**Hey, guys. Sorry it's been so long. I just wanted to say, the terms used towards the end of this chapter I do not condone the use of. I'm only writing them in for the sake of character development. As a member of the LG(B)(T)+ -parentheses being me- community myself, I do NOT support the saying of them towards real life peoples.**
I bounced around happily in my room as the thoughts of tonight and seeing Alexander rushed through my mind. Checking the time on my phone, it read 6:15. I threw together a quick bag which contained my wallet, a book, and my phone charger. Going into the living room, I threw myself onto the couch just as my mother and a male body emerged from the tiny kitchen.
"Naomi, this is Anthony. Remember me mentioning him?" My mother asked, introducing me.
"Yeah, I do. Sup?" I casually responded, giving half a glance to the man.
"Nice to meet you too, Naomi." Anthony retorted, rather rudely.
"Anthony's staying the night, so he'll be here once you're home from your ordeal." The attention with my mother was lost at the sudden vibrating coming from my cellphone.
My heart sank and my blood ran cold as my eyes read the text of the reminder. Today's the big day! Tell your mom if you haven't already! Stay strong <3 were the words I had left myself a year ago today, to tell my mom something drastically important. What that reminder meant, was that today was the day I'd decided I'd finally 'come out' to my mom. By society's standards and annoying addiction to labeling, I'd be known as bisexual. But, honestly, I'm just me.
My dad already knew, and didn't have a single problem with it. He was the happiest man alive when I told him, saying he feels honored that I shared something like that with him, and promised to talk if I was ever having issues. I was nervous, since I didn't know how my mother would react. I must've been lost in my thought, since I was alerted by the honking of a car horn. Looking outside, I noticed a sleek black Mercedes parked in my driveway. I hopped up off the couch, and grabbed my bag.
"By mom! I'll be back later!" I called, shutting the rackety screen door. Sliding into the padded leather seat, I smiled at Caroline.
"It's about time! What took you so long?" She questioned, pulling out of my driveway.
"Sorry, I was just talking to my mom." I responded, checking my phone. 6:45.
We made it to Maria Café in another 10 minutes. The only bad thing was, I had to suffer through whatever trashy pop Caroline had playing. She seemed to like it, so I wasn't going to outright say something. Walking in, we picked a small, 2 person table by the corner that had a perfect view of the streets outside, and yet still kept perfect sight of the small stage that Alexander and his group would be on.
As we ordered our food, Caroline quickly pulled out her phone and began browsing her social media. Feeling a bit down, since she was plain ignoring me, I did the same. Except, all I had was a Tumblr which I used to re-blog Destiel fanart and Attack on Titan pictures. Scrolling through my dash, a burst of feedback and some finger taps were heard from the stage. Looking up, a man who reminded me of a teddy bear, with a beard and kawaii bubbly tattoos, cleared his throat and began speaking.
"Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This is Maria Café's 2nd Annual: Free The Mic event. As you all know, we showcase upcoming musical artists as well as the occasional live painting. Tonight, we honour a band that started us all. Please, welcome with new cover hits, Against The Norm!" Everyone who was in the café clapped once the man was done.
The curtains parted as the bearded teddy bear man left the stage, giving way to 5 people. 2 guitarists, a drummer, synthesizer player, and finally...Alexander. I assumed he was the lead singer, since there were no other instruments that I could see. He helped the guitarists set up their amps, and the synth player their cords. Once the mic checks were all clear, he stepped behind the mic.
"This song, describes in a way how I'm feeling. Even though it's nowhere near official, I hope it will be. When I covered this song, there was no telling it'd have this much of a meaning to me. Enjoy." Alexander looked back at everyone, and gave me a side glance. The drummer clicked their sticks 4 times, and the song began.
I recognized the opening drums instantly. It was First Date by Blink-182. I smiled so broadly, a small chuckled escaped. Thinking back to what he said, about this song meaning so much to him, could it mean...no! That's impossible he was talking about me. We'd only just met. Although, my heart is saying to believe the hunch... I continued smiling all the way through the song, and onto the next. I kept taking pictures of Alexander and his band, plus the occasional selfie. Caroline wanted almost nothing to do with me, though.
The next song was Make It Stop (September's Children) by Rise Against. This song always made me tear up, since it's about the bullying and suicide of LGBT+ youth. Even though I wasn't being bullied currently, this song still had a very strong connection to me. At the end of that song, Alexander looked dead at me while he spoke.
"This last song," he began, smiling. "this last song is the most important. I hope you all enjoy." Alexander checked with his band mates, and started.
This was one of my favorite songs of all time. I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith, which is the only song that could actually make me shed multiple tears. I feel so strongly about this song because as a baby, my dad says he'd rock me to sleep when I was restless and sing this to me. I swayed slowly in my chair, dabbing at my cheeks with a napkin to rid my face of tears. As the last chord played, I got up and applauded. Several others joined me, and eventually it was a standing ovation.
