Chapter Six

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A week after the crash, the last of my stitches were coming out. Hanna was set to return to school in a week or so, depending on how well her incision was healing. Meanwhile I drove a fifteen-hundred-dollar car my parents had gotten a deal on surprisingly quickly, and brought Hanna her homework after school when I didn't have practice.

I'd become a master at leaving practice without Cheven, but today I couldn't shake her. I tried to ignore her presence and made my way to the parking lot. "Alecia, wait," She said.

She sounded so confused and upset. I slowed down, but I didn't stop.

"What is wrong?" She asked.

"Nothing."

She stopped. "I know something is wrong." Cheven said, "You're cutting me out. I'm not an idiot. You stopped running with me every morning. You barely look at me, I have to fight to even have small talk with you, or to see how your day is going. We haven't hung out in months. What is wrong, what did I do?"

I turned to her. "Cheven, nothing is wrong."

She ignored me, "Alecia you got in a God damn car crash, and didn't tell me about it. You want to know who I had to hear about it from? Gretchen Lipschitz."

"Who?"

"Exactly." Cheven huffed in frustration, "Alecia you helped me so much. When I lost my leg, you stuck by me. We were kids. It made me mean, and bitter, for a long time. I lashed out, and none of my friends would talk to me, except you. You helped me. Let me help you." She pleaded.

I stared at her. My heart was loud in my ears. I walked away.

"Alecia!" Cheven's voice cracked.

I faced her again, my frustration with her at its peak. Screw it, screw it, screw it! "Cheven, I am gay. I-" I paused and made myself say it, "-Am a lesbian. I love women." I looked up and took a deep breath. "Do you understand what it's like to know your best friend thinks people like you are a pervert, and if she found out who you were, she'd think you would rape her if given the chance? Do you get how terrifying that is?"

Cheven stood in shocked silence.

"Twelve years of friendship, in the toilet, because you couldn't possibly accept that I'm attracted to women." I said

I thought I might vomit, and in my coming-out rage, I hadn't noticed that most of the soccer team had witnessed what I'd just said. Shit. They all stared at me, and I truly felt like I was channeling the spirit of a deer in the headlights. Fuck. Three days before the scout game, you have got to be shitting me.

"You're a lesbian?" Kendal asked as if I'd just told all of them I like to go to McDonald's and eat food off the floor.

Cheven had a perplexed look on her face as if the sheer dissonance of her best friend also being homosexual was breaking her brain. All the anger from the past year I'd been holding back came bursting through me. I clenched my jaw and nodded vigorously, "Yes, Kendal, I am a lesbian. And yet I have never assaulted anyone. Shocking, right? You know what, I shouldn't have to defend myself. I don't have anything else to say to any of you, except see you at practice tomorrow."

I turned around and walked to my car, half expecting an angry mob to chase me. They didn't though, they just stood and watched me drive away. I drove straight to Hanna's house, internally freaking out over the fact that I completely screwed myself over. All that kept flashing through my head was the look of confusion on Cheven's face, and the disgust on everyone else's. I kept sucking in huge deep breaths and heat radiated from my face. As if I was watching myself do it I shut the door of my car and walked up to Hanna's room. "Hey sweet thing how did practice-" She stopped.

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