Abbi Bossi

Artwork By Abbi Bossi from Central Vpa high School

Don't Tell Him I said That Though

Short Story by Emma Miller from McKinley CLA High School


The world is full of people telling you how to love. Like who you love is such a choice. If it was a choice, how come people “choose” to be alone? Why would I choose this? Though, the more I think about love, the more I remember his smile, and the stupid gigle he has when I bang my knee against the desk leg. It’s not like he doesn’t run into things more often than I do. He’s a giant! It’s so annoying. Annoyingly amazing. It’s like I can’t get him out of my head! I better go. I can hear my mom getting home from work. It must be pretty late then.


Man, getting up this morning for school was brutal. I shouldn’t have stayed up that late. Mom doesn’t get home from her Tuesday work shifts until early Wednesday morning. Unlike her, I actually have to get up on Wednesday, and my eyelids feel like they weigh a ton. Good thing I didn’t have Mrs. Habner today. Class with “the Hammer” on very little sleep would have been awful.


There’s something about the way he smiles. His toothy grin is adorable, the way he gets excited about the little things. His eyes light up, and if he laughed hard enough, little tears would squeak out of the corners of his eyes. His laugh is contagious and could be caught by anyone around him, especially me. But he’s my best friend. Nothing will ever happen. And he doesn’t know. He can’t know. Telling him would change everything. The only outlook I can see is losing him. Being his friend has to be enough. Supporting him every time a girl breaks his heart. But my heart breaks too. Every time. And, as always, I have to remind myself that any closer, and he would be gone. I would lose the beautiful smile, the eyes that say “I see you”, and the red hair almost long enough for the dreaded man bun. On a side note, the man bun on Jacob wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world (don’t tell him I said that though). I can’t lose him. Lose all the movie nights, the fact that any Disney movie will make him cry. Lose all the football games, cheering him on from the stands, and the milkshakes after. How I would lose it all if he knew I was gay.

Wow. I’m gay. I’ve never written it out before. I guess that makes it real, somehow?


It’s taken a few days for the last thing I wrote to sink in. I mean, I knew, but writing it down just makes it real. I can’t take it back anymore. It’s not like I’m gonna tell anyone, but it’s always at the back of my mind. On a good note, Jacob has a football game this week, so that’s all he’s gonna want to talk about. That means I can just sit and listen, and not have to worry about saying the wrong thing. I’d better go do the homework. I left until this evening that I probably shouldn’t have.


Once again, my mom’s stuck on the night shift, and once again, I’m up wayyy too late for someone who has school in the morning. Only this time, I actually have Mrs. Habner tomorrow. At least Jacob and I sit in the back together. We can usually get away with a bit of conversation if we pay enough attention to answer any questions she may send our way. It’s not like Jacob cares that much about her class anyway. He doesn’t even need the class to graduate. He only took it because I need it. Besides, he already has a scholarship for football. I’m still waiting to see if I get the full ride. It would be cool to go to the same school as Jacob, and he seems to think I’ll get it, but I don’t know. There’s still the selection process, and I don’t even know if I’m a finalist.


I’m on the bus right now and I’m kind of panicking. My mom was in an accident. She said she’s fine, but the car’s not. Which is why I’m on the bus at 3 o’clock in the morning, panicking. I didn’t get many details on the phone, but from the sounds of it, we’re not going to have to pay for it, which is good. It was a drunk driver, and he t-boned the right side of the car. She didn’t have to say it, but I bet she’s really lucky it wasn’t the left side. I’m lucky I’m on the way to the repair shop, and not the hospital. She could’ve been hurt, or worse. On top of that, she doesn’t know I’m gay. I just don’t know how she’d react if I told her. There are so many what-ifs, and not a lot I can control. On the bright side, I might not have to go to school tomorrow. Actually, school is today, but whatever. My stop’s coming up.


I was right in that mom was lucky. I saw the car. It was a mess of twisted metal and the occasional busted car seat. That freaked me out a bit. I was also right in that I didn’t have to go to school. I ended up sleeping most of the day, at least until Jacob came over after practice to give me my homework. He was all sweaty, but I let him sit on my bed anyway as we talked about the drama I missed today. Not that I really care, but Jacob just likes to talk about it. He’s never really involved, but he always seems to know what’s going on. I don’t understand it. Anyway, I really wish I could’ve talked to him about the whole “coming out to my mom” dilemma/situation. That would’ve gone well. “Oh yeah, you don’t know this MAJOR thing about me, but I want to tell my mom, and I don’t know how. Any ideas?” Yeah, that would’ve gone great.