"Thank you, thank you. Oh, and would Naomi Shardis please report backstage?" He asked, looking at me and laughing.
I motioned at Caroline that I wouldn't be long, and quickly ran up the steps to the stage. The drummer and guitarists were cleaning up, and Alexander was backstage drinking water. As I came up to him, he smiled and went in for a hug before he noticed the sweat on the side and neck of his shirt.
"Work yourself up, much?" I jokingly asked, light and playfully punching his arm.
"Yeah, man. Those stage lights are tiny but killer." He took off the flannel over-shirt, using it to dab his forehead and neck.
"The show was amazing. I knew and enjoyed every song you performed!" I complimented, smiling.
"It means a lot, Naomi. Hey, by the way, do you have a ride home?" He asked, tying the flannel around his waist.
"Caroline was my ride, but I can tell her to head on home." I insisted, beginning to walk away and back to the café.
As I slipped by the curtain and trailed down the steps, I walked over to where Caroline was standing on her phone. Unable to figure out who she was talking to, I approached slower. Once she saw me, Caroline hung up and shoved the phone in her bag.
"Ready to go yet, Naomi?" She asked, huffing.
"Actually, Alexander is going to take me home. I'll see you at school tomorrow!" I smiled and waved, but she did the opposite.
Caroline rushed out the café doors, with her hands balled in fists. What I did to her, hell, who knows. Walking back up the stage, Alexander came out and was talking with his drummer. Once they finished up, he pulled his keys out of his pocket and jingled them in the air. The night had gotten substantially colder, and I'd only wished I'd worn better clothing. Dammit, Alexander! You're a cute boy, so do cute things and gimme your jacket...
As we rounded to the rear parking lot, he picked up his walking pace to a navy mid 90s Mustang. It looked pretty sharp. Once we got in, he turned the keys in the ignition and pressed a button by the gearshift. The roof above me began to fold and collapse, landed tucked in behind the back seats. A convertible, nice.
"Directions?" Alexander asked, pulling out of the café lot.
"Oh, y-yeah. Take a right out of here, I'll pull up the navigation on my phone." As I did so, I could feel the crisp wind blowing my ginger curls behind me.
As my phone robotically spat out turns for Alexander to follow, he popped in a CD and turned the volume up to where we could hear it fine, but still understand my GPS. I instantly recognized the band, My Chemical Romance. It was one of their older albums, before Welcome To The Black Parade. I smiled, and began tapping on my jeans to the melody of the song, Mama.
"A fan of MCR, are you?" Alexander chuckled, turning the car into my driveway.
"Heh, only been to see them 3 times before they broke up." I slightly pouted, getting out of the car.
"Naomi, wait." Alexander grabbed my wrist, sitting me back down.
"Yeah?" I questioned, noticing the light still on in my house.
"Thank you, for coming. It means a lot." His hazel eyes reflected beautifully, even in the diminished moon light.
"Anytime, Alexander." I smiled. Feeling the building tension, I left the car and headed inside, waving goodbye to him as he drove off.
Walking inside, I noticed my mother had on yet more re-runs of Criminal Minds. Tossing my jacket on the old coat hanger, my body tensed up at remembering what I had set out to do today. Sitting next to my mom, I noticed she had a puffy spot under her left eye. I dismissed the thought, figuring it was just her bumping into the cabinet again. My mind fought with my heart, but finally, my mouth won and broke the silence.
"Mom, there's something I've been meaning to tell you." I felt the sentence struggle to escape my throat.
"Yes, dearest?" She turned to me, turning down the TV volume.
"I...uhm...you see...I l-like...I like g-girls as well as b-b-boys." I watched as her eyes widened, unsure to me as what emotion she was projecting.
"Well, then. I think you should get ready for bed now." She stood, wrapping her bathrobe around her and heading to the bedroom.
Had I upset her? Did she hate me now? Picking up my shoulder bag, I quietly slugged to my room. Locking the door behind me, I changed into my favorite kitty cat pajamas. Curling up under the blankets, I plugged in my phone and began to browse Tumblr once more when I heard a door slam. I turned down my brightness, sinking further under my comforter. Eavesdropping, my heart shattered at what I was hearing.
"You mean to tell me...your daughter is a god damn queer?!" It was Anthony, and he was raging.
"P-Please...it's not something I care about, but..." My mother's voice struggled.
"I can't believe this! How could you stand living with this abomination?!" I heard another door slam, and muffled arguing from their bedroom.
I held back tears as my eyes began to sting and my nose burned. I reached out and grabbed a pillow, pulling it under my blanket with me. I let out choked sobs for a few minutes before I sniffled, wiping my nose on my sleeve. Clicking on my phone, the picture I'd set as my background, my dad and I, gave off a happy-go-lucky feeling. My heart sank, and all I could wish for was my father to be here with me. Dreading tomorrow morning, I rolled over and forced my body to sleep.