As I mentioned in this blog entry, I entered a Flash Fiction challenge despite a) Not having written Flash Fiction before, b) not really having time to enter such challenges and c) not actually knowing what Flash Fiction was. We’re now at the end of the first month of the challenge, and at a four piece per week rate, I should be posting the 15th or 16th piece by now,but reality intruded. That means I’m either going to fail the challenge by not getting enough done,or fail by having a bunch of kind of terrible stories cranked out before midnight. The second type of fail seems more noble,so i may well go for that. Here’s the ninth piece. This one clocks in at 314 words, which fits in my stated goal of “300 – 500 words, hopefully closer to the 300 end.”
I remember it like it was yesterday, thought it was fifteen years ago now. An awkward teenaged boy, fumbling over some basic questions. What should I say? Who should I tell? At the time, they seemed like life-crushing mysteries.
I found the second question way easier to answer than the first. The first person I should tell would be the person I trusted the most. Upon introspection, it surprised me that it was my mother. So, one rainy Sunday evening when my father was out of town, I approached her, scratching the back of my neck like I always do when I’m nervous.
“Mom, I’ve got something to tell you.”
“You’re not in trouble are you?” She looked scared. I’ve always been a closed off person. If I had to read her thoughts in her face, I would guess she was wondering how much it would cost for bail.
Moment of truth time. “No, nothing like that. Mom, I’m gay.” I couldn’t think of a way to break the news gently, so went for directness. She seemed shocked, but unsurprised and even happy to know.
Of course, I managed to shock and surprise her five years later, the next time I discussed my love life with my parents. I introduced them to my fiancée, a woman.
After a bit (okay, a lot) of stammering “but, but aren’t you?” type questions, I clarified a few things.
“While at college, I realized that I didn’t need to limit my choices that much. I guess I’m bisexual. And, yes, she knows,” that last part I directed at my father, who looked ready to ask the obvious question. Oddly, they seemed to have a much harder time grasping the concept of my engagement than they had done with the whole gay thing.
I’m always one for secrets and lies. I wonder when they’ll figure out which was which.