My name is Darien E. Richardson. The E in my name is Elanea, which was my grandmothers name, who died shortly before my birth. Because of this, my mother decided that I should be my grandmother's namesake. My father didn't object to it, but didn't like it just the same. He was the kind of person who thought that anything feminine would harm a boy's...masculinity. We lived in a small town in the middle of North Carolina, called "Outbrook". It wasn't exacty New York City or anything, it was more like that town that Clark Kent used to live in with his adopted human family. It had the necessary buildings you needed for a town, school, market, post office, etc. It was the type of town that had no secrets, and wouldn't let you keep a secret either...
I remember the first time I went to school, and we had to
present ourselves. I still remember the laughter from the class
when I said that my middle name was Elanea. It was the first time
I thought anything was wrong with my name at all. I was proud to
be my grandmother's namesake! But, however, once people find what
they think is a weakness inside of you, the attack like lions in
the safari. From then on, most of my peers would insist on
calling me "Elanea," and not by my first name. To them,
the thought of a boy having a girl's name was a riot! But it only
made me more protective, and it made me want to stand up to them
more and more every day. Once I had rid myself of the shame, I
started to get into fights, saying that no one would bring my
grandmother disrespect. I held my own ground, and was offered
respect in return. If someone ever called me by my grandmother's
name first, it was instant death wish. I remember my mother being
appalled by my acts of violence, but my father was overjoyed. It
scared me a little. I asked him, " Why are you so happy I
beat someone up?"
"Why? Beacause it means you aren't a faggot!"
"Howard!" my mother replied.
It shocked me. My father was showing open prejudice , and it didn't phase him at all! As a kid, I had never been thinking about my being gay. It had never even occured to me the whole time. Just because of a name, 5 simple letters, it was possibile that I could be gay!
The thought was ridiculous. But, it had made me started thinking. Even though I knew it was probably wrong (my parents were strict Christians), it made me start to think of what it would be like to be gay, to like another man. It seems to me that sometimes for people, the things that people say are wrong are the only things you think about sometimes...
As I grew over the years, not only did I take a liking for athletics, but I also took a liking for the arts. As I started to play footbal, I also wrote poetry, and learned how to play the piano and the violin. Of course, I kept the violin part a secret from everyone except my music teacher. When I was in 7th grade, I had asked him if he could give me lessons to play. He agreed, but only on the terms that I would master playing it and not just take it as a stupid hobby. I kept my word on it, practicing every chance I could get without my father around. I felt that if I didn't fit the illusion that I had created for him, I would let him down and feel unbearable guilt...
By the time I was 17 and a senior in high school, most people proclaimed that I practically owned Outbrook high. Even though I wasn't valedictorian or anything, I was the quarterback for our team and with my help (or so they say),we won some state championships. But away from the leering eyes of the school, not only was I in the best teen symphony in the state, but as the concert master. The best instrument players from all the schools in North Carolina would auditon for the symphony. I was recommended by my teacher to go for the auditons, so I went there and didn't break a sweat. Later I had learned that I had passed with flying colors.
It was the beginning of the school year, and I saw nothing standing in my way of what I wanted. Even my love life was finally balanced. The question if I was straight or not had resolved itself... There was this girl I had my eye on for a while. Her name was Brooke, and she was the most wanted girl in the entire Outbrook student body. There had been rumors that even girls wanted her. She was made to be Prom Queen.
Yep, nothing could stand in my way....
That is, except for Brian Mills.
Brian was from New York, and when his parents divorced, his
mom brought him to Outbrook. He wasn't different from most guys,
except for one detail :
he was an out-of-the-closet gay. In one class, someone brought up the topic about how there were no gay people in this day and age. He didn't mean it as an insult to gays or anything, he had just never seen them before. Then Brian stood up and said to the whole class :
"Well, um..as a matter of fact, I'm gay."
The class was silent. No one had ever heard of anyone being so different in such a rural town before today. Even the teacher was speechless.
" That's...good for you, um, Ryan," the teacher said with a stutter.
"Brian. It's Brian Mills, sir."
By the end of the school day even the faculty had heard about the out-and-proud rebel. He had to be a rebel, of course, to have the audacity to just announce your sexuality to the school! Some people had already started rumors about him. My best friend, Garrett, was one of those people.
" Hey, D?" he said on the way home. We didn't live that far away from the school, so we just walked. I had a car, of course, but driving would just be a waste of gas money.
" Yeah man?" I replied.
" Did you hear about the new kid from New York?"
" Ryan..Brian Millardson or something?"
" Brian Mills, yeah. I heard he came out of the closet in the middle of Mr. Kieslers class. That fag."
" You mean, as in I'm-gay-out-of-the-closet-closet?"
" Yeah man. I heard he looking for a fuck buddy, man. Hey, you better watch your ass."
