Lilly-Anne sat opposite me at the table. I couldn’t bring myself to sit next to her right now. Not after what I had just done. I used the excuse that it’s easier to see her pretty face and she responded by saying that I made a very gay comment. My mother said I was just being sweet and romantic. Of course my mother would think that. My mother had attempted to cook a roast dinner. That was sweet of her, but she burned the chicken and the potatoes. The chicken was edible but the potatoes weren’t so I whipped up some mash. We were silent while we ate. I had a lot on my mind right now. It was painfully obvious too.
My mother was trying desperately to hold back her tongue and not ask me about it. Lilly just didn’t seem to care that I was having a problem. Perhaps she was too. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Lilly-Anne had cheated on me as well. That would certainly pull a load off my mind. It would ease up my conscience just a little bit.
“Excuse me.” She said and made her way out of the room. She headed up the stairs. I know because I heard her footsteps. So she was going to the toilet.
“What’s going on Nathan?” My mother asked, no longer being able to hold back her tongue. I shrugged.
“Nothing. I’m just thinking.” I replied. She rose an eyebrow at me. When she did that, it meant she wasn’t believing me. “I’m thinking about my sexuality.”
She placed down her fork onto her food and rested her elbows on the table. Her hands clasp together and her chin lay on top of them. She was staring at me. I couldn’t figure out whether she was going to make herself upset because I’m thinking I might not be straight, or whether she was going to be pleased for me. She’s a really confusing woman.
“What sexuality are you thinking you are?”
“Bisexual… Or pan. I don’t know yet.” Possibly even gay. I don’t know if I think of Lilly in a sexual way.
“Have you ever thought about having sexual relations with a man?” She asked. What do I say to that? If she is going to say that just because I haven’t thought about it with a man then I’m automatically straight because that’s not how it works. And the fact is yes I have. But I can’t tell her that. Here’s the bigger question. Have I ever thought about having sexual relations with a female?
Lilly came back down at this point. She took her seat.
“Sorry about that. My mum called.” So she didn’t go to the toilet. “What are you guys talking about?” I looked at my mum with eyes that pleaded her not to say anything to Lilly, but mum’s. When do they ever listen?
“Nathan here was saying how he thinks he’s bisexual.”
“That’s pretty normal. Most kids these days are pan or bi or even gay. It’s hard to find a straight person in our generation.” Lilly spoke. I bit my lip with nervousness. I don’t understand why they are so okay with this, and why Lilly, of all people, isn’t freaking out. Surely, me saying I’m bisexual demonstrates that I have been, at the very minimum, eyeing up men.
She looked at me with a smile. I’m pretty sure I have a look on my face which is of guilt and confusion. Probably at least one of them. By the time we had finished dinner, after discussing school and politics and other boring things like that, my mother went to do the dishes and I was left with Lilly on her own.
“So how is Tony?” She asked. I shrugged. I didn’t feel like answering that. It would compromise everything. “You don’t know? I thought he had replaced Matt as your best friend. Or at least Matt thinks that.”
“Why does Matt think that?” I asked. I had my thumbs on the table. It was something I did when I was nervous, I gripped onto the table tightly with my thumbs on top. Lilly looked at me. She’d noticed. Of course she had noticed.
“Nathan, you have been spending a lot of time with him.” She explained. “If I didn’t know better, I would have said that you were dating him or something.” My grip on the table tightened, but it was subtle so she probably (hopefully) didn’t pick up on it.
Lilly-Anne left not long after that. If she had stayed any longer, I reckon I would have burst. I would have blurted out everything that Tony and I have done. Regret. I regret doing it. But at the same time, I don’t. I was enjoying myself. I’ve never enjoyed myself so much. When I’m with Lilly and we are going at it, she puts her hand on my crotch and I just knock it off. I tell her I’m not ready, but the truth is I don’t like it. I don’t like her touching me sexually. Kissing, I can handle kissing. I love kissing. But touching. That’s a big no no for me.
Going to bed that night was torture. Every time I closed my eyes, I picture telling Lilly-Anne and her crying. I hate it when she cries. When she cries, especially if it’s my fault, I feel a wave of guilt over flow me as if I were laid at the bottom of a river. I feel like drowning.
I think it became evident to everyone else that I had something on my mind. At school the next day, at least 5 strangers came up to me and asked me if everything was alright. I didn’t realise that it was that obvious that I wasn’t alright. In furnace, I had pretty much said nothing all day and I was kind of avoiding people. That’s when Matt jumped on my back without me expecting it. Dirt doesn’t taste very nice at the best of times, but when you have a 6’2 male sat on your back, it tastes even worse.