I did it. I just went right out and said it. She took it so well that I almost started crying out of relief. Her exact words were, and I quote, “Okay. I’m still going to have grandbabies, right? I don’t care if they’re adopted or not.” We were in the rental car after school, because Jacob had practice, and I just blurted it out. “I’m gay.” No warning. Nothing. And she didn’t even seem freaked out by it. She said that I should tell Jacob, because she could tell. That was the end of the conversation, but I really wanted to press. Because she could tell, does that mean others could tell as well? Could Jacob? It doesn’t matter. I can’t tell him. I mean, I could, I guess. It went well with my mom, but it could go horribly wrong with him. And even if he didn’t care, there’s no way he likes me back. He’s had girlfriends, but they’ve never lasted. Could he? No. Nevermind. It was a stupid idea anyway. I should get some sleep. I’m watching Jacob’s football game tomorrow after school. Hopefully it doesn’t rain.


I could kick myself right now. Last night, after Jacob’s win, we went to get milkshakes to celebrate. My stupid self almost told him! That would’ve ruined everything! Anyways, stupid moment aside, it was nice to just hang out and not talk about anything serious. I think the most serious we got was at the end of the night when I remembered I find out about the full ride today. I am a mess of nerves tangled up in a blanket of anxiety. If I get the scholarship, I get to go to college with Jacob, and my mom can drop a few extra shifts from work. If I don’t… well then I’m utterly screwed. There’s no way I can go. I know that loans aren’t the worst thing in the world, but I don’t want my mom to worry, you know She’d take it upon herself to try and help out, and she shouldn’t have to do that. I know my resume and grades are good enough, but did I impress them in the interview? I honestly can’t remember much of it, and the most vivid part was the guy in a suit shaking my sweaty hand afterward. I hope that handshake was a good sign.


YES! I got the scholarship! The handshake was a good sign! I can’t wait to tell Jacob about it! He’s going to be so excited. At least until I tell him about the other thing. You know, the thing. The thing I’ve been avoiding. I feel like at this point, if I don’t tell him, he’ll figure it out when we’re roommates next year. It’s not like I’ve ever been a good liar, like, ever. So, I’m going to tell him tomorrow after school. He doesn’t have practice, and my mom has to work, so he’s driving me home. I’ll wait until we get to my house, but honestly, Jacob will probably know something’s up. I’d rather have some uncomfortable silence than have to walk home, especially since it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Again.


That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, and he only had four words to respond with. Just, “I have to go.” He must’ve said it four times at least before he drove off, and left me standing in the pouring rain, like some stupid love song. Like any of those love stories are real. He didn’t come back. I would know; I waited for the better part of an hour on my front porch, but to no avail. I just lost one of my best friends, and it’s all my fault. I guess I’m gonna need to start searching for a new roommate for next year.


I probably shouldn’t have sat on my front porch crying in the rain for that long. I was bound to get sick. At least I got out of seeing Jacob today. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look him in the face again. My mom finally left me alone long enough to pull out my journal, and I don’t even know what to write. Aside from the stuffy nose and fever, I feel almost numb. How am I supposed to get through senior year, let alone college, avoiding someone I have half my classes with? I’d better go. My mom always gets so uptight when I get sick. She probably wants to shove more soup down my throat.


I was wrong, okay? Everything I said about losing Jacob was wrong. When I went downstairs to see what my mom wanted. She didn’t say anything and just pointed to the front hallway with a cheesy grin on her face. As I turned the corner, wrapped in a giant fuzzy blanket, Jacob, was standing there. I turned, embarrassed, and ready to go hide in my room, but Jacob’s voice stopped me. He said something I had only ever dreamed of. “I’m gay too.” Those three words were much more powerful than the four of his initial response to my coming out. I couldn’t seem to find the words, so instead of a normal response, I fired off three rapid-fire sneezes. How romantic. Jacob laughed and wrapped me and my fuzzy blanket in a giant bear hug. Best feeling in the world. We spent hours cuddling in my room and just talking about, well, everything. About how stupid it was that we never said anything, and we even said three words that made my heart skip a few beats. I told Jacob that I love him. And he said it back! Maybe that was the best feeling. I’m having a lot of good feelings today. As cheesy as it sounds, I might’ve lost a friend. But in return, I gained something even better.