I had never really realized what jerks some people could be at times. Garrett had always been a bit vulgar and rough around the edges, but I'd never seen him so hostile to a person that he hasn't even meet before.
"Um.. yeah man, my ass is covered," I said, and put my hands on the back of my jeans to support his sign of ignorance.
" Hey, what are you doing tonight? There's a party at Brad's house, man, you gotta come with me."
( I had also never realized how much he used the word "man," either.) " No thanks, I'm busy tonight."
" Doin' what?"|
" None of your damn business. It's friday, I'll do whatever the hell I wanna do." I had to get him off me today, I was going to the State symphony practice tonight, which was mandatory for all players. I knew that if I told Garrett, of all people, he would have put me in the same boat as this Brian guy.
" All right, it's your loss. Once the cops get there and break it up, it'll be nothing left. No beer, no girls..."
" No thanks." I said. I was never that much of a party person anymore. I knew that parting was half the fun of being in the "jock squad," as the athletic section of the school was called by its intellectual oppressors, but it just didn't appeal to me anymore. Unlike Garrett, the party animal...
We had stopped right in front of his house, when he made a notion to the other side of the street.
It was the first time I had ever seen Brian...
He was white with black hair, was 6' and had that nice skin tone I had always wanted. He wasn't as muscle bound as myself and the people on my football team, but you could see he wasn't a slouch, either. But that wasn't what made the first impression about him. I had a sixth sense about people, and just by looking, I could tell what kind of person he was. He was outgoing, charismatic, waling around with a golden heart and not a care in the world. It didn't matter to him that he was gay. All that mattered was his happiness....
" ...Darien! Hey, Elanea!"
"... What?" I realized that I had been staring at Brian when he walked past me. This wasn't good, especially with Garrett hanging around me..
" Darien, I'm going in, man. Talk to ya later."
And with that he went in his house.
I didn't realize what I was doing. Was I actually staring at another guy? I was admiring a well known homosexual's body! This was too much for me to handle. I had been with girls all my life ( making out and the like, I was still a virgin) but there was still a part of me that just wasn't...satisfied. Maybe it was because of the weather. It was the beginning of August, and it was pretty hot for pre-autumn standards. I decided to drive to the concert hall were they were having the Symphony practice, and ask no more silly sexuality questions to myself.
When I finally arrived at the concert hall, I realized that I
had just made it in time. The concert hall was located on a local
college campus in North Carolina. I grabbed my violin and headed
straight for the main auditorium.
I'm really not sure why I was feeling the way I was. I got the feeling that I usually get when I'm playing a game against another team, or when I'm playing in front of a crowd of people in an orchestra. Was it anxiety? I'm not sure why I got that feeling, but it was intense. My instincts were telling me something was going to happen...
" Boo! "
"Ack!" I turned around. It was Paula and Chris, my two friends at my orchestra.Cracking up. Ha ha.
" Did you see how white you looked! It was so funny!" Paula joked. It was just harmful teasing between us three. Neither one got mad at the other for doing anything stupid and (supposedly) funny.
" I'm this 'white' everyday. What's your point?" I fired back.
" Hey, you're going the wrong way, D. I saw you when I was going to the soda machine when you went down the wrong hallway, so I thought I'd point you in the right direction," Chris explained. Just like him to scare the crap out of someone...
" So Mr. Keller hasn't started yet? " I asked.
" Nope, we're still waiting for people to get here. But there's this one guy I don't know..." Paula mentioned.
" Is he a new guy?"
" No, no, he's..come on, we need to get back anyway. We'll show you..."
When we got to the auditorium, there was this one guy in the
front rows of the stage. He was wearing a white dress shirt, a
sports jacket and black khakis. So most people would have thought
that he was just a instrument player, just like the rest of us.
And yet, there was something famillar about him. I couldn't see
him, I was in the far back of the stage entrance where the
entrance doors were with Chris and Paula. Looking on at the
stranger, Paula started to comment.
" He was here when the conductor arrived. Said he was a "lover of the arts" or something like that.
" Hey, he could be a stalker." Chris thought.
" Get real! What kind of stalker would be that stupid? This is a university, you know the cops are just waiting to take people in like that for the very thought of stalking kids." Paula snapped. " Hey Darien, why don't you talk to him, you're the jock around here."
Sigh. Whenever it came for me to do anything physical around here, It's up to the "Outbrook Jock" to do it. Since no one else I knew went to my school, I was open to be myself. Of course, sometimes being yourself has its disadvantages. Besides, who else would do it?
So I head on down to this guy and tap him on the shoulder.
" Um, excuse me, sir, but I was just wondering what you're doing here..."
And that's when he turned around and said,
" Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing, 'Outbrook Jock.' "
Well, If you want to email me about my story, my email is Neo_Vincent@hotmail.com I would love to hear from some people, as I'm kinda new at this and I'm still learning...C-ya! ^_^