Chapter Six

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That night I didn't sleep.

When I eventually ran all the way home, I found mom already home from work. I ignored her calling my name and rushed upstairs, not wanting to explain my tears to her. I locked the door and walked into my closet. I quickly changed into one of my dad's old hoodies and slipped on a pair of leggings and dove under the covers, the tears not relenting at all.

Mom knocked a couple times, asking me to open up the door and talk to her but she left after a while and gave me my privacy. I checked my phone through blurry eyes and found about a million missed calls and a hundred texts, most from Madison. She was apologizing profusely, asking where I was, if I got home safely and if I was okay. 

There were also a couple from Gray and Charlie, but they were only demanding to know what happened and where I had run off to. Clearly Madison didn't tell them anything, for which I was briefly grateful for.

I only sent out one text, and that was to Grayson, telling him that I'd leave the car keys on the kitchen table because I wasn't going to school tomorrow. He refused at first but when I didn't reply to any of his angry texts he finally agreed, realizing I wasn't kidding.

Finally, I curled up into a mournful ball and hugged a pillow to my chest. How could such a great evening end so horribly? I wasn't stupid. I knew Madison was suggesting I might be gay but I couldn't possibly be. How was I supposed to believe that I'd lived almost eighteen years of my life not knowing I was a lesbian? I didn't want to believe it, couldn't believe it. But even as I sank deeper into my denial, scene and snippets of memories began flooding my mind.

Third grade, always finding it easier to make friends with boys than girls even though all the other girls thought they were 'gross'. The girls just always seemed so intimidating and pretty.

Sixth grade, reaching for my friend Emerson Blake's hand when we were walking to lunch and her yanking it from my grasp with a disgusted look. I didn't understand at the time, all I wanted to do was hold her hand. What was so wrong with that?

Eighth grade, when all the girls in my grade suddenly had boyfriends and feeling peer pressured into getting one myself, even though I never had even the slightest interest in dating or boys. When I asked Madison about it she had just said that maybe I didn't grow out of her kindergarten 'boys are so gross' mentality, even though I insisted I never found boys gross, just unattractive.

Sophomore year, staying home from the annual dance because I had rejected any boy that asked and didn't want to go alone.

Multiple other memories that should have made it obvious swam up in my mind and it only made me cry harder. I felt foolish and stupid. Could it be? Could I really not have known? God, who is that oblivious? It made total and complete sense. I should have known.

Maybe I was being dramatic, but finding out you were so wrong about such a huge part of who you are was one of the hardest and most painful things I'd ever felt. I just couldn't wrap my head around it. Had it been obvious to everyone around me? Was I the only one who hadn't figured it out?

I tried my hardest to fall asleep and free myself from the torture of my mind but I tossed and turned and couldn't keep my eyes shut as I overthought every single thing. The sun had begun to come up when my eyes finally dried up. Isn't it crazy that one day something happens and suddenly your life stops making sense but the rest of the world goes on like nothing happened?

I got up to change my wet pillow case, hoping that I could finally get some sleep with a fresh dry one. I remembered that I hadn't put out the car keys for Grayson, so I did that too. I returned to my room and tried to drift off but every time I shut my eyes another memory of something that should have made it obvious floated beneath my eyelids and I felt like an idiot all over again. 

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