October 3rd 2012
Story originally written and experienced: October 28th 2011
Read this and then read that vvv
“Wait…didn’t you graduate?”
Indeed I did. But I’m back motherfuckers…for like a day.
Everyone does it.
Ventures back to their college town glory days .just.one.more.time. Just to get.one.more.tasteful reminder of what it feels like to be young and wild and free (and anything else the Wiz Khalifa suggests.)
It was homecoming weekend and the streets were flooded with freshman shlores and blacked out alumni, my friends definitely included. And as we toSSEd back cheap pitchers and danced like it was 1999 (although we had graduated….5 months prior…) and sang songs that were now but vintage treasures to local DJ’s near and far, I received a phone call that brought to life the very memories I had hoped would remain underground when I buried them just a few months prior.
The back story is this:
It was all a secret.
And since that day in the skybox bathroom I went from standard-day-day friend to full on stealth extraordinaire. And what I mean is this:
1. Doing dances in the corner to distract people from looking at Kylie drunkenly making out with her undercover girlfriend? Check.
2. Making terrible excuses as to why Kylie suddenly had a new affinity to rainbows? (No no that’s not a rainbow key, chain, bumper sticker and bed spread. She just really likes multi-colored things!) Check.
3. Fabricating excuses for her extreme decrease in interest to male attention? (All 14 of those well-groomed, unbelievably ripped, doused in body oil, rolling in stacks of $100 bill- football players weren’t her type, that’s why!) Check.
And it was partially because I wanted to keep this secret I had promised her and the bathroom almost one year ago…
But also partially because I was hoping that it wasn’t true
That it was just a phase
And not because I didn’t support it
Or that I didn’t believe in it
But because I knew this wasn’t going to be easy
For her, I mean.
And maybe because…
I couldn’t understand how it could be the same
How same-sex romance could ever possibly feel the same
“Olive. Hey. It’s…Kylie’s girlfriend, Jenny. Well…ex-girlfriend.”
“I know I’m sorry I know you’re with your friends for just this one weekend but you know how Kylie came to meet up with me like a half hour ago? After she left you guys? Well I um…I can’t find her.”
“…What exactly does that mean…”
“We got in an argument. She got upset. She left her purse. Her wallet. Her keys. Everything. And she took off. She was crying. Fuck. I don’t know what to do. I know you hate me. I know I haven’t really been the best to her and that you didn’t want her to meet up with me in the first place but please. I need your help…hello?”
“I’m on my way.”
“Olive wait. Um…Can you come alone…please? I don’t want anyone one to-“
“You act as if I didn’t do this for you guys every weekend senior year of college, Jenny. I’ll come alone. And no one will find out. I know the drill.”
the half eaten Jimmy John’s sandwich that was in my hands.
Made some bull-shit excuse to my friends about needing to meet Kylie. Just for a second. And that I would be right back.
>>>>> I was en route when Hallie grabbed my arm and <<< pulled me back.
to the pit of my stomach.
Did I say it out loud?
Did I give it away?
Was my rainbow excuse lame? (yes)
“Know what Hallie?”
“I…I know. Kylie e-mailed me and told me everything a few days ago. Said that she was so sorry that she didn’t tell me for so long. And to please still be her friend. That she wanted me to know before we all saw each other this weekend. Let me come with you, please. I don’t want you to have to deal with this by yourself.”
“Hallie, I don’t think you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
“I guess I’ll find out.”
Hallie and I sprinted
4 streets over to our right.
I spotted Jenny standing barefoot in the center of her driveway.
“Christ Jenny it’s 30 degrees outside what are you doing out here? Where’s Kylie?”
She looked at me
Then looked at Hallie
Then back at me
Jenny looked at me as with uneasy eyes, realizing that her secret was unraveling with every new confession.
But there was no time for that. Not now.
“She’s over there. Do you see her? Over there at the end of the parking lot?”
I squinted my eyes and saw little Kylie in her sparkly dress
a i g
p c n
Around the perimeter of the McCullough-Hyde Hospital parking lot. Arms crossed. As she wEaVeD in and out of the street lamp’s glowing spot light.
I took off >>>>
Kylie saw me.
<<<<< She started sprinting towards me
And she was screaming something. I…wasn’t sure what but with each pULSing step I could hear her distressed voice just a little more clearly.
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
Leave me alone
> > > > And did a mild jog in my platform heels to a d-o-t-t-e-d line parking space and stopped again.
I stood here
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
She stood There
“Okay Kylie this is how this is going to work. Stay there. Don’t move. I can leave you alone. That’s fine. But I’ll be right over this d-o-t-t-e-d line if you need me. Okay? Sound cool?”
She looked at me. Black mascara welled under her eyes. Trembling uncontrollably because well, as it turns out 30 degrees and scarcely covered dresses don’t mix all that well. She
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
the d-o-t-t-e-d line
into my arms. And began to cry like I’ve never seen a human being cry before. And in-between her choked up words, I managed to hear this:
“Please make her go away, Olive. Please, please. Please make this go away. I don’t want this. I don’t want this anymore. I hate this. I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to be in love with her. I don’t want her to be in love with me. And I don’t want to be this at all. I want to be normal. Why, why can’t I be normal? No…never mind…this is what I want. But, don’t tell anyone that, okay? Olive, what will I do if people ever find out? I didn’t choose this. Don’t tell anyone that I want to be with her okay? That I forgive her for everything. That I’m so heart-broken over this. Over her. I thought this was a phase. But I just…I don’t think it is. Please. Please make this go away.”
And the thing is.
I had never in my entire life heard anyone cry like that before.
Over someone else, I mean.
Not family friend Sara when her fiancé ran away with his secretary
Not Jake when he found out his girlfriend of 4 years had been cheating on him for the last 2
Not Maggie when she anxiously awaited her long distance boyfriend to arrive for New Years Eve and he.never.showed. up.
I wanted to tell Kylie that night that it was okay to be the way that she was. That it was okay that she realized with each passing day/and or parking lot confession that she really was one over the other. And that maybe it really wasn’t a phase. And that good news! I realized something too. That the romance between the two genders really was the same. And if not the same, never less than the other. And that I had never been more convinced in my entire life. That I had seen more genuine care in her same-sex relationship, than I had ever seen in most heterosexual ones. And that I believed her. Because of this moment. This moment right here.
But as the freshman shlores and blacked out alumni gradually began populating the area of the parking lot and screaming things at Kylie such as:
“OMG LOOK A THAT GIRL SHE’S SO DRUNK.”
“DONT CRY SPARKLY GIRL I HAVE PIZZZAAAA!”
I realized that we were no longer in a loose-locked bathroom high-fiving to vaginas and that this 2nd secret would have to be tucked away into my back pocket, just like the other one. And that was fine by me.
I looked over at Hallie.
She stood their bewildered after witnessing the whole damn thing.
I told her to call for a ride.
And she did.
I walked over to Jenny. Told her that I thought it was best that they took some time apart. That yes, they took a while to fully commit to each other. But it was only because they were using so much of their time to fool everyone else into thinking that they weren’t exactly what everyone thought that they might be. That greased football players really were what they wanted. Because life was just easier that way.
And when our car arrived and we picked Kylie uP off the parking lot floor and into the car, I wiped Kylie’s mascara prints off of my shirt and sparkly residue from her dress off of my arm and watched as Jenny became
in the distance and couldn’t help but feel that she wouldn’t be gone quite yet. And that this story was far from over.