Passive

I wanted to call it a thriller/horror but also with some romance. Couldn't find that category so other will have to do. I have high hopes for this story but please read and include as much critism as your heart desires. I promise not to be upset by it as long as you promise to be fair. I do not want any homophobic comments, if you don't like the subjects mentioned here, then don't read.

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14. Understanding

“You know, I knew something was up even since you didn’t finish your worksheet on Monday.” He offered me his handkerchief which I took gratefully, drying my eyes and silently wiping my nose.

That was the lesson I had first saw Wednesday. That first lesson which seemed so long ago but it had really been only 3 days. That had been the best day of my life. And now I would never get her back. I let out another cry and Mr Harrison rubbed my back gently, trying to be understanding. But there was no one who could understand, no one who could fix me or make me alright again. I was messed up, everyone hated me.

“There now! I’m sure whatever it is, can’t be all bad, hey?” His smile was genuine and I once again wished for a parent or friend who could look at me like that all the time.

I’d had Wednesday but then I screwed anything up. All because I couldn’t take a compliment. I’d lost Rebecca because I didn’t want to accept the truth. And now I had to go home, had to face Mother and smile for Bobby and pretend everything was fine. But it wasn’t and it never would be again. I was ashamed for crying in front of a teacher, it seemed such a pathetic thing to do but he was being so kind despite how I had attacked Rebecca. His smile faltered and he sighed but he kept rubbing my back. His touch felt like the only thing that was keeping me together.

“This is the part where I tell you off for what you’ve done and send you to the principal, right?” He looked downcast and I was confused, not knowing what to say to him.

“You’ve always been such a good child. So genuinely nice and caring, especially about your friend-” He struggled for a second to remember her name, frowning to himself.

“Rebecca” I whispered, allowing myself to fall back into my pit of despair, remembering all the people that I’d lost.

Mr Harrison sighed deeply and removed his hand from my back. I held back another sob and stayed sat on his desk as he quickly worked his way around the room, collecting this lesson’s worksheets.

“I hate to ask but did you get any of your worksheet done?”

I shook my head slightly, carefully studying the contents of the bin, which was overflowing with half written essays and uncompleted work. I heard him sigh and move back to his desk. I hated to think I had disappointed him but he was just another name to join the growing list of people who now almost defiantly despised me.

“It’s such a shame too!” Mr Harrison continued, snapping me out of my ever depressing thoughts, “I know you have a special love for the story of Adam and Eve.”

He had no idea what he had said but just as I thought I had composed myself, tears streamed readily back down my face and animal noises seemed to escape from my throat as I once again begun to weep. The story of Adam and Eve, once my favourite story when I was small and naïve. Before Mother would hit me, before I needed to protect Bobby, before life at school had got so much worse. Before all these confusing feelings had taken hold of me, before all this disgusting love that was so wrong had picked my life to ruin. I didn’t want to be gay. I didn’t want to like girls. I didn’t want to love Wednesday as much as I did. The story of Adam and Eve, a man and woman. The way God intended and the way the Bible told us to live our lives. I could see Mother’s eyes filled with horror and disgust, her hands burning the iron into my marked skin again and again, leaving me with scars that would never heal. Bobby would never want to look at me again. Rebecca had already told me how sick it was. The only person who should have understood how I was feeling was Wednesday. Yet how could I explain any of this to someone so confident and proud, how could I tell her of the shame I felt for being the way I am? Not without making her hate me. Though I had achieved that all on my own. I just wanted my pain to end.

“Is this about Wednesday?” I sniffed at this, not daring to answer yes or no, just needing to be silent so that my horrible thoughts of self-loathing could consume me completely.

“I saw you together, on the field at lunch?” I didn’t move my eyes from the floor, studying the dirty worn carpet like if I stared hard and long enough, I could convince the earth to swallow me up. The floor remained the same.

“Do you love her?”

“Yes.” There was no other answer to his question, I loved her so much it physically hurt.

“But I can’t love her.” I could feel my cheeks still wet with tears but I didn’t have the energy left to wipe them away. I didn’t have the energy to fight anymore.

“And why not?” His voice was steady and he watched my face as I sighed deeply.

“Because it’s disgusting.”

His gasp made me move my gaze from the floor to his shocked face. His eyes settled on me and I saw sadness there; all I seemed to be able to do was cause people pain.

