I'm just like you. I go to school with you. I have friends just like yours. We spend too much money on coffee and junk food. We spend too much time playing video games and we know the lyrics to almost every Disney song. We're probably the least productive group in our school. Mom and dad are pretty cool, the kind of parents that are into the same stuff I am. The same movies, music, games. My sister is the typical teenage girl, moody, egotistical and surgically attracted to her phone. The only difference between you and me, is that I have a secret. None of them know I'm gay.
"Nate, c'mon hurry up." Dad yelled. I rolled out of bed and crossed my bedroom mid yawn. If I hated anything, it was Mondays. As a hormonal, confused sixteen year old guy, who unfortunately had the hours for one of the guys in his grade, Monday mornings were probably as bad as being set up on blind date with a random girl you mom found on Instagram. I thought with my jeans, not realising I was trying to put both feet in the same trouser leg. My sneakers slid on easily add I left the room, pulling my satchel and jacket from the back of my door. "Nate, of you don't hurry up, Becky is going to take your car." I groaned as I made it to the bottom step, dad always knew how to get on my nerves. little did he know, my car keys always stayed in my bags side pocket. "Finally. I need you to do this of on your way to school, it's already paid for, just drop it at the post office."
"Sure dad. Beck's, c'mon if you want a ride." I said. Becky threw her bag over her shoulder and slumped her way to the door. "See you later, give my love to mom yeah?"
"Will do." Dad laughed as Becky made obscene gestures at me, which I caught in the glad of a picture frame. "Have a good day." I nodded and pulled the door shut behind me as I left the house. I took my keys from my satchel and unlocked the drivers door. Due to my car almost being as old as the Flintstone's car, is sensor doesn't work. The joys of owning an old Volvo given to me after Gramps died. I unlocked the door for Becky from the inside and she fell in beside me.
"You really need to get this thing fixed." She said, rummaging through her handbag.
"Do you have two hundred dollars, plus call out charges?" I asked. She shrugged and pulled her hand mirror from her bag. "Didn't think so. Now, let's get this to the post office and the us to school." I started the car and reversed or of the drive. The second the engine started 'let it go'from frozen exploded from the speakers and I felt myself smirking.
"Disney, seriously?" She sighed. "Why can't you be a normal guy and listen to rap or drum and base? Good you're embarrassing."
"There's nothing wrong with Disney." I argued. "Anyway, drum and base is probably one of the most annoying types of music around. It sounds like someone had a siezure on a laptop key board and all the sounds mashed together." She giggled as I pulled up to a junction. I flicked my blinker to the right and checked both directions. I didn't really need to, but it's a force of habit. A good one, I suppose. "Please tell me you haven't started listening to that junk."
"It's not junk, and yes I have." She said proudly. "It's that a problem?"
"Good lord." I moaned. "Rebecca valley, you are no longer my sister. I refuse to be trusted to someone who listens to drum and base. Now for your crimes against humanity, you can run dad's package into the post office." I pulled the box from the back seat and placed it nearly one her lap.
"Why can't you do it?"
"I'm the driver, I need to stay by the car." I reasoned. "I don't want a ticket, do I?" She rolled her eyes and climbed out the car. Whilst she walked up to the post office, I pulled my phone out from my satchels side pocket.
'pick up in ten. Had to run a quick errand for dad. X
'okay, see you in a bit. X'
I then pulled up my browser. The post I wrote the night before sat un-posted in the text box. I read over the final sentence over and over. Six simple words. Six simple syllables. They were just so terrifying. If I posted it, it would appear on a message board for my school, n on the schools website. A place students could post questions and comments about themselves. I had gotten permission from Mrs sidley to create a forum where students could do this anonymously and not feel embarrassed that their names had been put to the question or comment. All I had to do was post what I had written and that would be it, the forum would be ready to go. I would be a type of guru for those struggling with themselves. The only problem was that I had to divulge me being gay to Mrs sidley so she would allow me to do it. She did promise that she wouldn't say anything, and I trusted her.
"Hey, you ready to go?"Becky asked, settling back into the passenger seat. I closed the screen down and put my phone back into my bag. "What were you looking at?"
"Just stuff for class." I lied. I pulled out from the space and nearly collided with a cyclist.
"Want me to drive?"
"I'm fine, just didn't see it." I told her. "We gotta go pick up the guys." I turned off towards a cul-de-sac of quaint painted houses. I stopped outside a light blue one and sounded the horn. After a second, a girl with short, cropped Auburn hair and a large pair of sunglasses on her face danced her way down the path. "First up, India." She pulled the back door open and climbed in.
"Morning guys." She beamed, far too brightly for a Monday morning. I turned around and left the cul-de-sac as India pulled her phone from her back pocket. "Did you guys get the email from Mrs sidley?"
