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Be sure to keep on reading "Billy Chase"...
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*(Previous Statement May Not Be True)
- I've had this strange and unsettling feeling inside of me all day long. I didn't know what it was at first, but as I kinda let my thoughts untangle themselves...I started thinking about it a little bit more. To be totally honest...I think it came from me breaking up with Lee. Is that not the weirdest thing ever?
I mean, yesterday, I was soooo glad that it was over and done with. It was like, I didn't have to worry about it anymore, you know? But...he didn't react the way I thought he would. Funny thing is, as much trouble as Lee has expressing his feelings for me in a positive was, he's pretty straight to the point when he wants to tell me to piss off. He didn't stutter once when it came to saying, 'Fuck you, Billy.' It's the most emotional response that I've gotten from him in a long time.
I really didn't want to hurt him. Honestly, I didn't. Maybe this is just a temporary thing. I mean, Lee is gorgeous. He's cool and he's sweet and he can charm the pants off of just about anybody he comes into contact with. It's not like he can't find somebody else to keep him company. He might even find somebody better suited to deal with his fear of emotional commitment. I'd be all for that, and wish him well. It's just not me. I mean, he can't be MAD at me for wanting more, can he? That doesn't sound fair at all. I gave Lee all the chances that I could to step up and maybe be...you know...my 'boyfriend'. If Lee told me, "Billy, I don't like your hair." or "Billy, I don't like it when you have dirty fingernails." I'd instantly do something to try to impress him. To make him happy. To make US happy. So when I was outside of that movie theater that night...and I looked him right in the eye, BEGGING him to tell me that he loved me, just once...it really hurt that he wasn't able to do that. Not even when he knew that it bothered me. I never asked Lee to take a bullet for me. I only asked him to make me feel just as appreciated and wanted as I was trying to do for him. And he failed. Not only did he fail, but he wasn't making any attempts to change back then. He tried a little harder this time around, but how long can that last? How can I trust that when I know that it's such a chore and a traumatic experience to talk about what's in his head and in his heart? He might pay attention to me for another week, but then he'll just crawl right back into his shell again, and I'll be sitting here all alone, waiting to hear from him again.
I guess I just feel things really deeply. I want someone who can share that with me. And he won't. I've already done the whole 'He's hot, so who cares?' thing with AJ, and it didn't work. I don't want to walk around pretending that everything is ok. It's a relationship. Everything should really be ok. What I really LOVE and care about when it comes to the people in my life comes from the deep conversations that we have. From the jokes that we share. From the little intimate details that we know about one another and can talk about openly without restriction or fear of judgement. If all Lee and I are going to do is talk about the weather and nothing deeper than that, then what's the point? I can do that with any random stranger on the bus.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just trying to talk myself out of feeling guilty about it all. I just....I miss Brandon. Brandon never shut me out. He was shy, and bashful, and a bit weird about being emotionally exposed in front of me sometimes...but when we connected...everything was about as majestic as it could possibly get. He really was amazing. I think I remember every personal detail that he ever told me about himself. And he still makes me shaky, every time I even think about the awe inspiring glory of his boyish smile. It used to make his eyes sparkle, you know that? When he was talking to me...his eyes would actually sparkle. I always thought that was so cool.
Yeah...that's the feeling. That little shiver in my stomach that I'm feeling right now, just writing about my ex-boyfriend...? That's the feeling I crave. Sex and giggles are great...but there's nothing like what I feel when I talk about my Brandon. Nothing in the world.
A big bombshell got dropped today! Like...on ALL of us!
Let me start off by saying that I had absolutely NO idea that Stevie had the kinda balls that he did! He really surprised me today. I think he surprised a lot of people. When he said that he had big plans for Wednesday...this wasn't what I expected at all.
There was a weird moment where the whole school was kind of disrupted by this phantom, last minute, assembly in the big auditorium. I mean, don't get me wrong...we were all more than happy to get out of class for that period, but nobody told us what the assembly was about ahead of time. So it just felt kinda weird, I guess.
I saw Sam and Michelle as everybody was sort of flooding into the auditorium, finding people to sit with and so on. I caught his eye for a moment, and he gave me a smile and a little wave. He didn't really invite me to come sit with him or anything, but I think that still might be a bit awkward. You know, even though the tension and hostility between us seems to be melting away, little by little...I kinda don't want this last quarrel to mysteriously vanish this time. I didn't want wounds to magically heal, and for Sam and I to just one day get over it and be friends again. I think there's a big part of me that wants to talk about what happened in his room that day. Part of me wants to apologize, a part of me wants to explain....I don't know. I just don't want this to linger. Not a single trace of it.
I only wish I knew how to start that conversation...
Anyway, so the whole auditorium fills up, and the Principal comes to the mic to say, "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce to you one of your very own. A student that has something very important that he wants to share with you all. I ask that you show him all the respect, and all the support, that young ladies and gentlemen should. Please welcome...Steven Mitchell."
My ears perked up immediately, and I was surprised to see Stevie walk out on the stage. I didn't quite know where this was going, but...needless to say...he had my undivided attention.
Stevie cleared his throat as he stepped up to the microphone. A few cards in his hands to keep him focused.
