Attention: LGBTQ+ story
The first thing I noticed was that Vicky's eyes had changed. It didn't matter to me that her once soft, honey hair was now cropped short and purple, or that she had pierced her nose and ears. I hated that her eyes changed. I felt like that was the only part of her I still had, and now it was gone. My eyes had stayed the same, sea green with a rim of brown. Vicky's had once looked almost exactly the same, but now they were hard and brown. We used to be proud of them, like we had some special power that others didn't. In fact, it was noticing each other's eye colors that brought us together.
I stare straight into the brown lense of her contacts as she got closer. She's wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans, with her short purple hair up in a small pony-tail.
I look at myself, in my pastel tank top, long, straightened blonde hair, and white shorts. I just can't help but feel that Vicky didn't try, that she didn't care and just threw on something and came. Maybe that's exactly what she did. I was the one who wanted to meet up, so what should I have expected?
"Hi," I wave. She doesn't say anything back. Instead, she sits down on the bench beside me, staring out into the park. I chose Caster Bay Park because of the view. From the bench, you can see the big field of tall grass spreading out until it converts into a harbor, where the water lays for miles and miles and miles.
The water in Caster Bay is clear and cold, the color of my eyes. I try and wash away the memories of swimming there with Vicky, before, when everything was alright.
"How has the business been," I say, trying again. Vicky opened up a small business selling homemade candles almost a year ago. One of my favorite scents she made was Vanilla Lavender. I can almost smell it, the past seeping into my thoughts.
"You can quit the small talk, Emma. I don't need it," Vicky says, her voice un-toned and hard.
I grimace at the un-kindness that I deserve.
"I'm sorry," I whisper, instantly wishing that I could take it back. Of course I'm sorry, and she knows that. It doesn't change the fact that I broke her.
She doesn't respond right away, so I stare out into the park like her. The grass sways with the breeze, like a slow dance. Leaves billow out from tree branches, flying in the wind like airplanes. There's a couple walking a dog along one of the park trails, laughing at each other. I wish Vicky and I could be like that again.
"Of course you are," she whispers, and then turns to me. A single tear trickles down her pale cheek. "And the thing is, I loved you, Emma. I really did. I thought you loved me too, and then you ruined everything."
I suck in a sharp breath.
"I'm sorry," I repeat. "I loved you, Vicky, and I still do,"
"If you had, you would have cared enough to tell them," she replies sharply.
My mind brings me back to the moment where Vicky kisses me in front of my parents.
They gasp, mouths frozen open on their faces. They looked disappointment or shocked, or a mixture of both.
"What the Hell!" My dad yells. "Get out of here, Victoria. Get the Hell out!"
Vicky's face was full of hurt, and she didn't move until my parents practically dragged her out of the house.
She was staring at me the entire time, as if waiting for me to say "Just kidding! I already told my parents!"
I wish I could.
I had told Vicky that I had told my parents I was lesbian. No, correction. I lied to Vicky that I had told my parents I was lesbian.
She refused to talk to me after that, and now, almost two months later, here we are.
"I don't know," I whisper. "I don't know why I didn't tell them. I was, not embarrassed, but, scared, I guess. That they wouldn't approve."
Vicky snorts. "Well, now we know that they don't,"
I look at my lap, fiddling with my fingers. Vicky is this strong girl who's funny and kind and made me smile. She was my other half, and now that she's gone, I am incomplete. Even my parents are starting to notice that.
I wish I had told them earlier. Vicky brought me joy and happiness, and that's what they would want for me. Right?
God, this is so confusing. One moment, I'm walking into my house next to my girlfriend, and the next, my parents are screaming at me and her. One moment Vicky is here, the next, she's not, and my life becomes a mess.
I stare at Vicky's purple hair and her brown eyes.
A pang of anger stabs me, and suddenly, I don't understand all of this. Why can't Vicky just forgive me? Why can't she understand that I made a mistake and move on? Why can't we be together anymore? Why is my life such a mess? There are endless questions to ask, but I settle on something simple.
"You changed your eye color," I mumble. When Vicky turns to me, I look away, suddenly wishing I could hop into the cold, crashing waves of the bay and float away.
Vicky scoffs, and I look up, avoiding eye contact. "Why do you even care, honestly. It was a stupid thing that we laughed about,"
"It mattered to me," I say. "I liked that we had that in common,"
Vicky stays quiet.
Why didn't you tell us, Emma? You're dating a girl?
I'm sorry! I- I was going to tell you, but -
No buts, Emma Jay Wilson. What the Hell?
If only I'd said "Well, if you don't approve, then, okay. I love her, and that's my decision."