“Okay, spill it.” Matt said. He got off my back and helped me up. We headed over to a bench and sat there.
“Spill what?” I asked. I crossed my legs like a primary school kid, who is sitting on the floor. My hands laid on my knees, but my fingers tapping with nerves.
“Lilly-Anne says you’re bisexual now and that gay guy you have been hanging out with has vanished from school.” He said. “So I think, you’ve been sleeping with him.”
My face went red. Of course Matt, of all people, would jump straight to that conclusion.
“How did you get that idea? That doesn’t explain why he’s not here.” But I wasn’t denying that I was bi. Yes I was bisexual and it was because of him.
“I don’t know.” He tapped his chin. “But that guy better be a boyfriend and not you’re new best friend, because I am your best friend and no one will replace me.” He put his hand on his chest. I let out a loud sigh and smiled. I nodded.
“Yes, you are my best friend, but no. He isn’t my boyfriend.” I told him. He wrapped his arms around me and smiled.
“He is so your boyfriend.” He said. I didn’t want to admit it.
“No. I am dating Lilly. Not Tony.” I laughed. I was trying to brush it off, but for some bizarre reason, Matt just wasn’t accepting it. He kissed my cheek.
“Okay, then you’re cheating on Lilly.” I got up. I wasn’t going to listen to that. So I was cheating on her, but hearing it said out loud hurt me. I wasn’t raised that way. Being a cheater is not natural for me. Then again, Lilly was my first girlfriend so being a cheater could be me.
My phone buzzed. Apparently someone had messaged Lilly saying I was into guys, which she already knew, but they were giving her harassment about it. She linked me to a website and when I got on it, I was appalled by what I saw.
They had sent her hate messages saying that she deserved to be dumped for harbouring a gay and making him think he was straight. That wasn’t true at all.
Some of them had sent photos where they edited Lilly’s face onto a naked man’s body. It was disgusting. I could see why she was upset by this.
I got a text from Tony.
‘Music room. I need you. Hurry. Fast.’ Tony had sent. He sent various other messages saying he needed me and I needed to hurry. It worried me, so I ran to the music room.
Tony was sat in the room. He was looking out of the window. The window was a one way one, meaning you could look out but not in. That was lucky because Tony was in a very bad shape. His face was bruised and swollen to pieces and he was on crutches. I walked up to him and gently placed my hand on his shoulder. He jumped and looked at me.
“Nathan.” He whispered. His voice sounded hoarse and broken.
“What happened?” I asked. He looked at me and teared up. Tony is someone I have never seen cry before, but he was crying now. I hugged him gently.
It took him a while to open up about it, but basically it was his parents.
Tony’s parents are homophobic, which I knew. We were too loud when we were together. His father beat him up, hence the face, and then pushed him down the stairs, which broke his leg. When they took him to the hospital they had told the doctor that he had been beaten up at school. Tony was a mess.
I feel bad for Tony, and I know how I shouldn’t have because if anyone else found out what I had done with him, he wouldn’t be the only one in that position. But still I felt bad because it was my fault. If I hadn’t slept with him, none of this would have happened, and he wouldn’t be in this mess.
I want to understand why I have feelings for him. I want to understand why you can have sex with him, but I can’t do that with my girlfriend. What is it about him that I am so attracted to? Is it just because he’s a guy? Or is it something more?
As I stayed with him in the music room, my empathy for him grew. I think I am in love with him, and that was something that was very difficult for me to admit. When I first got with Lilly, it took me five months before I was able to tell her that. Not because I didn’t love her, but because I didn’t have the courage to tell her. Do I have the courage to tell Tony?
I don’t know very much about Tony. I don’t know if he feels the same way, and that petrifies me. I cannot risk being rejected by someone like Tony. If I tell him, it has to be because I am certain he likes me back. Imagine if I told him, and he laughed in my face. The thought of it makes me feel sick. And that is why I am scared to tell him. Not that Tony would be the type of person to do that, but it has happened to me before.
Tony looked at me, his eyes were full of sadness. The empathy was coming back. My stomach started to hurt.
“I need to tell you something.” He said that made me worry, what did he want to tell me? He leaned into me and laid his head on my shoulder. “I think I love you. You do have to say it back, as I know you probably don’t feel the same way, and even if you did, your type of person who has trouble saying it. But just know, that is how I feel.”
