Authors: Jennie Taylor
Tags: #teen, #young adult, #fiction, #zombie, #suspense, #supernatural, #lesbian
This is dedicated to Maggie,
who has always supported and
encouraged me. Without her I
would never have had the nerve
to finish and publish this book.
I love you, my Maggie!
Tuesday, April 5
“Have fun.” I told Natasha. She was heading out the door for her date.
She’s picking up Mike Haynes and they’re going to a movie.
“I will. You sure you don’t want to come along, Becca?”
“I’m sure. Thanks, though.”
She left the room that we share and I laid in my bed. Natasha came to stay with us just after the school year started. Mr. Johnson, Tasha’s dad, was sent to Germany to assist in the war. He’s a biologist, and they’re working on ways to counter biological warfare. There has been some intelligence that some pretty nasty stuff could be used against our troops if things don’t improve in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. Tasha’s mom went along with him, but they didn’t want Tasha that close to the action. She was just sixteen at the time, so she’s staying with us. I’m glad they let her stay. We’ve been best friends since preschool, I don’t think I could live without her.
I went down to the kitchen and sat and watched Mom chop vegetables. Chop. Chop. Chop. I don’t know how she does that so fast without cutting herself. I’d take a finger off.
“Any homework tonight, Becca?” she asked.
“I finished it in last hour.”
“If you’re bored you could go help your father trim the bushes.” she said, smiling. Mom is really pretty when she smiles. Sometimes people say I look like her. I don’t see it, I mean my hair is almost brown and hers is a glowing blonde, but I hope I do.
“Mom, can I talk to you about something?”
“Sure, honey.” she said slowly. She stopped chopping and looked up at me. “You okay?”
“Yeah, it’s nothing. Ya know what, never mind.” I got up.
“Becca, what is it?”
Yes, Rebecca, open your big mouth. Now what? I don’t want to lie to her. I mean I’m not even good at lying, anyway. Think of something to say, Becca. Quick.
“What’s up?” she asked.
“I... changed my mind.”
“Honey, you’re upset. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” I said. A tear escaped, I could feel it trailing down my cheek. “You ever feel like there’s something you can’t tell someone because they might not handle it well? And like, you can’t take it back after you say it, ya know?”
“Everybody feels that way sometimes.” she said. She sat down across from me. “Whatever it is, why don’t you tell me and I can help you figure out how to tell this person what it is you want to say.”
“What if... I mean... I don’t know if I can.”
“Honey, you know your dad and I are going to love you no matter what, right? If there’s something you’re worried about then maybe I can help.”
“What if... you get mad?” I asked. Okay, I can’t seem to look anywhere except down at my hands right now.
“I’ll try not to. Whatever it is you think I’ll be mad about, I’ll still love you. And if you’ve done something, isn’t it better to get it out in the open now?” She sounds worried.
“I...” I shrugged. “I didn’t do anything.”
I can’t tell her this. She’ll be angry. Dad will be angry. And they probably won’t even let me hang out with Bridget, my little sister, any longer. I might be contagious or something. But I can’t keep this a secret anymore. It’s killing me trying. Almost literally when I was really depressed a few months ago.
“Honey, just tell me. I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think.”
“I’m not wh-who you think I am.” I mumbled.
“Oh really. So you’re what, some space alien clone sent to take the place of my daughter while she’s off saving the universe?”
“No. I just mean... see... see, um...” I risked glancing up. She’s smiling, like she’s enjoying my torture here. I looked back at my hands. “I know you’re going to be disappointed, though.”
“Just tell me what the problem is, Rebecca. Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it together, okay?”
“Promise not to tell anyone else?”
“I’m not going to tell anyone.”
“If it’s something he doesn’t need to know, I won’t say anything.”
“It’s just... um, I kind of... am... I’m... Mom, I’m...” I sighed and took a deep breath. Just blurt it out, Becca. “I’m a lesbian.”
She was quiet. I expected her to protest or tell me I was just imagining it, or it was a phase. Or maybe that I was confused and just thought that I was gay because I hadn’t found any boys I liked yet, and I’d find the right one soon. Instead she was just quiet.
