|| NOAH ||
"Hey guys..." I spoke with fear as I gazed at all of my friends who are sat at the lunch table with me. They all looked at me with confusion and concern as they all saw my dread-filled face. I had all of the words prepared in my head, but it was way more difficult to verbally express them. My mouth failed to speak as I started to slowly choke without even uttering a single word. "What's wrong Noah? It's okay, just tell us," one of my best friends, Annabel, said as she tried to comfort me by wrapping her arm around my waist and began pulling me to a hug.
"G-guys..." I tried again and looked at them. All were waiting patiently for what I have to say. I tried fighting back the tears that started forming in my eyes. "I-I'm..." I gagged and tried harder. One. More. Time.
"I'm gay..." I finally said.
"Oh..." Felix said as his expression softened. It was all he said. He lets down his sandwich onto his cafeteria tray, head turns to look at my other friends and waited for what they have to say. The thought of gaining new bad perspectives churned my stomach just because of coming out to them. "Oh Noah, it's okay, I'm okay with it..." Annabel spoke softly as she tightened the hug. The warmth of her body gave a bit of relief as I felt my own body just sinking into her embrace.
"Oh my gosh, for real?" James stood up from his seat, looking surprised but clasped his mouth when other students' heads turned to our direction.
"Dude, chill!" Felix whispered to James and lightly elbowed him on the side, making James wince and groaned as he rubbed his arm.
"Is that what you've been so scared to tell us?" Kate said as she frowned, looking sympathetic. I nodded at her. I could still feel myself shaking. She sighed, and then smiled, "Noah, I don't give a damn about who you like. You're cool with me. Also, we literally have a gay dude in our group already. What's to be afraid of?" she said and started eating her lunch as if it was nothing.
My eyes then turned to Felix and waited for his response. "Look... it's gonna take a while for me to adjust from the sudden news, but let me just say this, I'm not mad at you. I don't hate you if you like guys. You're still my friend," he said and ended it with a smile.
I felt myself smiling as well and looked at James who's still quite surprised, but also... really happy? "Oh my gosh, don't worry Noah, we can go hunting for hot guys next time," James giddily said with a hyper smile on his face. Felix rolled his eyes and Kate heaved a sigh. I just chuckled and shook my head. My vision landed on my last friend who was completely silent the entire time. Everyone else from my table was also anticipating for his response. "So how do you feel about this Ethan?" Annabel spoke the words that I was about to say. We were all curious to know what he thinks. Ethan's eyes blinked as if he still hasn't comprehended the event, but after a while, he smiles, "it's okay Noah, it's okay, you don't have to be terrified now," he spoke with a tone that consoled me and reassured that they all accepted.
"See Noah, they're fine with it," Annabel said and gazed at me with soft eyes. I looked at her pretty face and wiped the tears off mine. I knew I trusted Annabel to be okay with who I am, but I was actually very endeared that all of my other friends would be okay with my identity as well. I let out my breath that I was holding onto the entire time, "thank you, guys..." I murmured and grinned with wet cheeks.
They all smiled back at me. "Sorry to ruin the moment, but can I eat now? I still haven't touched my food!" Felix said as he already has his burger in hand. We all let out a hearty laugh and resumed our lunch. I'm really glad and lucky to have a supportive group of friends, though deep down I thought I would be given looks of disgust and disapproval. I bet that if I came out to people in my last high school, people wouldn't say the same. I'm just glad I left: toxic-masculine jocks, petty mean girls, power-hungry preps, those stereotypes really defined the kinds of kids that went there, but here? It's like mostly everyone are really nice and never exactly categorized themselves. I feared and thought that at least someone would feel indifferent: that's my perspective.
My group of friends weren't actually the first audience that I've told about my secret. I remember that a few weeks ago, I decided to tell my parents about. I don't know how, but I managed to do so after a painful five minutes of choking on my words and hesitation. They both looked at me with very shocked faces, and I for sure believed that they were going to resent me; although, they tried telling me that it was okay, thanked me for not longer keeping it as a secret anymore. My mother told my Dad if he could leave for a while so she and I could talk. She told me that she is fine, but she looked a bit sad as well. It was said that Dad is most certainly going to be a bit disappointed, but will still most definitely love me. It hurt me a bit to know that it's true that it wasn't the best news to my father, and I do hope to believe that he still loves me unconditionally. Soon, he later comes back with a frown on his face, eyes looking like they were about release tears. Mom sat aside as Dad knelt down to get to my eye level. He grimaced a bit and gave me a tight hug. His small sobs broke my heart as I heard them right next to my ear. "It's alright... it's alright... I'm here for you," was what he said as he continued to cry. I wanted to as well, but I managed to suppress them, instead my throat hurt. I held my own and wrapped my arms around him and returned the embrace. I am their only son, their only child, their heir. I'm sorry, but I am in fact.