Chapter 30: Self-DoubtMature

Narrator: Frith Gryms


The content was much like a personal ad: a concise and modest self-description accompanied by a list of the qualities he seeks in a partner. However, it was all presented as a free-verse poem in the style of the letter he'd received.

I leaned over his shoulder, watching as he carefully scrawled each letter with painstaking beauty. He was going out of his way to make every letter of every word look pretty, as he wrote out his draft again in a good copy, on a piece of blank, white paper.

There it was, ever so briefly at my nostrils: CJ's musky scent.

I blinked. It was as if someone had spiced the air, for a mere moment. I wanted to smell more, to smell again, yet I dared not lean closer to his neck.

What was I doing?

I had Brent wrapped around my finger, and everyone else still discerning my sex. And without clarifying anything, I was harking on CJ.

Brent was a pawn to me, and I knew that was wrong.

CJ was a genuine fascination to me. And that wasn't... wasn't... wrong? I was never upfront. It wasn't in my nature to be. After all, I like a challenge. That's why I don't go for the brown-haired average run-of-the-mill Joshua. I've piqued his interest too easily.

Neutral. That's what I was. My pansexual lack of preference in others had me flaunting my own lack of gender with utter ambiguity, and I reveled in it.

It was a game to me. To attract them without letting them know the truth. And then to reveal the truth when it finally didn't matter to either one of us, at a point of complete trust.

Yet taunting Brent with hints of polyamory had in turn taunted me. For here I was playing the field, much to my own confusion.

How many eyes had spent too long looking at me too often?

Joshua.

Leslie.

Evelyn? Evelyn.

Lucas.

Michelle.

Brent.

Yet, not CJ. His eyes were on the paper, his heart longing for someone unknown. And to think, we intrinsically fear the unknown. That's why we hate change. That's why we vote Conservative. That's why we discriminate. That's why we hate. Anything we don't understand. Fear. Hate. Loathing.

Longing.

I could see it in the curves of his writing and in the careful way he held the pen. And in that moment, I wished it was me he was writing to. I wanted to be the unknown. I wanted to be capable of eliciting change, and maybe even apprehension.

Or was it just a need for attention?

Am I too young to know what I really want?

The End

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