"Can't say I've checked." I muttered as I turned a corner.
"Okay, I'll read it to you." She said and cleared her throat. "Dear all students of constance high. As of Monday the sixteenth of march 2018, there will be a new forum on your 'Central' pages known as Anonymity. This will be a place where you can post questions and comments without revealing who you are to your fellow classmates. It is a student run forum, so all questions will be answered by the student running it, after being filtered for questions deemed was inappropriate. The teaching staff implore you to use this tool to discover who you really are by asking questions you would otherwise be cautious asking. Yours, Mrs T sidley." Thankfully, I was waiting at a stoplight because my foot slipped off the gas pedal. Damnit. I had spent so much time thinking about what I should write for the post, and then even longer panicking about posting it that my deadline had arrived. I had until the end of the school day to post it. What was I thinking? I couldn't do it. It was too much. "Crazy right. What kind of stuff so you think will be posted?"
"Who knows, but you can guarantee that it will become the hotspot of school gossip." Becky said, actually looking up from her phone for once. "Nate, green light." I blinked, the light was indeed green and the driver behind me was beginning to make rude gestures at me. I pulled away and turned up towards another residential area.
"Up next, Conrad." India said. I stopped outside his house, where he was waiting at the end of his drive. He waved lazily and brushed his kind black hair away from his face. His hair was his prize feature for him, shaved around the sides and long on the top. At the time, it was long enough to pass the end of his nose.
"Good morning squadron. Did you get the email?" He said. "Can't wait to see what the first post is gunna be. Guarantee it will be someone saying they're pregnant. What do you think Nate, pregnancy confession?" I didn't answer, I was still nose diving.
"I'll put ten bucks that it's a pretty saying someone's gay." Becky smirked at him in the rear view mirror.
"You're on." Conrad said and shook her hand.
"What? No! It'll be about someone cheating on their partner." India said. Both Conrad and back have her a look of disbelief.
"Care to carry that notion. Make it fifteen dollars?" Conrad asked, and shockingly, India reached across and shook his hand.
"Notion carried." Becky laughed. "Nate, wanna get in on the bet?"
"No." I said bluntly. All I could think was that she was about to get thirty dollars from the idiots in the back seats. I was sorted from anymore conversation about what they thought the first post would be as I pulled into the schools parking lot.
"Right, see you later guys." Becky sang. "Don't forget my winnings." She winked and got out of the car running over to a small group of senior girls.
"You coming Nate?" India asked. The cars engine was of but my hands were still gripping the wheel and I was blankly starting forward."Nate!" I snapped to attention and wiped my clammy hands on my trouser legs.
"Yeah, I'lll be there in a minute. Just gotta find something in my bag." I tried her. She nodded and the pair for our and walked off towards the school doors. I pulled my phone out and brought up the post again. 'None of them know I'm gay.' Becky's bet ran through my head. Did she know? Was I not that good at hiding it as I thought I was? I deleted the sentence and after a moment of blankly starting at the screen, re-typed it. The post was anonymous, why was it so hard to hit the send button? I knew i was on the clock now, the post needed to be up by the end of the day. I looked up and swept my eyes across the parking lot, there was no one around. I checked my watch, almost nine. I looked back to my phone, the words still sitting there un-posted. For some reason, I felt a wave of anger at myself and yelled, slamming my fists against the steering wheel. "Just fucking post it." I growled to myself. "C'mon. Grow the fuck up. You can't hide forever, at least if you post it, you've taken the first step. That's all you need to do. Just take the first goddamn step." My thumb hovered over the past button again. I had never found such a simple action so hard before in my life. It came to the point where - sat in my car - I was almost screaming at my thumb to complete the simple gesture. After what felt like an age, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before tapping the screen. I opened one eye and sighed. I had hot the post button, and was now watching the blue bar true across the screen. I had passed it. I had hit post, and I felt slightly sick. Even though I knew every post would be anonymous, I panicked that, when it appeared, my name would be in bold at the top. That it was obviously me, by what I had written. I told myself not to worry, loads of people had cool parents, a sister, and played to many video games. I was a stereotypical teenage boy. I was fine. I watched as the bar stretched the entire way across the the screen and my post appeared on the anonymity page. I sighed and felt a tiny, faint smile grow on my face. I had taken the first step. "Want that had, was it?" I stared at the post for a few moments, the smile decorating my cheeks. After a few minutes of staring, I closed my phone off and got out of the car. Somehow that small action of posting an anonymous 'coming out' made me feel a thousand pounds lighter, a new person. I locked the car and sound my satchel over my shoulder. And with an unfamiliar bounce to my step, I made my way to the schools front doors. I pulled my jacket around myself, fighting against the cool spring wind. I stopped at the doors and took a deep breath, all I could think about was how that small action of posting that would change my life. Hopefully for the the better.
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