You meet someone at school, someone you have never noticed before. You become fast friends, close friends. Texts become handwritten notes, Twitter replies become late night phone calls, and then friendly hallway hugs become private kisses in the stairwell. You both know this is wrong, but you’ve never felt this way before, especially not for a man. You want to tell the world, shout it out from the rooftops, but you know what will happen. The whispers in the hall, the judging looks… you know it’s not worth it. Neither of you understand these feelings, neither of you wants to admit what you are. So instead, you keep it for yourselves.
You realize how fun this can be. You are in love, you have this beautiful secret, and you get to share it with her. Late night talks in an abandoned parking lot, memorizing both your parents’ schedules so you know the moment you must vanish from their bedroom, and hours on the phone at night when no one is around to listen. You thrive in this relationship. The excitement of love and the excitement of lying. You lie so often, it starts to come naturally. But this is fun, this is special, this is just for us.
One day you’re alone together in her room, the lights are off. You hear the garage door open. Someone is home. You both begin to panic, you both miscalculated when someone would get back. You know you must leave now. Something feels different when you say goodbye and drive away, you know nothing will be the same. You get a call, she tells you she told her parents, they forbid her from seeing you anymore. The excitement of love, the excitement of lying, they both begin to fade away as you start to remember why you started this lie in the first place. You knew this would happen, you knew this relationship could never be accepted. It’s wrong, it’s different. You know you love her, you don’t understand why this world can’t accept that, you start to hate your secret, you start to hate the lies. But you don’t give up, you both fight for this, and you continue on: together.
As years go by, you both go away to different schools, but you make it work. You slowly share your secret with close friends and you are surprised and delighted by their support. You begin to feel hopeful that one day, there won’t have to be any secrets. But sometimes, the secret it still nice. There is no pressure to post the perfect picture of you both on Instagram. You don’t have to post “I love you” comments on their Facebook wall. There is no need to worry about PDA because you won’t ever be kissing in public. This is easier, you think, you get to enjoy some privacy, you get to be in this together, just the two of you.
But sometimes you wonder what it would be like to hold hands walking down the street, to post a cute picture of the two of you for your anniversary. You post something for her birthday, but you realize it might be too much, what if someone finds out. You must monitor how you speak to her, how you look at her, you are always protecting this secret. You start to envy other couples, you start to hate your secret again. But you don’t give up, except only you fight for this, and you continue on, but not together.
As time passes and the heartbreak heals, you wonder what could have been without the secret, you wonder: was this even real? You decide you will never have to wonder this again. You end your own secret, you expose your own lies, and you accept yourself, and you fight for that, and you continue on.