace without ever having told the truth.
The phone was a million pounds in my hand, a quivering thumb hovering. Teetering over the edge of sanity.
Tick tock tick tock. Two hours without food or water or people- seems like nothing until it’s everything, doesn’t it?
The temperature had dropped thirty degrees in those two hours. I watched the battery on my phone go down slowly. Something in me was starting to break down. Was this my last chance to tell the truth and, even so, was it even the right thing to do? Was it, wasn’t it?
My thumb flattened against the screen. “Hey, Angel, what’s going on? I heard there was something going on at your office.”
“I’m not at the office.” My voice was quiet and cracked like old glass. It was that gravelly, choked-up nonsense that always seems melodramatic unless someone’s dying. Was I?
Tick tock tick tock. “Where are you, Angel?” my sister asked. She was still not worried, but then again she never was. Miracolina’s three toddlers were making all kinds of weird noises in the background and my heart felt a pinch like getting a shot.
“Miracolina, there’s something I’ve got to tell you,” I finally stated. After years of waiting and years of backing down, I was finally about to hit her with the truth. No escaping it now, I told myself. It was time for her to know about me.
“Oh my god, Angel, tell me what’s happened,” she replied, immediately dropping to a near-whisper. I could hear a toddler giggle and almost regretted my decision to live out my days alone. There was no one to be joyous in the apartment I was going back to if I made it out.
“A car crash. I can’t move,” I told her, finally letting myself cry. There was blood dripping down my arms; I could feel it and smell it even if my head wouldn’t turn for a look at the carnage. Miracolina was crying too. It got so much harder to breathe at that moment.
Tick tock tick tock. “There’s something I need to tell you,” I forced myself to continue. It hurt to grind out the words, but she deserved my honesty for once in our lives. I owed my sister that.
“Oh god, that wasn’t the worst? Come on, Angel, just rip the band-aid off,” she begged. She was so different, always had been. She wanted it all piled on so she could dig herself out and she liked no punches pulled on either end of a fight. It hurt to be her family sometimes.
“Miracolina, I’ve never been an Angel,” I confessed.
“I know, silly, but you’re my angel. You know the story behind your name, baby girl,” she attempted to reassure me. I cried harder, feeling like a storm was exploding as it tumbled out of me bit by bit. I couldn’t stop it if I wanted to, couldn’t hold it back if I tried. But it felt good to finally tell someone the truth.
“I’ve never really been a baby girl. I’m sorry.”
“What is that supposed to mean, Angel, you’re starting to scare me a little.”
“I know you like to pull yourself back from the brink of emotion, but not this time. I’ve never been the girl that I was supposed to be. I’ve known since we were really little kids and I think Dad knew it too eventually.”
“Dad used to tease you about gender, remember?”
Silence. Tick tock tick tock.
“Oh my God, Angel, are you trying to tell me you’re transgender. Are you saying I never saw you for who you really are.”
“Yeah, Miracolina, I’m transgender. But you know me better than anyone.”
Tick tock tick tock. Tick tock tick tock.
“I thought you were just a lesbian. I should’ve asked you about it.”
“Well, you weren’t too far off, I suppose. Right about parts of it.”
“Are you trying to make a joke right now?”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too. And those kids of yours. I love y’all more than you know.”
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it. You can check out my most recent short stories just here (a beginning of love) and right here (it’s my take on a ghost story). More include these different types of pieces:
Personal essay on mental health: https://medium.com/invisible-illness/im-sweating-the-small-stuff-b59e32370e58