Being Gay in 2008
It wasn't as common as it is now in 2021. It was very different before - especially in an all girl's school.
It all started with pure innocence. It all ended with trauma. I spent the past 5 years coping with surviving life in secondary school. It was hard and there were times where I thought I was so close to seeing the light. Yet here I am. Still hopeful that I will be able to move on. Since I am finally transferring, I know that there is still an exit at the end of the tunnel where I can start afresh. Forget all that is behind me and move forward. I can finally leave that hell hole of a school. I honestly can’t wait!
A new day begins. I sat on the bus and looked outside the window pane, admiring the beautiful weather. I contemplated a lot of things as I dazed out. Not going to lie but this whole adapting to a different environment all over again was putting me at edge. New school means new faces but that also means having to cope with all the noise of the crowd. No matter how many times I try so hard to get away from all the nightmares, it still haunts me even during the day - it lingers. I never wanted to move schools but I feel like it definitely would be for the best. Yeah I’ll be just fine! Or so I thought.
"Hey there Dreya!" I heard a voice which sounded familiar yet not as welcoming. I felt a slight rush of flashbacks flooding right back into memory lane.
"M-Molly?" I stuttered.
"I didn't know you were moving schools here. What a coincidence." She gave a condescending smile as she looked straight into my soul.
"Uh, yes. Felt like I needed a change." I guess not, I thought to myself. "It's always good to have a fresh new start." My throat felt like it was about to choke but I tried my best to put on a mask.
As I sat down next to her, trying not to make eye contact, I noticed many other students came rushing in to find seats before the introductory orientation started. Everyone wore smart business attires. We got to choose what to wear everyday but the school protocol has its values in maintaining that business standard.
A few moments later, the headteacher begins his speech introducing the school and its rules. I tried paying attention to his words, but I couldn’t help but feel the same sense of uncomfort and worry sitting next to Molly as I did before. I really believed that I left all the terrors behind, but without fail it came following me like a shadow. Thoughts of her repeating the same thing and starting a mass murder of ridicule and mockery at this new school wouldn’t leave my mind.
“Hey Dreya… Dreya…” Molly whispered in the middle of science class. “Have you read this book before? I totally recommend it.” She slid the book quietly towards me and pointed at it.
“What is the book about?” I took a good look at the front cover and curiously enough turned to read the blurb.
She smiled as she watched me examine the book, “It’s about two best friends who fall in love with each other. It’s so cute!” She exclaimed a bit too loud, failing to cover up her eagerness.
“Quiet please! It's silent study!” Our teacher heard Molly’s excited voice but thankfully didn’t notice who it was, or else we’d be kept behind after class.
“Shh Molly… you’re a bit too loud.” I pointed a finger to my lip but quietly giggled.
At first it didn’t really bother me at all. I thought it was pretty normal and cliche, and just like any other story. Although, day after day, I started to notice a change in Molly’s behavior. Something wasn’t right in how she looked at me. It wasn’t bad, but it felt odd. The more I pondered on it, I started to realize something which I wish I never had.
It became quite apparent that she had feelings for me. I, on the other hand, did not. What me and Molly had was a friendship I never wanted to lose. She meant a lot to me as a friend. Especially during the beginning of secondary life. In fact, she was my only friend to begin with and we stuck together ever since day one. There was no other way, but I had to break the news by telling her I liked someone else.
“Hey Molly?” I tapped her on the shoulder nervously.
“Mhm? What is it?” She smiled at me, as if she was anticipating something from me.
“I need to tell you something. It's about my crush.” Her eyes widened and all of her attention diverted to me.
“Who is it?! You have a crush? And you never told me!” She exclaimed, excitement radiating from her face with the thought of it being her.
“Go on, tell me!”
This was the day that all hell broke loose and my whole life turned upside down. All because of one crush and one name.
“Hellooo? Dreya? The introduction speech is over.” Molly waves her hand in front of my face, breaking me from my terrible daydream. “Can I pass through? Thanks.” I see other students getting up from their seats to start the first break of the day.
I stood up and let her pass without a word. Two other girls passed by me and walked alongside her. She looked like she made some friends already but I’m not surprised to be honest. She is the type who easily approaches people, that is exactly how I met her.
The day went by a bit sluggish, but it was finally time for lunch period. Everyone was seated within their own cliques. I could see Molly sitting with her new found friends, and I was scouring the cafeteria to find a spot to sit. Hopefully as far away from her as possible. I decided to sit at an empty spot across the room from her.
Munching on whatever I had packed in my lunchbox, I tried not making eye contact, although it was hard to avoid seeing her laughing and smiling with her friends. Their loud voices echoed through the large cafeteria room. Then it caught my attention. I heard my name. And it came from her. Molly.
I gritted on my sandwich, and clenched my fist hard. I could feel the pit of my stomach twisting and turning and my throat choking up again. She was talking about my past to them. How dare she have the audacity to speak about my life when it’s not hers. Just when I thought I could have a fresh new start and then this happens. The halls will now be filled with whispers and rumors about me, just like it was before. I will become the new punch line of this new school. It's a curse.
“Omg! EW! It’s Dreya!! Guys get changed quick! She will perv on you!” All the girls in the changing rooms huddled together, half undressed, pointing fingers at me as if I was a monster or a creep. I played it off as a joke, but deep down I was shattered like pieces of a broken mirror, impossible to repair. I gritted my teeth together, clenched my fist and walked out of the changing rooms with all my stuff. Trying so hard to hold my tears but I couldn’t. They were falling and I was drowning in them.
I hid behind the bathroom stall with my head down. Molly was to blame for all of this. I thought I could trust her. I thought she was my best friend. Her jealousy turned into a weapon and it stabbed me in the back. This was when I realized human friendships can be very fragile, and just like the english weather - unpredictable. A tap on the stall door awoke me from my thoughts.
“Hey, I’m Dayna. What’s your name?” I looked up through the thin space of the stall door to see a small blonde girl with a curious and innocent smile strewn across her face standing outside.
“I’m A-Andrea.” I barely managed to free my own name from my lips through the tears.
“Are you okay? I saw what happened. That really wasn’t cool of them.”
“Hey, can you guys not act as if you’re a bunch of high school wussies!?” All the girls, including Molly, fell silent to this young man. He shook his head out of disappointment and looked straight ahead to where I was sitting. He smiled and waved at me.
“Hi there! My name’s Towan. Do you mind if I sit with you?” Before I could even give an answer he sat down anyway.
“Uh, feel free to.”
“I never really understood why people act that way. Like can’t they mind their own business. You know what I mean?” He ate lasagna which was the cafeteria’s special menu of the day, leaving his face a mess without care.
“Mhm. Totally.” I watched him continue to shove his food like there was no tomorrow. It was pretty funny to be fair. Such a strange guy. “You should really slow down, you know. You could choke or something.” I chuckled.
Maybe not all of my past was horrible. Since there are people like him who has a heart. Sometimes, it only takes one person to make you feel like you belong in a place where everyone can be so toxic. Dayna was proof of that evidence in my happy memories. I guess I can say the same for this dude. Towan huh.