5. The arrangement
No light was needed for me to know that Tina’s eyes were throwing lightnings my way. Anyway she flipped the switch, revealing her angry posture. Her eyebrows were narrowed and her lips pressed into a thin line.
I gulped at the thought of what cruel revenge she could master for me being here... and she didn’t even know that I read her message. Hell was coming my way!
“Your phone.” I managed to say and pointed the desk behind me, afraid to turn my back to the mean angry girl.
A realization went through her face as she traced my pointer to the device, and she let a sign.
“I went to look for it. Where was it?!” She asked with calmer tone, but she was still on edge. I can tell!
“In the bathroom.” I simply answered.
I am no coward, but I don’t want her wrath to spill on me. I don’t want complicated... but I made it anyway.
“I know your secret, but don’t worry. I am not judging you or anything.” I said, looking down for some unknown reason.
“What did you say? What secr... Did you? Have you been reading my messages?!” She returned to her yelling and made few steps to reach her laptop. “How much did you read?” She screamed, while her fingers were digging into her scalp.
I was standing on the same place, watching with compassion, instead of leaving or being scared. It was not my business to mess into her life and who she likes. I just blurted it out so it’s there. We should be closer, as dad said, right?
“Enough..., but the photo, taking the whole display of your computer is talking enough.” I answered calmly and lifted my shoulders.
I wasn’t smiling, I was concentrating on keeping neutral expression. I wasn’t feeling like smiling at all. I don’t want her to think that I am laughing at her or that I think something discriminating. I knew that this is serious and very important to her and I would never make someone feels bad about being gay or confessing it. I even had some urge to help her somehow... if she let me.
“Hell! You of all people... Don’t you dare say anything to anyone! You hear me?! You had no right coming into my room at all!” She continued screaming, but for some reason I wanted to give her a hug.
This day was getting stranger by the minute. At the start the mean boy turns to be nice, then I get my first detention. After that I find some comfort in seeing Steven around the hall, then it looks like I hand paint people’s hearts. I was chased on the parking lot by a celebrity. I cut one of my favorite T-shirts and now discovered that I want to give a hug to an evil gay twin step-sister... Yeah, crazy-crazy!
“I am not outing you. Why would I do that to you?” I asked, innocently.
She plopped on the chair near the desk and as soon as she saw her mobile, she fast snapped her head my way with a worried look. I guessed what her thoughts are and spoke before she can question me.
“No, Tina I didn’t search your phone for more secrets.” I rolled my eyes.
“I... I am glad you didn’t. I mean, not that I have something to hide there. Just glad that you did not look for anything on purpose.” She explained in a normal tone.
Tina seemed exhausted and somehow defeated. I have never seen her like that. This secret thingy must have tortured her for a long time. She is already 18 years old and in last year of school. She kept this inside who knows since when and it must have eaten her whole.
“I am not that bad once you get to know me.” I tried to joke.
“I am not some evil Barbie too.” She said and got up, walked outside on the small balcony of her room and leaned on the railing. The cars were passing on a busy street near our home, reminding me of Christmas lights. I welcomed the fresh air that night had brought.
I followed her and felt like she needs someone to talk to, so I kept quiet.
“No one knows this. Absolutely no one. I fear that all will change after I...say it, um...come out.” She signed, fighting by habit the need to finally reveal her thoughts.
“Tina, we might not be close, but you must know that I am always on your side. You can talk to me when you feel like it.” She looked me with confused expression so I continued. “Does Sarah know? Or Steven?”
“No. No one...” She said, watching me with unbelieving eyes. “Why would you do this for me? Why would you keep my secret?... Or be friendly with me?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” I answered and this time a smile popped up on my face.
She gazed at the darkness in our yard and I watched how the wind is playing with her long almost white hair. Now I am seeing her in a different light. Not because she confessed of being gay, but because she somehow trowed out her mask of a selfish, shallow human. In front of me was smart, sensitive, lonely and confused girl. She had friends, but never trusted them enough with this. Now I was invading her most personal space, but I wasn’t going to ruin it for her. I am a friendly invader. I laughed inside on my own joke.
“So, what were you doing in the bathroom to your ugly shirt to become even more ugly?” She questioned with narrowed eyebrows.
I looked down at my naked tummy, remembering why I left my room, and scratched the back of my head, feeling the shame filling my cheeks.
“I was hoping to change my appearance a little. I am going to watch “Victory run” tomorrow night.” I explained, trying to hide my belly button with my hands.
“Oh, that band! I don’t get why all are crazy about the singer.” She wrinkled her nose.
“Yeah, right!” I said excited in agreement.
“All my friends are head over hills over him.” Tina told me, like I haven’t already seen that in girls eyes in the halls at school when Thomas was passing by. “Anyway, you can’t go clubbing dressed like that, right?”
I forced a nervous smile. If not that, then I will just wear one of the other twin T-shirts and black jeans.
“I guess I will just put on what I always wear.” I shrugged.
“Let’s make a deal. I will help you find your style and you will keep my secret? Okay?” She said with confidence.
“What? Um, I mean you don’t have to do such thing. I will not tell anything anyway. I told you that.” I said, wondering what has gotten into her. Who is she and where the mean Barbie went?
“I appreciate that, but you must stop dressing like you are going into the funeral of some rock legend. You bring shame to our family.” She blurted and stopped, realizing what she is saying. “I’m sorry... You really need a change.”
Okay, so I will try not to be offended. I must give her some points for being nicer and actually saying sorry to me for the first time ever.”
“Fine. What do you have in mind?” I gave up and leaned on the railing next to her.
“I am not sure yet, but tomorrow, we are going shopping for... new identity. We will not stop until we find the perfect one for you.” She stated and I knew I made a deal with the devil.
“But we have school and after I must go to paint the hall for the project, and the show is in the evening. There is no time.” I tried, but she patted me on my back with a smile.
“We will make time. Even if dad must say that we are having some kind of flu and it’s contagious.”
“Or we can skip only one hour, telling dean Webster that I need some supplies that school is not offering me and you can escort me to help pick them up.” I said thoughtful.
“You are pretty smart, huh? Some people do not like smart, you know?” She grinned and added “Good that I am not one of those people.”
“Haha, joking Tina.” I fake smiled, turning away from her with a sign. What have I gotten myself into?!
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