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a double life

Chapter One

August 2004 By Phil -

I must have stood there motionless for at least an hour, with the water cascading upon my bare back and the steam from the shower clouding the room, curling through the air in wispy waves of white. A salty stream of tears trickled down my cheeks, mingling with shower water at my chest, travelling down to form a river by my feet, slowly swirling into the plughole. I concentrated on all of these details: the sound of the running water, the steam swirling around my head, the feeling of the warm water cascading on my back, and tried to calm down. This wasn’t my fault. Or was it? I had a habit of ending up in messes like this. I tried to steady my breathing to no avail, with only the sound of the running water muting my intermittent sobbing.

Closing my eyes, I could still picture the scenario. Liz, my high school girlfriend pouncing on top of me, an undeniable passion gleaming in her eyes. Feverishly kissing my neck and pulling at my shirt buttons. That is, until I pulled her off of me. I really loved Liz, that’s once thing I knew, but I couldn’t continue living this lie. This wasn’t the life I wanted- I didn’t want to have the perfect wedding with the perfect girl, and make lots of perfect children. She looked up at me, her hands still clasping at my shirt button.

"What’s wrong babe?"

She looked at me quizzically, but still trying to maintain the sultry look that she was working so hard on. I looked at her, searching for an answer, but I didn’t really have the words for what I wanted to say.

"I uh, think that, um, maybe we, um…"

I trailed off, for a moment, realizing that I was avoiding the problem entirely.

"Look Liz, I love you, we both know that. But I can’t do this."

Liz looked at me, almost bemusedly. Her expression confused me. She was smirking at me, her tongue trailing along her bottom lip.

"Ok then babe, you won’t have to do a thing. But it won’t stop me from riding that…"

"Liz, I’m gay!"

I don’t know if I actually had any intention of telling her that today. But as soon as the words reached my lips, I wished I hadn’t. Even beneath her usual slather of foundation, she went flame red, and her eyes glinted with an anger that I knew would mean hysterics.

"You, gay? You have been dating me for fucking two years and you tell me you’re gay! Well you know what? You can go fuck off, I don’t need you anyway… You know what… maybe I’ll go see if Jason’s still interested!"

It was only after that spiel that she realised that she was still straddling my chest. She pushed herself off of me, trying to hurt me as much as she possibly could with her slight frame, and stormed out of my room, slamming the door with all of the class and melodramatics of an American soap opera. I lay there motionless for a moment, then slumped my head back down onto the pillow, my heart beat echoing amongst the silence. A mixed wave of emotions flowed through me, each a contradiction of the last, leaving me dazed and confused. Relieved for finally sharing my secret, but scared from breaking out of my safe, pre-defined world. Excited that I didn’t have to lie to Liz anymore, but petrified of the damage she could cause to me. She could ruin me, and that was the one thing that I knew more than anything.

Liz was always a drama-queen at heart: A spoilt only child who always got what she wanted, and when she wanted it. And she would be out for vengeance. A knock at my bedroom door broke the silence. I paused for a moment, then took a deep breath.

"Come in"

The door creaked open slowly, and I saw my mum standing there, peering through the crack tentatively before crossing over to my bed. I made room for her to sit next to me on the edge of the bed, and she sat down, adjusting her weight awkwardly.

"I heard that you had a fight with Liz,"

She spoke compassionately, without her usual nagging tone.

"Yeah, I did,"

"Is every thing ok?"

I paused for a moment, inhaling deeply, and looked right into my mothers misty grey eyes.

"It is now."

She looked at me, and then back at the doorway, signalling dad to come in. I groaned subconsciously, as he sad down on the other side of me.

"Look Marc," Even the beginning of his sentence sounded like a lecture. "I know you and Liz are having a hard time right now, but you have to realize that she really has your best intentions at heart, and I think that if you look deep within your heart you will see how much you love her."

My father looked at my mother searchingly. I smirked slightly, knowing that my father had no more material left to try and convince me of anything.

"What your father is trying to say, is that you should apologize to Liz before she starts to sulk. You know what she’s like after a big fight."

"Why the hell would I want to apologize to her for? You guys care about her a hell of a lot more then I do!"

"Well, for starters, there’s the spring dance coming up in two weeks time, and I was hoping that she would come with us to Charleton’s this weekend."

I couldn’t believe it. I had completely forgotten about the spring dance. But I was really surprised about Mum wanting to invite her to Charleton’s. I mean, I knew that she liked Liz, because after all, she was the one who introduced us, but mum never provides a free restaurant meal for anybody, especially at a swanky restaurant like Charleton’s. During this time dad remained silent. I had to pity the guy, he was so out of his league here.

"Ok, I’ll think about it," I answered, in defeat, seeing the elation on mums face.

"I knew you would darling," Mum kissed me on the forehead, and then escorted dad out of my room.

I sighed heavily, and then lay back down on my bed, closing my eyes for a moment. I could have stayed like that forever, but a vibration in my pocket stopped me. I pulled out my cell phone and answered it.

"I know who you are, you FAG!"

"Wh, who is this?" I stammered slightly, knowing that the voice on the other end of the phone was not Liz. Who could she have told?

"Your life will be hell from now, POOFTER! Your kind ain’t welcome here!"

"Wha- Who…"

Before I could finish my sentence, the mysterious caller hung up.

I opened my eyes, realising I had been in here for ages. I couldn’t hide out forever. I turned off the water, and ran a hand through my blond hair, combing it back with my fingers. I grabbed a towel and dried off, throwing on a pair of jeans and a shirt. Pausing for a moment, I turned to look at myself in the bathroom mirror. My grey blue eyes were still streaked with tears, and were slightly reddened, but other than that it wasn’t noticeable that I had been crying. My trance was broken by the phone. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the phone. Clicking on the receiver, I answered it.


"Hey, It’s Liz here,"

"Why the fuck are you calling?"

"Shut up for a second Marc, I have a proposition for you…"