The day I began my sophomore year at Edward H. White Senior High school was the day I would meet a person that I would never forget. Unbeknownst to me, this person would cause me to feel emotions I had never felt before. I would never have imagined that this one person could have impacted my life. To think, this all began because I was late to my last class of the day.

I was having trouble navigating my way around the school all day; the most troublesome part being my last class, Debate I. After about ten minutes of my exploration through the labyrinth; I finally arrived at my destination, and as I walked into the classroom, one of the guys bolted towards me. Astonished as I was by the speed at which this guy had reached where I was standing; I was also perplexed by the enthusiasm on his face because I had never seen anyone so excited to see me. His eyes were gleaming as if he’d discovered something outstanding; combine this with a grin so friendly that even the Devil himself would want to smile. His grin was contagious, and I soon found myself grinning as well. He was Caucasian with light brown, curly hair and mesmerizing, deep blue eyes; he had a slight mustache and beard, though they were more fuzz-like than anything. We were about the same height, and roughly the same build; we even had the same posture while standing. “Hey, my name’s Sean. What’s your name?” he said enthusiastically. I replied, “My name’s Jonathan.” To which he responded, “It’s nice to meet someone else who’s new to this class. Come sit with me.” He put out his hand and baffled as I was, I took his hand with my own. He then directed me to where he had been sitting, which had actually been towards the left of the door. He put two desks together so that we would be facing each other; he was allowed to move the desks together if he agreed to move them back to their original positions. After I sat in the desk facing the door, he sat in the desk facing the wall behind me, growing even more excited than before. This enthusiasm continued to baffle me because I could not wrap my head around someone being this excited to meet me. He started the conversation by asking where I was from to which I replied New York; five minutes into our conversation and I had become very fond of him. He was an intellectual type of guy and he was funny, somewhat lazy, and very easy going. We conversed for rest of the class; our excitement growing more as we got to know each other better. At the end of the class we were the last to leave, and to my surprise he walked me to the front of the building, becoming a little sad when we had to part ways. Ten minutes after parting ways with him, I began to feel a strange longing to see him again.

When I returned to the debate class he greeted me with more enthusiasm than the first time, referring to me as his buddy. I will admit that when he called me his buddy, I felt a surge of pride, which caused me to smile. Again, we walked towards the desks which he had already put together, only this time they were side by side. Ms. Scarecki, the debate teacher, then had everyone rearrange all the desks into two rows; one facing north and the other facing south; the northern desks were arguing against animal testing while the southern desks were defending animal testing. Sean and I decided to sit in the very middle of the southern desks because we wanted a challenge. We both felt that coming up with a defense against animal testing was too simple, and we knew the majority of the class would choose that side of the argument anyhow. The numbers ended up being twenty five against animal testing, and five defending animal testing. Once the debate began, Sean and I lost interest due to the fact that our classmates were incoherently screaming at each other. We then decided to converse about animal testing amongst ourselves, and we did so for about ten minutes. Debating with him was entertaining, and I soon found that he was a worthy intellectual opponent. Sparks should have been flying, or at least that’s what intellectually sparring with him felt like. The smile growing on the corner of his mouth indicated he was enjoying himself about as much as I was. “You’re not like most of the people I’ve met before.” He said. I replied, “That’s probably because I’m weird.” He responded, “I never get the chance to talk about topics like this normally. People usually just yell and scream, kind of like what they’re doing.” He then pointed towards our still screaming classmates. Not really knowing what to say I just nodded and smiled at him. At the end of the period Ms. Scarecki informed us that she had good news, and bad news. Being the optimistic group that our class was, we wanted the bad news first. “Okay, so next Monday I will no longer be teaching your wonderful class.” Silence fell on the classroom, and the mood became quite solemn. I looked at Sean with a worried expression on my face and he responded with an equally troubling look. “So what’s the good news then?” I asked. She replied, “You’re getting a new teacher! Her name is Mrs. Taber and I’m sure you guys are going to love her.” The bell rang, and we all said our goodbyes to Ms. Scarecki. Just like the first time, Sean walked me to the front of the building, but this time we both grew pretty sad when we had to say goodbye.

On that following Monday, we were in a new classroom with the new debate teacher, Mrs. Taber. Sean and I decided to sit near the back of the classroom. Once we sat down and our classmates began filling the seats, Mrs. Taber had begun walking around the classroom as if she were a warden. All the seats were full, and Mrs. Taber greeted the entire classroom in an arrogantly, indifferent tone. Sean took an instant disliking to her; I was not too fond of her myself. The classroom remained silent for a few seconds and we were given work to do, which consisted of vocabulary. A week went by and she managed to reduce the class from thirty-two students to only nine students. Apparently, she was “thinning the fat”. Out of the nine students, Sean and I were the only boys who remained in her classroom. We started a conversation like we normally would have however, Mrs. Taber told us to shut up and we did not take that well. In response to her being rude, Sean and I conversed for the rest of the class. We continued our response by talking every class, and by playing around as well. Playing around usually consisted of childhood games we used to play. Some of those games included tic-tac-toe, dots, hangman, red hands, and the “tickle game”. The tickle game is a pastime where player one holds their arm out and looks in the opposite direction of that arm, then player two holds player one’s arm in place. Player two then uses their fingers to gently caress player one’s arm from their hand up to their shoulder. The object of the game is for player one to say stop when they think player two has touched the crease of their arm. Sean and I enjoyed playing this game quite often, and of course Mrs. Taber did not appreciate this very much. She did not take well to our antics, and quite frequently I found myself getting into trouble alongside Sean. Sean and I had become quite the pair.

