I am running up the stairs, fast enough to balance out my adrenaline, yet slowly enough for her not to realise that something is up. I have tears in my eyes and I don’t know why. I have picked up my pen and I am writing. The paper begins to get wet and I don’t know why. I have done this before; it is not a big deal. At least that is what I tell myself.
It has been more than two years since the last time I wrote a letter like this. In that time, I have had so many conversations, and many quickly left me smiling. It is not easy to say ‘I am gay’, or ‘I like guys/dudes/men/whatever’. Yet, it gets so much easier so quickly when the response is something like “you don’t say?!”, or “Is that a big deal or something?!”.
Letters are different though. You have to wait, and wait, and wait. And to think that waiting is exactly why I chose letters those two times anyway!
I managed to sneak into her room and drop the letter on the bed. Good thing he is not at home tonight, or he would already be in bed. He never thought that she needed to know.
Dogs are the best coming-out partner for sure. It is the second time I have been sitting in my room, slowly petting my real-life stuffed animal as my ears follow every hint of noise trying to realise how close the letter is to being read.
I hear slow sleepy steps on the stairs. It is happening. She stops by my room to wish me good night like every other night we spent in the same place from the day she brought me into this world. I barely hold my voice together, I say good night back and I force a smile as she walks away.
I hear the door close. And I wait. I have been waiting 21 and a half years for this moment. I knew that he would be more difficult: that is why I could not wait that long. That is why I wrote that first letter two years ago. And he was difficult.
I remember screaming on the phone in my room in halls. I remember screaming in my pillow in my room in halls. But that is over. It has been more than two years. He is okay now. I am okay too.
Acceptance is a funny thing. It can do a lot of good in some cases, and a lot of harm in others. Yet, it can also do tremendous good to the people who struggle to accept others. Sometimes, even more good than it would do to those who are accepted. And it has done him good, even if he does not know it.
The door opens again. My heart stops and then she appears with a smile. I cannot hide my tears anymore, she sits on the bed next to me, gives me a hug and a kiss on the forehead and minutes later I fall asleep.
I did not have to go through all this no matter how beautiful it ended up being. Let me rephrase: I should not have had to go through all this no matter how beautiful it ended up being. Yet, I am glad I did. Because anything we do that brings us closer to our parents, our friends, our pets, or any human being for that matter, brings us closer to ourselves too.
And I have never felt as close to myself as I feel today.