Identity: Pansexual, Genderqueer
Word Count: 1,369
The sunlight hit her beautiful locks of golden hair, her blue eyes shining like diamonds. My heart melted. It was like a dream.
Sarah. Beautiful Sarah. Kind Sarah. We may have been young but that was love. On my part, at least. The way she looked at me, sometimes it felt almost like she loved me, too, but there was no real way to be certain…until…
“Take me away, to the stars. I’d cry if I were without you. So beautiful together you and I are. And I’d die without you.” she sang like the serenade of a sweet summer bird. I sat and watched. And when she was done, she came and sat down right next to me, smiling at me. “How did I do?”
“Wonderful…” I muttered. “I mean, you did wonderful! You were great! You’ll blow them all away at the performance.” She looked away. “I don’t know…it’s easier with you all. I know you. You’re my friends. I couldn’t do this in front of so many people.” she sighed. “Just imagine them in their underwear or something! It would be so selfish of you to keep your talents to yourself.” I told her. We laughed. “Maybe…I mean…what would happen if I forgot my lines?” she asked. “It might be a little embarrassing but you’d live.” I shrugged. “What if didn’t live? What if everyone made fun of me? What if-!” She looked at me and I looked at her. She sighed and looked down. “Everyone hates being embarrassed but…it’s part of life, right?” I asked her. “Yeah…it’s part of life.”
We laughed for a while, then it was time to go home and I walked her out of the classroom until I saw her mom. “Bye!” I waved to her as we split paths. She waved back.
Sarah and I were in a middle school singing class together. At the end of the year, there would be a big performance showcasing all of us and the other classes. We were practicing our songs. I envied Thomas, his song I would’ve loved to sing. My song was structured and boring and it wasn’t who I was at all. It wasn’t me. But I sang it anyway. Jemika was the fourth student in the class. Her song was jazzy and it went high and low like ocean waves crashing on a beach. Then Sarah. Sarah’s song was delicate and lovely about a long lost love being reunited. I wanted nothing more than to be singing it as a duet with her. But duets weren’t allowed. And even if they were…I would never be able to get up the courage to ask.
I was sitting in the classroom. I was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Sarah walked in and sat next to me. She smiled at me and I looked at her, smiling back. “I think I have all my lines memorized.” she told me. “Really? That’s fast.” I replied. “What do you mean? You had all of your lines memorized by the third class!” she giggled. I shrugged, chuckling with her. “Sarah…” I started. She looked at me, her piercing blue eyes staring into my brown-green ones. But I couldn’t say what I wanted to. I didn’t even know what it was I wanted to say. ‘I love you’ sounded too strange. ‘You’re cute’ wasn’t right. ‘I have a crush on you’ was too direct. ‘I care about you’ was too indirect. The words wouldn’t come out and suddenly I couldn’t remember anything at all. The English language faded away from my memory, the only thing I could see was her gorgeous golden hair…her blue eyes…her round face smiling at me. And for a second I smiled back, wishing I could move my mouth. Wishing I could say something, anything. Anything at all. “Ok, it’s only a few weeks until the performance and we have to practice, practice, practice!” the teacher barked. Suddenly, all the words came flooding back as everyone lined up in front of her and I followed.
After class, Sarah and I walked together as we always would. We chatted. But it was hard to not think about those few minutes when all I could see was her. I considered, for a moment, just forcing myself to tell her I had a crush on her but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. So, I simply continued my usual way. Making jokes. Saying how good she would do at the performance.
And finally, it was time. Time to perform. It all happened so fast. I watched Jemika and Thomas sing. Then Sarah. Her hair was combed to the side and braided. She was wearing a lacy red dress and sparkly red shoes. Her blue eyes shone perfectly in the light. She didn’t seem afraid at all. And I drowned in her beautiful voice. “Take me away to the stars. I’d cry if I were without you. So beautiful together you and I are. And I’d die without you.”
I clapped for her. Then, it was my turn. I walked onto the stage, my black jeans sagging slightly. I cleared my throat and belted out the first few verses of the horrible song I had to sing, the pianist behind me the whole time. “This is my world, this isn’t a world, it’s my world, girl!” And then, the spotlights shining in my eyes, I stopped. Time slowed and all I could see were the eyes. The eyes of my family, my friends, my entire town and some people outside of it, glaring at me. I could hear them whispering, “Why isn’t that kid singing?” I could hear them. But I couldn’t say anything. The pianist desperately whispered the words to me but I just couldn’t say a thing. For a moment, I didn’t know English. I looked at Sarah. She smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Then, it came back. Everything came back. All the words that I had worked for weeks to memorize came back. “Beautiful world and it’s mine, mine, mine, all mine!” I finished the song, throwing my arms out to the sides. My cheeks flushed with embarrassment as I ran off the stage as fast as I possibly could and sat next to Sarah. I sighed, watching the other performances. Sarah looked at me and whispered, “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine.” I whispered back. “You know, forgetting some lines…it’s not that bad. I mean…it’s kind of embarrassing but…you’ll live, right?” she chuckled. I looked at her and then at my feet. “Yeah. I guess so.”
I sat there. The fabric of the chair on my back. My hair covered half of my face. Usually I’d brush it out of the way but…not today. It didn’t matter anymore. I made a fool of myself in front of everyone. My family. My friends. Sarah. Oh, Sarah. So beautiful. So kind. Her voice like the song of a small bird. Her hair like gold. Her eyes like precious gems. A small drop of water dripped from my eye onto my pants. Sarah must have thought I was an idiot. How could I forget my lines? I never forgot my lines. I never forgot anything. Ever. I walked out of the crowded theatre and Sarah followed me. “Hey, are you alright?” she asked me. “I’m fine.” I replied. “Come on, it wasn’t that horrible, was it?” She looked at me and I looked at her. “I could remember the words but I couldn’t say them. I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t speak.” I told her. She hugged me. “Ok, that’s pretty horrible. But…I enjoyed your performance.”
She smiled at me. “I like you…and I liked your performance.”
“Thanks…I liked your performance, too.” I smiled at her. “But it’s not like that…I really like you, Harper.” She pressed her ruby red lips against mine. It was perfect.
So perfect I didn’t even care that I had embarrassed myself in front of everyone.