Life is full of those moments, where you wish you could take something back. If you had just said what was hanging off the edge of your tongue, everything could have been different.
"I told my brother first," Vicky whispers abruptly, looking down. Her lips tremble with each word. "I was as scared as heck that he would hate me, but he smiled and told me 'okay.'"
I'm sorry, Vicky! I was stupid, so stupid. You know what, I don't even care anymore. I'm gonna let the whole world know. I'm lesbian, people! You hear that? I! Am! A! Lesbian!
I don't say that, though, because even though I hate myself for it, I do care. I don't not want people to know, but I don't want them to resent me for it.
"I don't deserve this." I spit out. "I don't deserve you, I never did."
Vicky doesn't say a word.
"Hey, do you wanna come to my house? We could use the new cupcake maker I bought."
"Sure, Emma. Love ya."
"Love ya too, Vic."
The sky was perfect, a crisp blue. Clouds rimmed the very edge of the sky, just peeking out from behind the tall, towering trees. We walk together, arms linked, towards my house.
She kisses my cheek, and we smile because the world brought us together.
I had no idea that I would be the one who would tear us apart.
"Will you ever forgive me?" I ask.
The wind ruffles my hair, sending it flying around my face. Vicky's short brown hair shields her eyes, and she lifts her hands to move it. Suddenly, we're face to face.
I'm realizing now how different we are.
Vicky is like a wave, and I'm the sand. She's there, pulling in and out, bringing sand and shells along with her.
I'm the sand, just there, waiting to be pulled into the churning sea.
"I guess, Emma. But it's more than just forgiving."
"Then what is it?"
"I feel like, I feel like you're scared. I know you said you weren't, but I think you don't want people to know. About us. Or, didn't want people to know."
Suddenly I'm mad again, even though the logical part of my brain is pulling the words farther away from my mouth.
Why does she think she's so entitled, that she knows how I feel?
The logical part of my brain isn't fast enough.
"I'm not scared! That's just - ugh! You think you know everything about me, but you don't. Every day of my life has been miserable because I didn't have you, and that's my fault. I was stupid and I am stupid. I'm not," I pause, taking a deep breath. "I'm not scared."
"But you are, Emma. You didn't want people to know."
"I -" I sigh, trying to contain my anger. I feel like a bomb, ready to burst. But that's not fair, because I'm the one who hurt Vicky and I shouldn't be angry. "Vicky, can you just - I don't know, tell me how you feel or something," I grimace at that cliche. "Like, not tell me why you're mad, cause' I know that. Tell me, I guess, how I could make it up to you."
She doesn't say a word.
We stare out into the park in silence. The silence feels normal now, like maybe this was how it was always supposed to be. The silence is a balloon. Words are a needle. We're sitting on the edge of a cliff, and speaking will push us off. But I'm angry, because I want her to forgive me and she won't.
I take the needle and pop the balloon, I push us off the edge.
"Say something," I whisper.
"I have nothing to say," she responds blankly.
The anger fills every part of me, washing the logical part of my brain away like a wave. Vicky can't be serious.
"You can't ignore me forever, Vicky! You know what, fine. I tried to make it up to you, and you didn't want that. I guess I'm not good enough for you, or something. I took everything out of my way so I could meet you here today, because I wanted to apologize. I feel bad, but I made a mistake. I'm a human, and humans do that."
Vicky looks.... like nothing. Her face looks untouched, as if I hadn't said a word.
My brain is flooded with emotion. I can't think straight. Suddenly I'm running, far away from all of this. I half expect Vicky to follow me.
The wind slaps my face as I bolt down the harbor, my hair swinging from side to side. Sweat is plastered to my face as I sit down by the water, letting my tears fall into the water.
Maybe Vicky wasn't right for me.
If she won't forgive me, then I guess it wasn't meant to be.
Suddenly I'm mad at myself because I promised I would never run away from her. But I did, and it almost feels like I ran away from myself. In a good way, though. Like maybe I was running away from my old self. Vicky didn't care to follow me, and for some reason, that doesn't bother me.
I wipe my tears and smile into my rippling reflection in the water.
I can almost imagine walking home, the wind pushing me along. I'll walk inside and reject the hugs from my mother. I'll get dad from his work-call and have them both sit downstairs. I'll look at them with my sea green brown rimmed eyes, and I'll tell them.
Yeah, mom and dad, I'm a lesbian. What are you going to do about it?
And maybe Vicky wasn't my happy ending, but at least everything will be good with my parents. They know, but I'll make it clear.
I turn my head one last time to see Vicky walking away, her short brown hair facing me.
I smile at her.
Your eyes have changed, I think to myself, still grinning at the retreating figure.
But you know what?
Brown suits you better.