by Jern Siong
Three words – that was all it took.
But he couldn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to voice them. Whenever the moment arose, his tongue freezes, and all that comes are odd grunts and short gasps.
Maybe it was fear. Or nervousness. Or excitement.
Whatever it was, he hated it. He hated how it took over his life, hanging over his head at every moment, threatening to gush out, but never actually doing so. He loved her. God, he loved her so much. So why couldn’t he just say it? Three simple words, and it would all be over.
But would it? What if she wasn’t ready? What if she freaked out and refused to speak to him?
No. He didn’t want that. But he didn’t want this either.
And it was with that he would continually put it off. Tomorrow, he tells himself. Tomorrow, I’ll tell her. But he never did. His courage would fail at the final moment, and he would make some silly comment about the weather.
It made him look like a fool, he knew, but he was helpless. Helpless against the torrent of emotions, the stiffening of his body, the shivering in his knees, and the fear. Always, always the fear.
His friend did it easily enough. Nothing changed for him. But he had always been the confident type, never afraid to say what he thinks, never nervous, never afraid. It all came so easily, and they were so happy afterwards. Would he feel the same way afterwards?
Or would he suffer what others did; rejection? And disappointment. And sadness. Most important of all, would he lose her?
He didn’t want to consider the possibility. But it always came up, late at night, haunting him. The terrible question; what if?
But then again, what if everything was all right afterwards? Then all his fear, all his nervousness, would have been for naught. After all, she loves him very much, he knew that. He loves her too, so why is it so hard?
He’ll be leaving soon. If he doesn’t do it soon, then it would be too late, and he would regret it for the rest of his life.
This dilemma, it’s killing him. Slowly eating him up from the inside, bit by bit, day by day, until there was nothing left. Until even she was gone.
He could not let that happen. He must do it now.
Slowly, he got to his feet. Put one foot in front of the other. He felt cold inside, even though it was a warm summer night. Shivers ran down his body, and he gripped his hands tightly.
The time is now.
He approached the door. Pushed it open. There she was. The one he loved with all his heart. He took a deep breath. She looked up and smiled. His heart hammered in his chest, and he felt the familiar sensations taking over.
No. He cannot, must not, let it take over.
And he blurted it out.
Mum, I’m gay.