The school year was into September by now, Sean and I would greet one another with the phrase “You’re late!” and for some reason we found this amusing. Half of the time we actually were late to class, much to Mrs. Taber’s dismay. After greeting each other, we would begin talking and do so for the entire two hours we were in debate. Consequently, every time there was a group assignment to be done, Mrs. Taber would separate us; though we found ways to communicate with each other anyhow. One of these methods was our “face games,” which consisted of us making faces at each other to attract the other’s attention. These face games were probably a lot more entertaining than they should have been. They started when one day she separated us. Sean was seated on the far left and I was seated on the far right. After being moved I glanced over at him and he made a sad puppy face, so I smiled at him. He then smiled back but moved his eyebrows in a comical fashion, so I responded by winking at him. So we continued to wink at each other, make funny faces, or just repeatedly smile at one another. One day Mrs. Taber caught us doing this and made a sardonic remark about us flirting. We just smiled and continued our face games. Sometimes we would just read each other’s lips, or write our thoughts on paper and display the paper as if it were a sign, or pass notes to each other. I remember one day when Summer, a senior in our class, had intercepted one of our notes and handed it to Mrs. Taber. Like most teachers, she read the note aloud thinking she’d embarrassed us. However, we were already passing another secret message while she had been reading the first one. Our relationship grew over the month of October and we became quite inseparable despite not seeing each other outside of school.

November comes around the corner and we were on the last class before Thanksgiving break. Sean and I were terribly sad at the fact that we wouldn’t see each other for a whole two weeks; though we joked around in class, we truly were upset at having to go that long without seeing one another. “Hey Sean, we should like totally hug it out before we leave, you know?” I said jokingly. He replied “Really? Alright, okay it’s a deal. When that bell rings, I’m gonna hug you.” When the bell rang we began walking towards the door, and much to my surprised he hugged me; I had never been hugged by another guy before so this was foreign to me. He hugged me tightly and I hugged him back; he was warm and soft, and the cologne on him smelled amazing. I was then bombarded with a rollercoaster of emotions. In what seemed like an eternity of a five minute hug I felt safe, afraid, sad, nervous, and confused. A strange love for him surfaced as well but this wasn’t the normal type of love you have for a friend, this love was different. There was a tingling sensation in my stomach, and I felt my cheeks and the back of my neck become hot; my heart fluttered and began beating rapidly. When he let go, I became dizzy and even a little somber. He walked me to the front of the building like he always did and we went our separate ways as usual, but this time I could not stop thinking about him. Over the course of my Thanksgiving break I could not remove him from my thoughts, and I missed him terribly. After Thanksgiving dinner, I went straight to my room to go to bed, and that night I dreamt about him, and as wonderful as the dream was I woke up startled, and I could not go back to sleep. I contemplated about what the dream meant for hours, and when the Sun rose I realized that I had feelings for Sean; I didn’t understand these newfound feelings and I had never felt them before, they were disorienting. I became even more flustered when I realized that I would see him the following Monday.
I was late to class again, this time because I was scared and nervous. As I walked into class he hugged me again so I hugged him as well; the hug felt amazing, he smelled amazing. When he let go, he stepped back two steps and looked at me, and for the first time I noticed how beautiful his eyes were. They were breathtakingly mesmerizing, almost as if I were staring into a kaleidoscope full of blue auroras; I froze. The emotions I felt when we hugged the first time came back but stronger, and I sheepishly looked away. I don’t know what overcame me, but I suddenly started being mean to him. I began ignoring him, and telling him he spoke too much. I started talking to other people in the class and would snap at him without warning. I decided that by pushing him away I could get rid of those emotions. Though as I did this he would look hurt, and I felt horrible. I would snap at him and he would give me a pained expression. The type of facial expression an abandoned child would give their parent, and I could not bear to look at him. We began to grow distant though he still tried to keep our friendship going strong. One day I decided to write him a letter confessing my feelings for him as well as ending our friendship for good. After I gave the letter to him everything changed. When I walked into class the next day there was no greeting, he wouldn’t even look at me, in fact he looked through me and I could have sworn someone stabbed me in my chest. Much to my dismay my feelings actually grew stronger. Sometimes I would forget to stop breathing when I saw him. However we didn’t exist to each other anymore, and when we had to work together we spoke to each other through our group mates. Our relationship dwindled so much that even Mrs. Taber asked us what was wrong, though we said nothing. For the first time since we met her, she was genuinely worried about us. I was only fifteen at the time; I had never had any type of guidance from any parental figure. I was confused, and very lost. Although our friendship ended on such a bad note, I will say that I’m glad to have met him because he is the reason I would eventually come to terms with my own sexuality. I regret the way I handled my troubled emotions, and I regret having lost my friend.
For the choice I made, I ruined a great friendship and the worst part is I hurt Sean in the process as well. I will never be able to fix what I had done. From this experience with Sean I did eventually come to terms with my sexuality, but I also learned a valuable lesson. A person should always be mindful of their decisions because every action or inaction has consequences. Sometimes I do wonder if Sean and I might still be friends today if I had been wiser about the choice I made.
Jiova Jiova
18-21, M
3 Responses May 15, 2012

Good story and good for you for getting your thoughts and feelings out. I expect that if you wrote such a letter to this guy he would likely appreciate it. Sounds like he was not gay, but just a friendly person. He likely has guilt and regrets about it all as well. I would share the link to the story with him if you can.

Well just because the story was lengthy doesn't mean it's any less important than some of the 3 sentence stories that will blow up with comments.

People like you give me faith in humanity.

Well thank you (: People like you make me realize that I'm never alone. There's so many people out there with there own struggles. Sometimes a few words of encouragement are all anyone needs to be reminded of it (:

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear you lost your friend. In the end though, every one is put in our lives for a reason. Maybe that was his reason. To help you come to terms with your sexuality.

I never thought of it like that. Kudos to you for reading all of that.