My entire life, it’s always been hard. I mean, I would’ve expected it to when you keep the biggest secret in the world from everyone else.
Okay, not the biggest secret in the world, but you get what I mean. My parents aren’t cool with anything new, no new rules, no new presidents, and especially no new dating tricks.
Mainly-this means coming out would ruin all that I’ve lived for.
I get straight A’s and I’m the quarterback at our school, but none of that would even matter if people found out about who I really am.
Other than the large parts of me I’m keeping, my life seems to be pretty good. I’m considered popular at school, my siblings aren’t always annoying, and I have a girlfriend: Haven Bronx.
Haven is one of the most popular girls in school as well, so it made sense for the two of us to be together.
Being the captain of the cheerleading team, she has a pretty busy schedule, so I don’t always have to see her. But when I do it's hard to really be myself around her. Around anyone.
I really do like Haven. She’s a sweet girl, and she cares about other people’s feelings. But, I don’t like her in that way.
And it wouldn’t even be too bad if we broke up at school, but her entire family loves me.
So that’s where the problem comes in.
I would always sit at the dinner table and try to keep my mind off of other things while Haven’s parents continued talking about sports, or cheer, or their older daughter (who’s in Yale,
in case anyone really cared). It was just that, I never seemed to keep my mind on anything that was going on at dinner there, and I was the only one to blame.
“How have you been Ezra?” Mr. Bronx asked me as I calmly sat down next to Haven. Her family was always fancy, so being skittish wouldn’t look good for me. Once I sat down, Haven smiled at me.
And I smiled back without showing any teeth.
“I’ve been great,” I said.
Lie, but everyone else was going with it.
“I heard there was a game on Saturday, are you ready for that?” Mrs. Bronx asked me.
In all honesty, I was excited about the game and all but I’d much rather be somewhere else on that day instead of whatever I always felt trapped.
But, like always, I smiled and nodded. “I’m ready for it,” I said. “Coach says we’re probably gonna be amazing out there.”
“And I get to watch all of it front and center,” Haven said, smiling to me before looking at her parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Bronx smiled at their daughter before looking back at their food.
It was seafood, which was one of the main reasons why I was trying to continue talking instead of eating something from the sea. “Haven,” Mrs. Bronx said.
“Did you mention to tell Ezra about your sister?”
I don’t know why, but my instant thought was that Mrs. Bronx was pregnant. I mean, she was only about 39 or something. I’m sure having a kid wouldn’t be that hard.
But then, my mind clicked and told me this was about Angelica. Angelica is Haven’s older half-sister, and she’s pretty smart for her age.
I’ve only met her a few times, but her family talks about her enough for me to know basically everything I need to.
The weirdest thing is, even though Haven and Angelica have different dads, they both really do look the same.
Like Haven, Angelica has dark brown hair and hazel eyes, which usually change color depending on the light.
And usually, they both always know what to say for certain situations, but can also annoy the living ⟴ out of you sometimes.
“Oh my gosh,” Haven exclaimed. “I’m so excited to see her!” she grabbed my hand from under the table as I did my best to keep from showing any reaction. “How long is she staying in town?”
Mrs. Bronx was about to begin eating again, but then set down her fork and looked atHaven. “A few days I think, a week at the most. She’s really busy at college, sweetheart.
” Haven nodded, but then everyone at the table grew silent as I looked back down at the seafood.
I seriously do hate everything about the thought of eating something from the ocean, but I also hated people not liking me-so I began slowly eating the shrimp.
At first, I felt my body trying to bring it back up, but I swallowed it before anything else could happen. I took a long drink of the water Mr.
Bronx had given me and then sighed, not even sure if I could finish the food that was set in front of me.
Once dinner was over, I wasn’t judged for not eating all of the shrimp. But, I still felt a pang of large guilt inside of me.
Haven’s parents went upstairs, allowing me and her to have some alone time. I hated when people said, “I’ll give you two some alone time.
” It was like they just expected for two people to begin making out. And I never would do something like that while her parents were upstairs, anyway.
I wouldn’t even do something like that with a girl in the first place.
“So…” Haven said, sitting down next to me and grabbing the TV remote. “You nervous about the game?” before I could even answer her, Haven kept on talking.
“We have a great cheer that’s the bomb.”
I laughed. “Yes, I’m ready. How long have y’all been working on the cheer?”
“A couple of weeks. I think you’re going to love it, babe.”
Though I hated it when she called me that, I nodded. One of the best ways to get Haven to be quiet would be talking about cheer.
All of the girls on the team were really passionate about their work and loved to brag about it.
Sometimes, when I was forced to hang out with Haven’s friends, the topic of football and cheer would be the main two things.
Which, I was kind of okay with-because at least I was getting attention.
Haven was leaning on me, texting someone on her phone when she suddenly laughed. I looked down at her and said; “What is it?”
Instead of simply answering, she handed me her phone.
Hey sis, you excited about me coming back tomorrow?
Obvi! I can’t wait to see you!!
Me too! How’s high school treating you?
Amazing, actually! I’m still captain of the cheerleading team and I’m still dating Ez. On top of that, all my friends and grades are amazing. Things couldn’t be better!
(That’s great!) And I’m pretty good too. I’m just pretty happy I’m keeping up in class.
Great! Cuter than ever...and stronger, which is good for the football team.
Awesome! Good thing he’s still cute, right?
Oh my gosh, lol! I would’ve still dated him if he wasn’t tho.
Yeah, right. I gotta go soon...is there anything else you need to tell me before I start my homework?
Just one last thing. U excited about the football game?
Yup. Aren’t they playing against Oakwood?
Yeah, they are. But Ezra’s got this one in the bad. He always does-
Well, I’ve got two more things to say. One, I miss you like crazy (Mom and Dad too). And two, hope Ezra’s as cute as you say he is…
I’m not sharing him, Angelica.
Lol, never said you had to, Hav. Everyone knows men like smarter girls.
I don’t know why, but I had this weird feeling that all I was to Haven was just something she could put on display.
And it really did bother me on the inside, but there was nothing I could fix about any of it. If Haven realized I was bothered by crap like that, she’d find some way to ruin my life.
Instead of saying what I wanted to, I faked a laugh. “That’s sweet,” I said to her, praying she wouldn’t take any of it the wrong way.
I was lucky enough for her to smile and then squeeze my arm tightly.
“She’s my sister, and I love her. But she better not come near you with any flirty approach,” she said, raising her eyebrows to me. I smiled.
“Don’t worry,” I assured her. “Angelica and I will never have a relationship other than friends.”
Haven smirked. “I know,” she said.
I chuckled and then looked down at my phone. Three messages from Dad. Now that was a cue to come home. “Hey, Haven?”
“As much as I’d love to stay-” Lie. “I need to get home.”
Haven made a disappointed noise, then sat back on the expensive couch they owned. “That sucks,” she said, sighing. “But...you know, parents rules.”
Not knowing what else I could say to that, I nodded. “Yeah.” I was standing up when Haven took my wrist and in some way forced me to turn back around and look at her.
“Love you,” she said, smiling.
My insides told me to just say it. Reveal you don’t really love her, and that you never will. At least not like that. But instead, I smiled back and then said; “Love you too."
Dreading the words as they came out of my mouth.
I release myself from her grip and made it to the doorway.
As I was about to leave, I turned to wave goodbye to her before I closed the door behind me, breathing in the fresh air as I walked outside.