Forbidden Territory

I was just a normal child who was never comfortable in my own skin. I would struggle with my own thoughts and no matter how much I tried I would find ways to torment myself. That’s when I found someone who could silence my demons and make me laugh at inappropriate times. We went to school together and pretty much spent our entire school and college life together. We always had each other’s back. In the last year of our teenage life the most common thing in the world happened, one’s feeling towards the other changed and unfortunately that one was me. I was attracted to him!

My feelings drove me crazy because I knew he would never feel the same. He would go out with other girls and I had to pretend to be happy for him when it actually tore me inside. He would come back and tell me about his ‘wild dates’ and all I could do was pretend to laugh while secretly wishing I could rip that girl’s head off. But he was my best friend, and I could not risk losing him. So I kept pushing my feelings aside. He could sense something was wrong and kept asking me about it, but I never told him. How could I? It would lead to the destruction of our friendship and I couldn’t let that happen. So I began to distance myself from him. I could see him hurting but I had been hurt myself for far too long and didn’t have it in me to keep myself going.

I decided to move to another city and stay with my relatives where I could start afresh. He came to know about my decision from our mutual friends and decided to confront me. How stupid was I to think that he wouldn’t find out if I went away quietly. I was packing my stuff when I heard a knock on the door, I opened it and there he stood looking at me straight in the eye. I could feel my heart beat getting faster and my knees trying hard to keep steady. He walked straight into my empty closet and looked around at the deserted racks. For some reason I thought he wasn’t looking around at the empty closet but instead looking around for answers, and in that moment I knew I had to tell him. He had the right to know. His eyes asked all the questions his lips couldn’t.

I spoke softly saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry I couldn’t keep up any longer, I’m sorry for turning my back at you, I’m sorry for loving you the way I do.” He understood, he understood each and every feeling that I had for him but I could see him trembling. Trembling to find the right words, trembling because of the outcome that might come out of what he was going to tell me. He stood there for some time but the silence felt like eternity. Head bowed down, trying hard to say something but failing miserably. So I decided to make it easier for him, I told him he didn’t need to say anything and that I understand he doesn’t feel the same. But when he looked up, his eyes gave away a different emotion altogether. He leaned in and kissed me. I felt someone gave me a high voltage shock out of nowhere. I could feel the blood rush to my head. The passion, love and chemistry in that kiss was something that poets write about. It was filled with longing and love. I broke the kiss to look at him, to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. And the grin that spread across his face was all the surety I needed. And we walked out of the closet, hand in hand.

Afterword –

Walking out of the closet is a metaphor used to describe coming out about one’s sexual orientation.

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