DISCLAIMER: Not mine, never were. I own nothing and that takes up a lot of space so if you wanna sue me for it, go ahead. But like I said, you'll get a whole lotta nothing.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have NO idea where the hell this one came from other than that reoccuring fever perhaps. Anyone know a good HMO?
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Deep Dark Secret
By Aeryn Sun


I wonder sometimes if anyone really knows who I am. I doubt they do because of the way I act. I act nothing like the person I really am inside. But then, I act the way I've been trained to; by my parents, by my friends, and by society. When people look at me they expect a certain behavior, a stereotype if you will. And because of my petty need to fit in and be liked, I bow to that pressure and act the way they want me to.

But it's not me. It's a mask I wear to protect myself. But I've worn it for so long that I'm not even sure who I am anymore. What I do know, and what was hard for me to accept is how I feel. I think if anyone actually KNEW me, they'd know how I feel. It wouldn't be this deep dark secret that I'm forced to keep to myself in the interest of fitting in and not disturbing the status quo. If anyone took the time to actually SEE the real me, they'd know that I am capable of deep emotion and I'm not just the shallow image I present. If they looked...they'd see that...I love her.

That sounds so simple, and yet so complicated. I don't think love should ever be complicated and yet this is. Starting at the beginning, I'm female and so is she. While the whole 'lesbian chic' thing is in, or so ET and Vogue say, it's still a different matter when it's one of your friends. If my friends knew, would they look at me differently? Of course, whether they meant to or not. True, I've been told that a true friend shouldn't care about something like that but I know that some will. And damn me, I care too much about my social status to take the chance on losing it. Even for her.

And what about her? I've never told her. Hell, we barely speak and when we do it's hardly civil. I never have a kind word to say to her. I make caustic remarks to go along with what's expected of me. But all I really want to say is how beautiful I think she is. I love her hair, it always looks like a soft blanket and I have this urge to run my fingers through it to see if it's as soft as it looks. Her eyes are so expressive and open, not like the cold and guarded ones I'm used to dealing with. I could fall in and drown in those eyes when she's looking at me, even if it usually is a glare. I love her body, it intrigues me with its curves and I dream about it at night. I see her everyday and yet I can not say a thing to her about how I feel. It isn't fair.

She'd probably be shocked...and disgusted. Who'd want me anyway, I suppose. I've spent so much time molding my image into what it is that everyone's either afraid of me or thinks I'm some sort of psycho hose beast. No one would believe that I have real emotions. But I do. I hear what they say about me and it hurts. The jokes and whispers make me cry when I'm alone. But I can never let them know that, I've been trained that way. And by the same token, I can never let her know how I feel.

If I ever did say anything, I could kiss my social status good-bye. I'd be yesterdays news faster than you could say 'liposuction'. And if my family found out, I'd be disowned. Hell, my mother already thinks I'm a disgrace to the family, she'd probably see the fact that I'm gay as proof. I'd be thrown out, cut off and forgotten. Sad, but true.

So back to what I was saying to start with. No one knows me, the real me under the layers of makeup and designer clothes. The me that thinks and feels in ways that no one will ever know or understand because I'm not strong enough to stand apart from the popular image placed in front of me. Because I daren't buck society's trend. And because of that, I have this secret that I keep buried deep within my heart.

I shut my notebook and remind myself to burn those pages the same as I've burned countless others. I stand up and bump into a soft, warm body.

"Oh, sorry, I didn't see you there," and I look up at the voice and see her looking at me in apology. And then she sees who she's bumped into and her eyes narrow. "Oh, it's you."

I nod dumbly for a second unable to speak. And then I sigh. There's so much I WANT to say, and so much I CAN'T. She hears the sigh, I guess, because her expression softens.

"Really, though, I didn't mean to plow into you like that. I'm sorry. I was in a hurry. I think I missed my ride," Carmen explains in that cheerful and yet sometimes cutely annoying overtalkative way of hers. My mouth opens and closes without any sound coming out, which is unusual. I can usually manage an asinine or idiotic comment by now. She frowns.

"You OK? You're awful quiet," she points out. And I can't help but smile. See? I told you I should have said something by now. Finally my brain kicks back in as I notice that some of our classmates have seen us talking.

"Well," I start and automatically cringe because I know that what I'm about to say is going to be cruel. "Maybe if y'all didn' eat a steady diet of Twinkies and Ho-Ho's ya could see were yous wuz goin', huh Tubbo?" Carmen flinches as I make fun of her weight, which is wrong of me since it's an issue of my own as well. But I can't help adding one more shot.

"Ah mean, yer ass is so big Ah'm serprized y'all don' beep when ya back up," I joke and I hear the kids in earshot laughing. Her eyes, those eyes that I honestly can say that I love, fill up with tears and she turns away from me.

"You're a beast, Mary Cherry. I hate you," she whispers as she starts walking quickly away. And my insides burn with the pain of her words. I know that I can never tell her how I feel. She'd never forgive me for the pain I've caused her, no matter how gentle and loving her heart is.

That's OK Carmen, hate me. It's the safe thing to do. It's what you've been trained to do. And after all, I hate me too. For the act, for the words, and for my cowardice. It's the way things are supposed to be.

The End

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