He looked out at the audience, and seemed to be a little bit nervous. With watery eyes, he took a deep breath, and he said, "H-h-hi...um...everybody." He was shaking so bad that I almost began to shake along with him. He said, "Before I get into...what I need to talk about...I just want you all to know that, even after rehearsing this a million times in the mirror...actually coming up here to face you all is probably one of the scariest things that I've ever done. So...bear with me if I mess up. Ok?" I was actually surprised to see the whole auditorium fall silent for once. You could have heard a feather drop in that place. Stevie went on with, "As....many of you know, I had a bit of an accident a few weeks ago. I took a really nasty fall down a flight of steps. And I was hospitalized...I was in pain...my parents were caused a great deal of worry and stress...and it caused me to realize something that I should have known all along. That...no matter how much somebody hates me...no matter HOW hard they work to hurt and bully and shame me...no matter how badly they want to see me suffer, or how many times they threaten me to keep my mouth shut about it...." He paused, and then he said, "...I'm still me. Nothing has changed. And nothing ever will."
I think we were all 'pretending' to be lost. But deep down, I knew where this was going. And I held my breath.
Stevie was like, "Three weeks ago...I was attacked, right here in this building. I was beaten. I was spit on. I was hated. And it was all because...because I'm gay." The room stayed silent, but the collective 'gasp' was just as evident. It was like I could feel it in the air around me. He said, "People see me and the clothes I wear, and the bracelets, and they think that's some kind of perverse justification for treating me the way they do. They call me names behind my back, and they shove me in the halls...and if I don't put a stop to this now, it's just going to go on. On and on and on. This keeps happening because we LET it happen. We sit there, and we take it. We bite our tongues and pretend that gay people don't exist.We pretend that we're confused, or that this feeling is going to just 'go away' someday. Well you wanna know something? I don't want it to go away. It's a part of who I am. One of the most important parts of who I am! Because it's where my source of love comes from. And no matter what anybody thinks about my personal attractions, it won't ever be beaten out of me. It's not going to go back in the bottle so some idiot can toss it into the ocean and forget about it." Stevie looked out at his audience, and he said, "Look at me. Please? Look at me. This isn't just some three minute segment on the local news anymore. This isn't an article you skim over on the internet. This is me. This is real life. I'm right here, looking you all in the eye. And I'm telling you that these things are really happening to kids just like you. Persecuted, and hated...hurt and tortured...just for being the people we want to be. I don't want to be alone anymore. I don't want to feel like I've got nowhere to turn to. And I'm willing to bet that some of you others out there don't want to feel that way anymore either." Wow...I honestly couldn't believe my ears. But Stevie went on to say, "I'm gay. Do you hear that? I'm gay. And I refused to be ashamed of that. Because, at the end of the day, when I lay my head on my pillow and go to sleep at night...I'm going to sleep peacefully knowing that I didn't waste another day of my life being afraid. I'm going to go to sleep knowing that I spoke up for myself and for others, and that I went after the people who thought it was a 'game' to hurt me the way they did. And if this assembly saves just ONE person from having to go through what I went through...then it was all worth it."
There were maybe a few ignorant kids in the audience who snickered or yawned or even whistled at Stevie in a mocking way. But you want to know what I saw? Possibly for the first time ever? I saw other students giving those kids dirty looks for being so incredibly insensitive. They looked like they seriously wanted to rip them apart at that moment. I couldn't help but to think, "Holy shit, Stevie! You did it! You actually made an impact!" Strangely enough, I think I felt really good about that.
Stevie finished with, "We're all just made the way we're made. ALL of us. And there's no shame in that. Don't ever be afraid to be who you are. Because they can't change it. They don't have the power...not unless we give it to them. Frankly...I don't believe that they deserve it." Then...Stevie thanked the audience, and with trembling hands, he dropped one or two of his cards before finding the courage to walk away from the mic.
Then, before he was able to hurry off and get to the edge of the stage, a bunch of people in the crowd started cheering for him! I mean, they clapped and stood on their feet...and it just set off this massive chain reaction that resulted in a vast majority of the whole SCHOOL giving him a round of enthusiastic applause. I think even Stevie was surprised. He couldn't hold back his smile...even as a stray tear or two left his eyes.
It was a moment that...I don't know...it touched me. I almost wanted to out myself to someone too. Maybe not the whole damn SCHOOL...but someone. What can I say? I felt a little hyped up by the whole thing.
After the assembly was done, I wanted to see if I could talk to Stevie and let him know that I thought what he did was awesome, but he was surrounded by so many people outside the auditorium that I decided that I'd just tell him later. I'll find a subtle way of saying...um....well, not that I liked him more. But that I definitely hated him less. I think he'd get a giggle out of that.
One thing that caught my eye though was seeing Ian in the crowd of students in the main hall. He didn't see me, but he sorta met eyes with Bobby Jinette from a distance. They shared the sweetest smile with one another. Bobby blushes really easy, but I don't think I've ever seen Ian turn so red so fast before. Hehehe! Awwwww, it was CUTE!
I wonder if Stevie's little 'be yourself' message is going to play a hand in those two love bugs finally taking the plunge? I don't think they've ever exchanged a look like that before. Then again, I don't think our school has ever really had an out and proud student like that before. At least not on that level.
Wow...Stevie told the whole school that he was gay. What does this mean for the rest of us? It just feels like one of those game changing moments that's bound to lead to more down the road. More opportunities, more accomplishments, more problems, more whispers. But who knows? For the first time....it doesn't seem all that scary to me. I'm kinda glad that I was here for that. It seems like the perfect way to kick off the last few weeks of the school year and push forward into Summer.
Anyway, my head is buzzing. I'm thinking too much again. And I've got sooooo much more to do before bed. But....I don't know. I'm smiling right now. Life isn't perfect, but I feel energized somehow. Who would have thought that Stevie would have been the one to put a smile on my face? I swear, I don't get this world at all anymore. Ugh!
Gotta run. I'll write more soon.