I glanced up and she was just sitting there, waiting for me to continue. I couldn’t keep looking at her, though. I’m not sure what her reaction is. She’s just sitting there.
“You’re not going to tell me I’m not, that I’m wrong, or try to talk me out of this?”
“You’re seventeen. I figure you know how you feel by this point.”
“Oh.” What does that mean, exactly? “Are you mad?”
“There’s nothing for me to be mad about.”
“Are you... um, disappointed?”
“Not disappointed. Maybe a little sad. I know you’re going to have obstacles you wouldn’t have had otherwise. But you have to live your own life, Rebecca. So if this is what makes you happy, then I’m glad for you to find that out now, while you’re still young.”
“Thanks.” She’s way too understanding. I don’t get it.
I finally made myself really sit back and look up at her. She doesn’t look mad. She doesn’t look like she’s holding it in or hiding it, either. She looks relieved.
She handed me a tissue, then stood and came around the table. She pulled me to my feet and hugged me, then she thanked me for telling her.
“Th-there’s something else.” I said. I rubbed the tears off my face. “Something that I... kinda need your advice on.” We sat again.
“I’ll help if I can.” she said. She smiled. She really isn’t mad?
“How... um... what if... no, that’s not...” How do I even ask this? What exactly am I trying to ask, even? “Can you make yourself stop loving someone?” Can I just die from embarrassment now?
“Ooh, wow. That’s a tough one. I don’t think you can, Rebecca. I really don’t think so.”
“Oh.” Well that’s just great. “H-how do you deal with it if you... do love someone and... and you know they don’t feel the same way?”
“The best thing would be to stay away from him. Or I guess it’s a her, huh?”
“Um,” I nodded.
“Just stay away. Separation may help you, honey. At least stay away as much as you can. I suppose you might have class with this girl?”
“I can’t stay away.” I said. I began to cry. Well, cry
. “We’ve been best friends forever.”
“You... oh!” She leaned back and ran her hands through her hair. She does that when she’s upset sometimes. “Okay. Well. I didn’t see this coming when I woke up this morning, I can tell you that.”
“No, that’s okay. Have you told Natasha how you feel?”
“Not even! She has no clue that I’m gay even, she’d probably freak if I told her I was in love with her.” Do you know how embarrassing it is to tell your mother something like that?
“She’s your best friend. She might be surprised, but she wouldn’t be angry at you, Becca.”
“I can’t tell her.”
“Then you have a problem, don’t you? Because you can’t exactly stay away from her.”
“I know that!” I snapped at her. “This is why I asked... how do I stop?”
“Honey, I wish I could help you. Maybe you should try dating someone. Maybe you’d find someone else that you like as much.”
“Right, ‘cause I’m randomly going to ask some girl out?”
“I don’t know, honey. I’ve never been in that position. Isn’t there some club or group or something where you’d at least know if there are more like you? At least you’d know where to start that way. This is way past me, honey.”
“Okay. Well, I guess I’ll just... figure it out.” That was a waste of time.
“I wish there was more I could do, Rebecca.”
“This went better than I expected, anyway. I figured you’d be mad, or scream at me or something.”
“I love you. Just the way you are, okay?”
“Love you too, Mom. I’m going to go lay down for a while, if you don’t need help chopping.”
“I’ve got this.”
I went back to my room and laid in bed. Mom wasn’t a lot of help. On the other hand, at least she didn’t freak out and kick me out of the house. I guess that happens to gay teens sometimes.
It feels weird that I’ve actually told someone. Especially one of my parents. Weird in a good way, though. Like... like there’s less pressure on me, in some ways. Like there’s at least one person I don’t have to hide from.
I spent the whole evening thinking about my dilemma. The best thing is just to wait and hope I fall out of love, I suppose. Except it kind of hurts.
Telling Mom I’m a lesbian and her not overreacting really felt good. Maybe it’s time to be open about it. Maybe if I am then some other lesbian around will ask me out and start me down that path to loving someone else. If I’m open and out then others will know. There has to be more lesbians in our school, right?