Water

A Short Story About Hiding Or Living In The Light

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m done.”

“What about Stanford?”

“I told you I’m done.”

“What about your honors program thing?”

“What did I just say?” Amelia gives me her most aggravated eyes, which must be why I’m not seeing her in her usual light anymore. I look at her in confused silence. “I just want to be free, and I want to walk away from everything right now.”

“So what now? You’re giving up your honors thing at Stanford to go be free in a town with a thousand people. And then what?”

“I dont know. I was hoping I’d get some time for myself to figure out what I want from life. But you know what I want now? I want to sleep and eat and watch Netflix and watch Hulu and go be a political activist. I want to go to parties and play sports and go hiking and have beach days, I want to do what real teenagers do. My whole life I’ve been nothing but a genius, I just want to be a person before I go off to college somewhere I won’t even be considered a genius.”

She finishes ranting and I still have a question.“But what are you doing here alone in the middle of the night?”

“I’m not alone, I’m with you. And what are you doing here, anyway? Same thing you always do?”

“What is that supposed to mean?” I say defensively but knowing full well with dread in the pit of my stomach what she means.

“You meet your boyfriend here every night, Dan, I know it and you know it. What’s the matter, trying to keep it a secret that you’re gay?”

“Yeah, I am actually. And so is Jack, so we’d appreciate it if you’d mind your own business. You meeting someone?”

“No, I came here to just think. But now I am curious- what else are you doing here? If you came just to meet him, you’d have left when he did. But you’re here aimlessly wandering around just like I am.”

“Maybe I changed my mind about moving to New York.”

“You’re staying in town?”

“I’ve been thinking about other places. Places I have space for my craft, places where the scene fits me.”

“Where the scene fits, huh? I knew I missed being your best friend.”

“Clearly you missed me being your stylist. You’re dressed like Dionne from Clueless but with a hat you clearly snatched off the head of some starving artist on your last visit to 1920s Paris. The boots are cool, though, like WWE Diva meets rockstar meets little sailor boy on the farm. That purse is unforgivable, though; it’s literally a brick with straps.”

“Little sailor boy on the farm? You look like a cat puked in a paper bag, but it’s mustard not brown, and you’re playing What Not to Wear with me?”

“Alright then. Neither one of us is doing what we planned to, so let’s just be free.”

One Month Later

Amelia’s working now. In a way. She’s a street musician of all things and the cash keeps rolling in somehow. We made a list of things to do over the summer before we left for the next step, and she’s been bankrolling both lists. Meanwhile, I refuse to do the free thing on mine- I have yet to come out.

“You can be Harry Potter before turning 11 or after turning 11 and you’re still living with whatever Petunia gives you.”

“I’m not ready yet.”

“Look, I know this will be hard and you don’t think you’re ready, but will you ever be ready if you won’t even try?”

Photo by Ana Cruz on Unsplash

…BRD…

I write poetry, prose, and personal pieces. All images are mine unless indicated otherwise. Feel free to leave feedback on my work anytime; I hope you enjoy.

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