I guess the final straw was my dad. He's never been what one might call the loving father, but since the news that his only child is, well, not exactly straight, it's gotten worse. He's never hit me. I'd like to make that clear. But I'd be willing to bet he's thought about it.
When I get home from school, he's sitting at the table with a paper in his hand. I cant see the headline, but they're always the same anyway. I try to strike up a conversation, but he wont have it. And it hurts. It's worse than all the things said to me at school, worse than the names and the shoves and the stares put together. Silence.
I'm not proud to admit that I cried myself to sleep. Usually I consider myself stronger than that. But when I woke up I just knew. I knew I couldnt do it alone anymore.
That's how I wound up standing here, with everyone's eyes on me, and this man who was trying way too hard to be friendly telling me to introduce myself. "Trixie,"I murmur as I approach the group. There is one open chair, between a skinny girl with black hair and an old man with a peppered moustache. Both smil in a welcoming way, but the girl is quick to look away.
"Why are you here?" The leader asks me. I feel more like I am in a shrink's office than a support group. Or an AA meeting. Admitting the problem and all.
"Because I'm bi, and the world is full of superficial cunts," I tell him. A few people snicker. The leader tries to stay stern.
"We usually discourage laungage, but since you're new I'll make an exception," he mutters.
And so it goes on. John, which is the leader, poses a question for us to contemplate, and then we go around the circle answering. The question is easy enough: how would you like to be treated by straight people. He doesnt call them normal.
But when it comes to be my turn, I find myself speachless. "I...uhm...I guess I just want them to acknowledge that I'm a human being too," I answer hesitantly. "I'm not asking for a monument or anything. I just want them to stop running whenever I come near."
John nods. I think I've given a good answer.
Soon the group disbands, and John reminds us that the meeting will be held again next week. I'm quick to rise, heading towards the door. I'm twisting my hair around my fingers like I do when I'm nervous. It's so blonde it's almost white, streaked with hot pink and lime green. Like a rainbow, or maybe a bag of Skittles.
I'm about to reach the door when a voice calls me out, all delicate and fragile. Broken. I hate the sound of broken.
Spinning around, I see the black haired girl that had been sitting beside me. In all honesty I'm shocked that she approached me, because she came off as extremely shy. Perhaps just removed. I wouldnt have blamed her.
"Hi," I return the greeting along with a gentle smile. I sure hope it looks friendly, instead of cold and fake like every other smile I've given in the past two years. "You're new this week too?"
"How did you know?" No suspicion, just curiousity. It's nice to hold a conversation with someone. I cant help but note how pretty she is. Pretty in that unconventional way. The sort of pretty that doesnt get as much attention as it should.
"I could just tell," I tease, but I regret it because I'm not sure if she can tell. She's blushing now. With her pale skin and dark hair, it doesnt look so bad. "You, uhm, want to get some coffee or something?"
I dont know where the invitation comes from. I'm not a social person. I dont go out. That's giving the rest of the world an opportunity to attack.
But she's shaking her head anyway. "Maybe another time," she says softly. "I have to get home."
I nod like I know how it is, even though home is the last place I ever want to go. She pushes past me and out the door; I stand frozen and watch her go.
I dont even know her name.