Chapter Two

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I pulled the laces of my running shoe tight and took a deep breath. The house was so beautifully quiet this early. The morning sun filtered in faintly through the window, and I smiled. Three loud raps on the door destroyed to perfect silence, "Cheven." I opened to front door and stepped outside, "Woman you're going to wake up the whole house!"

Cheven grinned sheepishly, "Sorry."

I shook my head chuckled, "It's fine, let's get going!"

"Oops wait a sec." Cheven sat down on the front steps. she removed her running leg and adjusted her stocking.

"Come on Chev why'd you knock if you weren't ready!"

Cheven reattached her leg and stood up, "I had a fold Alecia, I didn't notice it until just now!" She bounced from foot to foot, "Alright let's do this."

We began our morning run down the street of their suburb. Soon the suburb turned into cornfield, and we reached the gnarled tree on the edge of a field that had been struck by lightning so many times it was more charcoal than tree. We jumped over the ditch and ran around the tree, touching it for good luck, and made our way back home. As we passed back through our now awake neighborhood people waved and dogs chased us along fences.

We passed the Jefferson's mailbox, which was a block from my house, and we both broke into a dead sprint. The race was neck and neck as always, Cheven had more drive to push herself than I did. We sat on my porch steps together, catching our breath. Cheven took off her prosthetic and rubbed her stump.

"Is it hurting again?" I asked

"Oh my socket is just rubbing a bit; I think I need to go get it adjusted again." Cheven laid back and stretched out, "I haven't had phantom pains in a few years."

I laid back with her. "Can you believe we're going to graduate this year?"

Cheven laughed, "No I feel like I'm still a kid. I thought we were supposed to grow up or something."

I agreed. I hadn't yet told Cheven I was gay. This was mostly because I had no idea what her true feelings were on the subject, and I was terrified that they would be negative. But I had devised a plan, "Cheven, can I ask you something?"

            She turned to me and smiled, "Of course."

            "Well it's my aunt Su, she recently told the family she's gay, and I don't know how to feel about it." I held my breath and waited for her response.

            She sat up and looked across the street thoughtfully for a minute. "Well has your mom talked to her about it yet?"

            Not what I expected, "Um, no why? What do you mean?'

            "Well it's important that she talks to her quickly so it doesn't become a permanent lifestyle thing." She said, as if that was a totally rational thing to say.

            Shit. "Well, I don't think it's really a choice, Chev."

            "Oh please, that's just what they tell themselves so they don't have to feel guilty."

            Oh God. I felt nauseous. My throat dried up. I needed to go inside, but I didn't know how to end this conversation gracefully. I nodded, "I'll have to talk to my family about it. Hey I'm going to take a shower, see you at school." Ok, not the most graceful ending, but it could have been worse. I tried to stop thinking about Cheven and what she had said, but her words sat in the pit of my stomach like freshly poured cement.

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