Incognita ran into an old high school friend the other day and after a bit of catch-up, when she told him she had a boyfriend, his face twisted up.
He said, “I thought you were…”
“No, I don’t, and I won’t know until you tell me.”
“Well,” his face turned red with embarrassment. “I heard you were that way.”
Going off a high school rumor, he wasn’t thinking the word bisexual. He wanted to say lesbian and his expression told Nita that he thought of her preference like it was a sickness or affliction.
He wasn’t a bad guy back in high school and probably was still decent, so Nita let him off the hook, saying, “Yeah, I sold out and got myself a boyfriend and a little apartment uptown.”
“I didn’t mean anything by it, I mean it’s your choice and none of my business…it’s just I saw you and that weird goth girl holding hands and kissing in the mall, and I thought…”
“You thought the same thing everyone else thought, that I was a card-carrying member of the Sacred Sisterhood of Lavender. But I kissed you, too, back then, or was it so bad that you don’t remember?”
“I remember, and I was hurt and confused because I thought we had something…”
“We did, we had a moment and it was nice.”
“But I wasn’t enough.”
“I didn’t know what I was doing back then. Nobody was enough because I didn’t know what I wanted. I kissed other boys besides you and other girls, too. I like kissing, sue me. Look, if it’ll make you happy, I’ll give back the toaster oven gift I got for being a switch hitter.”
“I think you’ve got this all wrong…”
“No, I understand it better than you do. You judged me back then, just like you’re judging me now, and you can’t even be decent about it and ask me how I feel, or take a moment out of your day to consider what I was going through. Do you have any idea what it’s like being too queer for the straights and not queer enough for the gays? Having both sides turn their backs on you?”
And that was when her high school friend shut down and the rest of the conversation was nothing more than him issuing a string of apologies over and over again. Incognita stood there longer than she should have and let him say sorry repeatedly because she knew this would be the last time she ever saw him.
©2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys