Secret In The Night

Submitted into Contest #97 in response to: Start your story with an unexpected knock on a window.... view prompt

11 comments

Sad Gay LGBTQ+

Zane closed his eyes, his hand pausing on his guitar. The cool wind blew against his wet cheeks and he took a shaky breath. Suddenly he heard a knock from behind him, followed by the porch light turning on and flooding the inky night with brilliance. Zane about jumped out of his skin and turned, his pale face now looking at his younger sisters through the giant window his back had faced only moments before.Β 

She disappeared from behind the glass and a moment later the doorknob clicked and opened. The house's warm air made an exchange with the night's cold as Ivory's bunny slippers carried her to her brother.

Zane seemed to forget how to breathe. It was supposed to be just him and his thoughts. He wasn't supposed to be caught. He had tried to stay quiet. His fingers wrapped around his guitar, squeezing like his life depended on it. The tears in his eyes matched Ivory's and they stared at each other for a long minute, frozen.

Then Ivory sat down on the wooden porch swing, hugged him, and whispered "It's okay. I still love you." And one tear became a thousand.Β 

~

Zane tossed and turned in his bed. His covers had long been flung off in a temper and now lay on his floor, crumpled and discarded. He flipped from his side to his back, arms and legs sprawled out, and glared at his ceiling.Β 

The little glow-in-the-dark stars that he and his sister Ivory put up when he was little stared back at him, almost mocking. He stuck his tongue out at them.Β 

A deep breath escaped his lungs and he curled up in the fetal position, wrapping his arms around his bare chest. He wished for the one-hundredth time that his room wasn't always so hot. Finally, he couldn't take the heat anymore and sat up, swinging his feet to the floor.Β 

In one quick movement, Zane threw on a sweatshirt, pulled on some socks that covered the naked area from the bottom of his sleep pants to his foot, grabbed his guitar and phone before he marched to the door, and turned the handle, careful as not to make it creak.Β 

He stepped out, shutting the door behind him, and looked around his empty home. His parents and sister were in bed, asleep. Zane made his way to the kitchen, looking at the clock above the stove.Β 2:37, it read in blinking green numbers. He sighed and walked to the front door, turning the knob and walking outside.Β 

Zane sat down on the ancient, rickety porch swing, took a deep breath, and then pulled out his phone. He clicked on the contact marked with red hearts followed by the name 'Axl'.Β 

Zane's lips turned up into a small, fond smile and his heart started beating faster. His stomach exploded into butterflies as he read the last words Axl sent to him before he went to bed.

'Your the love of my life, stay safe' followed by a white heart emoji. The first time Axl sent the white heart emoji, the two boys had been early into their relationship. Zane had Googled it in class and blushed deeply when he saw the words splayed out on the screen.Β 

Meaning: The white heart can be used to show pure love, which cannot be destroyed.

Use: This heart could be used to represent a partner's true love or a love that will stand the test of time.

Axl had laughed so hard at Zane's red face, the teacher sent him out into the hall to collect himself. Since then, he used the red heart but still sent the white one sparingly just to tease Zane.Β 

No matter how many times Axl said 'I love you' it still colored Zane's cheeks, and just reading their old text messages could turn a horrible day into a decent one. Axl had that effect on people.Β 

He stood an impressive six feet with a lanky body and a sea of dirty blonde hair, covering his amber eyes. He could make anybody smile and was always the life of the party, telling jokes and raising people's spirits. Axl was never the first person you noticed in a crowd, but once you talked to him, he was the one you remembered and the one you wanted to chat with again.Β 

Zane was quite the opposite. He had messy black-brown hair that wouldn't take crap from anyone, especially a hairbrush. Before Axl, he kept his head down and hid his indigo eyes with his hair, but since Axl, he had shown his face much more often, despite him being a huge introvert and preferring to stay home.Β 

Zane clicked his phone off and set it next to him, turning his attention to his guitar. He picked it up, wrapped the strap around his body, and then plucked at the strings. The familiar sound calmed his late-night stress and his body relaxed. He fiddled with the tuning keys for a minute more before he strummed his instrument and was satisfied.Β 

Zane shifted slightly on the swing before he started to play. He hummed lowly before he began to sing softly.Β 

"Front door, porch light, alone again blissfully. Pacing, bedroom, nothing but worn-out dreams. You told yourself you wouldn't back down. This time~" Zane's mind drifted to all the times he tried to convince himself he'd come out to his parents. All the times he'd walked to the living room and then chicken out. He quickly shook the painful memories away and went back to singing.Β 

"Look up, skyline, wishing you weren't as blue. Falling, freedom, trying to say something new. But all you can come up with is words you've already said." Zane bit his lip as he picked the strings. He had tried so many times to come out.

He had a whole speech made up in his head, just waiting to roll off his tongue to somebody other than his reflection. But he didn't want the little friends he had to see him differently. Or his family for that matter. "I'm desperate, I'm lonely, I'm dying when I go to bed." Zane could feel the tears stinging his eyes and he willed himself not to cry. He took a shaky breath and paused his playing for a moment so he could wipe his nose on his sleeve.Β 

"Waiting, breathless, washing my hands again. Standing, taller, trying to breathe through the pain. All the words I wrote down are clawing their way off the page. I'm shouting, I'm screaming I'm trying to break out of this cage." Zane could feel his voice rising slowly but he chose not to lower it. He didn't care. But then, what would happen to his family if he came out? As his voice dwindled, he ran his fingers over the strings of his guitar again.Β 

"Nothings gonna be the same. Whisper, quiet. I won't be here next spring. Softer, footsteps, pretending I don't feel a thing. And the courage I thought I had was nothing but an empty heart... I found a new family that doesn't wanna tear me apart." Zane's tears finally spilled from his lashes, making the chilly breeze worse and his voice cracked.Β 

Zane closed his eyes, his hand pausing on his guitar. The cool wind blew against his wet cheeks and he took a shaky breath. Suddenly he heard a knock from behind him, followed by the porch light turning on and flooding the inky night with brilliance. Zane jumped out of his skin and turned, his pale face now looking at his younger sisters through the giant window his back had faced only moments before.Β 

She disappeared from behind the glass and a moment later the doorknob clicked and opened. The house's warm air made an exchange with the night's cold as Ivory's bunny slippers carried her to her brother.

Zane seemed to forget how to breathe. He was supposed to be alone. He wasn't supposed to be caught. His fingers wrapped around his guitar, squeezing like his life depended on it. The tears in his eyes matched Ivory's and they stared at each other for a long minute, frozen.

Then Ivory sat down on the wooden porch swing, hugged him, and whispered "It's okay. I still love you." And one tear became a thousand.Β 

June 11, 2021 03:54

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11 comments

12:32 Jun 11, 2021

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW- Echo what the heck? You went eXtRa hard for the emotional baggage this time.

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Ack I'm sorry XD I didn't mean toooo

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15:19 Mar 21, 2022

... Tears are fun.

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*Hugs* You're amazing, trust me <3

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16:27 Mar 21, 2022

*Hugs back* I know that bit- this just hit waaay to close to home. That song, MC singing and playing a guitar? Zane was one of my choices before Leo too- so, ya know.

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17:05 Mar 21, 2022

I use too. My tutor kinda moved all a sudden so I officially sat down to play in awhile.

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Woahh, thats so cool! What kind of music can you play?

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