My heart started to race. He just told me that he loved me, just after I pretty much had an anxiety attack about me being able to tell him that I loved him. So, what do I do now?
“I love you too,” I said. When I didn’t really say it, more muttered it. It was enough to make perk up. He now had a smile on his face. I didn’t think I would see him smiling in the condition he was in. It made me smile as well. But then I remembered, I have a girlfriend. Now I have to make a decision. Do I stay with Lilly? Or, do I break up with her, and asked Tony out? Which would make me happier?
Tony smiled. He knew I had a girlfriend. He knew that from the beginning. And yet, he was smiling. It might have been because he had managed to get me to admit that I was in love with him. It also made been because he had proven that I was not a straight man. I do know what I was at this point. I had told my mother that I was bisexual, but what if I was just gay?
It’s very reasonable to think that I might just be gay. I have never had sex with Lilly, and I have dated her for a long time. We attempted it several times, but I have never been able to pull through. It wasn’t because I did love her. I loved her to pieces. And I know that I love her. I will always love her. But I love Tony as well. Perhaps, it is time that I tell her the truth. I am really scared to tell her the truth. But I am sure, that Lilly and I will be all right.
And so, I decided what I was going to do. I was going to break up with Lilly-Anne. But how I was going to do it, was still a mystery to me. I couldn’t just tell her. That would be immoral, and extremely cruel. I am not a cruel person. I don’t want to be known as one.
It took me a while to come up the plan. But eventually, I figured out what I had to do. I had to convince Lilly-Anne to come to my house again for dinner, only this time it was going to be a heartbreaking moment for both of us. I felt incredibly bad, and my stomach started to hurt. I was feeling sick. If this doesn’t go to plan, I have no idea what I’m going to do. I can’t lose a person like Lilly. Not completely. If I did, I would lose my mind. She is such a kind, caring, and lovable person. It kind of feels like I have led her on since I got with her. But I never led her on, I love her. But I shouldn’t be with her, if I am gay, which I am. At least I think I am gay.
“Lilly,” I called and ran after her down the corridor at school, like I was a man possessed. She looked at me softly. She had a red face, for some reason. I didn’t make her have a red face, so why was she blushing.
“Hey.” She said. “So, I was thinking. It’s time we actually had sex.” I looked at her. That makes sense. She was thinking about having sex with me and so she was blushing. That made perfect sense.
Lilly was drawing in her notepad today. I only really saw her do that when she was happy. It made me feel sick because I knew I was going to destroy that happiness.
“Lilly, I can’t do it.” I said. I sounded so nervous. She closed her book and looked at me.
“Yes you can.” She smiled, “You’re just nervous because you haven’t done it before. I haven’t done it before either. Don’t worry, it’ll go fine because you’re doing it with me.”
Except I had done it before, only it wasn’t with Lilly-Anne. At that moment, lots of emotions overwhelmed me. So much had happened because of my relationship with Tony. He had been beaten by his dad. And I was going to crush Lilly.
It was at that moment that I just ran away from her. Guilt filled me up. I didn’t see what she looked like when I ran, but I was told that she had the look of confusion and shock. She looked pretty much how I felt.
I felt incredibly sick and I didn’t move from bed for the next few days. My mother started to worry. I barely moved, I barely ate. Even Matt couldn’t move me when he came to visit. Letting out a groan, he grabbed my feet and pulled me out of the bed by my ankles. I let out a yelp as I fell to the floor, but this didn’t have the result that he was hoping for. I just curled up on the floor and whined.
“You’re being a pussy” Matt said. I didn’t care. I felt rotten. Texts were coming through on my phone. I assume they were from Lilly and Tony. But I wasn’t in the mood for either of them. Them too were just too much for me right now. The sick feeling started to grow more and more as time went by. I felt truly rotten. Matt definitely noticed. Of course he did, he’s been my best friend for years.
“Lilly asked me to have sex with her…” I mumbled. He looked at me.“So do it?” He questioned.
“But I already had sex with Tony.”
“Then don’t do it.” He was no help. I sat up. My stomach was flipping. He looked me up and down.
“You look really rough.” He said. He stood up and offered me a hand. “Come on.” He said.
“Just come on.” I took his hand. He made me get dressed and then we headed out. I didn’t know where we were going, but knowing Matt, it was probably a party or something. I didn’t want to go to a party. The thought of it reminded me of how I met Tony, and that just made me feel worse. Wherever we were going though, it didn’t seem like I had a choice of whether I actually wanted to go or not.