Lesbian Coming of Age Sad

Anahit wasn’t wearing her coat the day it happened. She was never without her neon green trench coat decorated with sewn on patches and homemade pins. It was part of her identity, along with scrunchies pulling her curly hair into some semblance of order and boots she wore for the aesthetic that gave her blisters. She was braver than I was, a fact that couldn’t be denied by anyone who knew us. I was Anahit’s shadow to the public. To Anahit, I was her partner in crime. 

“Are you scared?” She asked me as we stood on the abandoned road bordering the woods. The sun was setting, and she had a flashlight in the hand that wasn’t holding mine. 

“I’m not scared.” I mumbled, “Just cautious.”

“Don’t be.” Anahit reassured, “I’ve done this millions of times. If we go far enough we’ll be able to see the stars.”

“What about bears?” I couldn’t help but ask. Anahit laughed, a sound that could melt even the harshest of winters.

“They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Come on.” She pulled me into the woods. 

The worst thing about the woods was that all the paths were so overgrown, getting lost was incredibly easy. Anahit claimed to know the woods like the back of her hand. I trusted her to lead me in and out. We walked over fallen branches and past trees that bent into our path like they were bowing to us. Like they were bowing to Anahit. Even without her coat she looked royal. The queen that anyone would be lucky to bow down to. I tripped over a root and Anahit steadied me.

“Careful. It gets pretty rough around here.” 

“Maybe you should carry me.” I joked. She gave me an impish grin before scooping me into her arms. I shrieked and she burst into laughter.

“Hold on tight?”

The night was cool, but Anahit was warm. I buried my face in her neck, and she giggled, “Your nose is cold.” 

“Deal with it, my knight in shining armor.” I whispered in her ear, causing her to burst into another fit of giggles.  She carried me through the dark, over twisted roots and dips in the mud until we came to a clearing. Anahit then dropped me on the ground and pulled a blanket out of her backpack. The two of us spread it out in the clearing and lay down on our backs, staring up at the stars.

“That one’s the Big Dipper.” Anahit said, “And I think that’s cygnus?” 

Her hand closed around mine and we stared up at the sky with an almost childlike reverence. A branch crunched behind us, but Anahit didn’t move. She pointed at something else, “That one might be Venus. It’s bright enough.” 

“What are a couple of kids like you doing in a place like this?” A rough, slurred voice called out from behind us. Anahit jumped up, “None of your business!”

I followed her lead, ready to throw myself into danger at her request. The man held a bottle in his clenched fist, and he was swaying so much a gentle breeze could have knocked him over.

“You’re a pretty little thing.” He gestured at Anahit vaguely, and staggered towards her, “You shouldn’t be out this late at night.”

“Stay away from her.” I pushed her behind me, and the man lunged. Anahit screamed, and I must’ve blacked out. The last thing I remember was Anahit yelling and a sickening snap. 

The next thing I knew, the man was lying on the ground, neck at an unnatural angle. 

“He… there’s a rock.” Anahit gestured lamely at the blood speckled stone hidden in the grass, “When you pushed him he must’ve hit his head.”

“His head?” I gasped out, “Who cares about his head? Look at his neck!”

“Calm down.” Anahit grabbed my shoulders, “You’re being hysterical.”

“I just killed a man! Of course I’m being-”

She put her hand over my mouth, “Shut up.” 

We stood like that until she was sure I wasn’t going to scream, and then she picked up her blanket and calmly rolled it up.

“We were never here.” She told me, “They’ll find the body eventually, and when they do they’re not going to ask us any questions because we weren’t here.”

“No, we can’t lie about this. Someone is dead, it’s not like we broke a window or something!”

“Look at me.” Anahit demanded, “Yes, he’s dead. He was drunk, he could’ve tripped.”


“Yes.” Anahit grabbed my hand, “We’re leaving.”


“We’re leaving.” She pulled me out of the clearing and back into the darkness of the woods. For the first time that night I thought about how shaken Anahit looked. Without the coat, nothing could hide the hunch of her shoulders as we stumbled through the trees. Her scrunchie was coming loose, and a few curled strands of hair flew through the air with the grace of dancers in a ballet. She was limping, most likely from the boots. She never wore thick enough socks to ward off the blisters. As we walked she kept muttering to herself, “They won’t think to question us. It’s a big town, they’ll assume it was an accident.”

“It was an accident.”

“Yeah, exactly.” Anahit squeezed my hand, “Now you’re getting it.”

“What are you talking about?” I tried to pull away, “I didn’t kill him on purpose!”

“I know you didn’t, but other people won’t know that. You think the cops will care? You’re the one who pushed him, so to them you’d be guilty.” 

I tried to find fault in her logic, but Anahit was never wrong.

“I still think we should tell the truth-”

“I love you.” She cut me off with those three simple words and a sentiment that toppled great cities. 

“I don’t want you to get in trouble for this.”

I sighed, “We were never here.”

“We were never here.” Anahit confirmed with a dazzling smile.

It took two days for them to find the body. The cops, without any leads, assumed the poor man had been drunk, tripped, attempted to regain his balance, and fell backwards onto the rock that had claimed his life. The next time I saw Anahit she was wearing her coat again, and she looked less like the scared girl in the woods and more like the confident leader I looked up to. She sat down at the table next to me in the cafeteria and started a conversation with our other friends. 

“Did you mean what you said?” I asked. She turned to face me with a confused look on her face, “What did I say?”

“You told me you love me. Did you mean it?”

“Oh, that?” Anahit laughed, “Of course, silly.” 

With that, she turned back to her conversation. She never told me she loved me again, and I, young and dumb, kept up the lie until she abandoned me in Munich when we were twenty. By that point, so much time had passed that my confession was crumpled up and thrown in the trash. I never saw Anahit again, though my dreams were haunted by a green trench coat, a warm laugh, and a lie that I never wanted to tell.

December 01, 2020 16:40

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