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Coming of Age Lesbian LGBTQ+

Sitting in class I bit my nails off while half listening to the substitute rambling on about something we have definitely gone over before he came along. I wouldn’t say I’m someone who gets easily distracted though maybe today something is different, I woke up fine and got to school okay but there is that nagging feeling in my stomach. Like there is something sinister moving around in there. I haven´t been able to stop thinking about my encounter last week. She’s sitting in this same class somewhere and I’m deathly afraid to look. I feel her staring though like if she had mind-reading abilities I would be toast right now. I’m sure she doesn’t know just how intimidating she is to someone like me. I can’t stop thinking about it. The courage I’m trying to build feels more like anxiety. I peek behind me knowing she probably won’t notice if she’s talking to her friends but find her staring directly at me, her eyes frosted overlooking like a gorgeous and scary alien. Icy blue eyes do really pierce the soul I think to myself and there and as if she’s heard me she lets out a slight giggle her red waves bouncing along the frame of her face.

Maybe she is an alien or maybe I’m just plain old delusional. Needless to say, I turn back frozen, red in the face with shame, the reason for which I hold no answers. Liking boys is so easy because there is nothing about them to really like or admire, but her, she is so smart and decisive, popular and nice, and did I mention talented? I try to forget her eyes following me around the stage during sound check last week and the near-death experience that was crashing into her backstage and almost kissing. My face looks like a literal clown nose by the end of class and I avoid her easily by slipping away unnoticed. Maybe what I’m feeling is a sickness? A never seen before rash that spreads my two people's faces being mere inches apart. This all feels totally alien to and even as I wash my face in the grimy sink I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong with me. I come up to look at myself in the mirror just as she enters the bathroom looking like a cute redheaded hound searching for something or someone. And then she looks at me.

I turn as if to walk out but she steps closer standing in between me and the door. “Hi” I squeak in the voice of a terrified mouse. “Hey” she says calmly with a smile that to some could pass as a timid smirk. I see a switch go off in her though, her eyes look through me again and she must notice my flustered face and rigid body language because she takes a step back and lets me access the door. I nod to her trying to look apologetic, partly because I know she wants to talk to me, and partly because I would love nothing more than to talk to her forever about anything, and that scares me more than her potentially being an alien.

When I get to my locker and open it I find a little cryptic message inside which I definitely didn’t leave there myself. It’s a crumpled note with nothing written on it except a tiny rainbow square painted in pencil and a little question mark next to it. Instinctively I place it in my pocket and think nothing much of it since I’m too busy freaking out and trying to figure out if girls can like other girls like stupid boys do. The whole idea just seems out of this world really or at least out of mine.

Who can you even ask about this stuff? I would tell mum but She makes big deals about everything. My friends will surely freak more than I am so I’m stuck without knowing. It kills me not to have all the pieces to the puzzle. I close my eyes to gain some clarity magically and be presented with the answer but still find myself stumped. Maybe I just want to be her absolute best friend but find it scary to talk to her, which thinking about it makes no sense since I’ve never been awkward or shy. Or maybe we like the same boy (I don’t know who) and the signals are just temporarily jumbled so I think I like her (the alien theory still stands.) I startle myself with the sound of the bell and open my eyes to head to my next class.

As I walk down hall after hall of older students chatting in their classes I stop dead in my track as I stick my nose into one of the classes to find the same rainbow flag from my note Hanging like a little flag of someone’s pencil case. Comparing the two they are exactly the same colour pattern. Suddenly the answer to the riddle comes to mind. Someone must have wanted to know if I’m from whichever country this flag is from. Though I wish my country had a rainbow flag but alas ours is so boring. I think about asking an older kid what country it's from but I don’t want one of the big kids to think I’m stupid so I shuffle along to my next class on the bottom floor: geography.

Surely if someone at my school is from that country then it must be on a map, and if it’s on a map I’ll find it or the teacher will tell us all about it. I sit impatiently now, this mystery must be unravelled so I can take my mind off the whole girls liking girls debacle. But of course, the universe punishes me by having my teacher running late. I consider standing right by the door, note in hand to show her when she walks in and ask about it but I don’t want to pester or annoy so I fiddle with the note in my hands. I wonder who it’s from… she crosses my mind but it could never be her…right? She doesn’t even know where my locker is let alone know my name ( I know her name though.)

Finally, Mrs. Lovelane walks in and as everyone quiets down I sit up straight and raise my hand as high as humanly possible to ask what I think might be a stupid question.

August 10, 2023 17:03

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1 comment

John K Adams
00:45 Aug 17, 2023

Puzzling out the inexplicable with little information can be so disorienting. You capture that sense well. It ends ambiguously. I fear for the ridicule the narrator may expose herself to by asking a private question so publicly. High school is tough enough without the addition of all these other social cues. well done.


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