“Why on earth would you think that? Is it something I’d said, in class? Because I didn’t mean to-“

“It’s not you, sir.” I stopped him, willing myself not to cause any additional heartache. Though I didn’t seem to be able to help myself.

“Is it people at school?” I didn’t reply, closing my eyes tight to block out the horrible artificial light that glared from overhead.

“Is it Rebecca?”

I flinched at the name, making it all too clear what the answer was.

“It’s everyone. It’s Rebecca. It’s my family. I know it’s wrong. I know it’s sick. I know it’s disgusting. It’s not human and it’s not right! You don’t think I know that?! Don’t bother trying to tell me any different because I know the truth!”

I managed to hold myself together, clutching my knees to my chest as a way of blocking out the harsh realities of the world. It didn’t matter what lies he told me, nothing could stop the dark truth coming for me and suffocating me until it killed me. There was nothing that could be done.

I heard Mr Harrison move behind his desk, possibly to get his bag so he could leave. I wouldn’t blame him. But without him, my last hope was gone.

“Here,” a small piece of paper was pressed into my hand and my fingers automatically curled around it.

I opened my sore tear stained eyes and immediately loosed my tight grip when I saw it was a photo. I looked apologetically at Mr Harrison but he seemed not to notice, just staring at the photo in my hand. I squinted at the image, blocking out the glare from the classroom’s light beams. In the picture was Mr Harrison and another man stood side by side on top of a tall mountain with a beautiful snowy background stretching out for miles below. The man was a little taller than him, quite slim and wore a blue ski coat. Mr Harrison looked more ridiculous in a hat and a yellow ski coat. I looked at the image, trying to figure out what was odd until I looked at the men more closely. They were holding hands.

“Oh,” I spoke, words seeming to fail me.

“That’s me and Stephan, my husband. We’ve been together for 20 years now. This is our holiday to Mount Snowdon last year.” He smiled happily at the image, recalling good memories and his eyes swivelled to look at me.

I was confused and didn’t know what to say.

“But… But you teach RE?”

Mr Harrison gave me a small smile and nodded.

“Are you a Christian?”

Again, he nodded. I was getting even more confused.

“But you’re … you’re gay?”

“Recently, society and religion have become a lot more accepting of the gay community. Me and Stephan regularly attend church and have done so for many years.”

I frowned, unsure about what to say. This didn’t make any sense to me at all. All my thoughts had disappeared and it was like I didn’t know what was right or wrong anymore.

“But it’s going against God. Isn’t it?”

He looked thoughtful for a moment before speaking.

“Does the bible not say Love thy neighbour?” Mr Harrison gave me a friendly smile but it was all I could do to smooth my forehead out of its frown.

“I- well … I…” I stuttered uncertain. I didn’t know what to think anymore. I didn’t want to offend him but I still didn’t understand how believing in God and loving someone of the same gender could work.

“I personally believe that if God wants all of creation to be happy, then he can’t possibly be against people who love others of the same sex. Everyone deserves love, even those of us whose love maybe isn’t as straight forward as others. I will never stop loving Stephan because of what someone thinks or believes to be right or wrong. I love him because he is beautiful, smart, loving, caring and because despite our problems he has always been there for me. Just because some people don’t see love when they look at us, does that instantly mean that they’re right? Should I change who I am to make other people happy? Or should I live my life the way I want to? Love is love, no matter who it is that shares that love. I’ve learnt not to care what others think because if I spent my time worrying about other people, that would make me unhappy. Like its making you unhappy right now.”

He looked back at me with big eyes and carefully took his hand in mine.

“Do you understand that you will never be happy if you live the way that other people want you to?”

My head nodded of its own accord and I looked at our hands as I clutched his desperately. I wanted to believe him so badly but there was still some doubt.

“When you’re with Wednesday, how do you feel?”

I paused for a moment, altogether forgetting I was talking to my RE teacher.

“I feel happy to be with her. But sad in case I lose her. I feel anger for how I feel about her but I could never leave her when I’m near her, because she makes me a better person. I feel excited because it’s all so new and different. I feel like when I’m with her nothing can hurt me and I want to protect her from all the bad things in the world. I want to be with her all the time and I want to see her every day. When I’m with her, it’s like we’re the only two people in the world and all that matters is her.”

I realise that I’ve had my eyes closed and open them slowly, a grin spreading across my face.

“Now you tell me” his grin mirroring mine, “how can that be wrong?”

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