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I was thrown out of the closet when I was 16. Here is my story. I met her at school. Her smile drew me in and her warmth and personality made me always want to be around her. We joined the basketball team. Fantastic because not only was it my favorite sport,but it gave me a reason to spend more time with her. We saw each other at school and at practice daily and it wasn’t long before we were spending weekends and other moments together. Then it happened. We met each other in a classroom before class started and had a few moments alone and she kissed me. The moment I had dreamt about and couldn’t wait for had finally arrived. I lost myself in that kiss,but for only a moment. In the next moment a classmate entered the classroom,saw us and then she scurried out. Oh no. It had to be the biggest gossip in the whole entire school. She burst out of the classroom and told just about everyone she could find to listen. We knew it wouldn’t be long before the school’s dean would have her say. Before the end of the school day,we both received word that we needed to see the dean before leaving school that day. We both arrived and didn’t quite know what to expect,but we just knew our parents would be involved. We worried for no reason. We were reminded of the reason for our attendance and what the classrooms were for,and not a single word else. We were dismissed to enjoy the rest of our day.
As if we hadn’t come close to being expelled and in front of our parents,we acted as though nothing had happened and nothing could touch us and our new found toy.
It was Friday and we were going to the drive-in. I still couldn’t believe that she had her driver’s license already. I was older,but lazy about obtaining my own. My mother was her usual disagreeable self when I told her that I was going to a movie. She demanded that I take my son. She still had not released her anger about my getting pregnant by a guy I barely knew and only slept with on a dare. Yes,I said on a dare. My best friend and I actually dared each other to take that leap into adulthood that neither of us was ready for,and that I knew shouldn’t be. I knew I loved girls and how I loved them. In those days I was still trying so hard to please family and hide my true feelings by latching on to unsuspecting males and showing fake interest. I got caught up and badly and my mother would not let me live,let alone live it down. So when I asked her if it were ok for me to go to the movies,she made sure that I knew I had to take MY responsibility with me.
She picked us up in her green old school Lincoln,and off we went to the drive- in. Once at the drive-in we bought snacks and drinks and paid our way into the movie of our choice. It was to see Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm st.
I remember buying my son a hot dog and a juice. I made sure he ate. He was sleepy now,a major plus for us. He drifted off to sleep. It wasn’t long before her tongue found it’s way into my mouth. Nothing and no one could stop us and I damn sure didn’t want to be stopped. We watched and stop watching the movie so I don’t think either of us really knew how it began or ended until it was released on video cassette. The movie ended at some point and we had to make tracks because we both had curfews. I barely made mine,so I know she was bookin to get home.
My offspring was awake now because why go to sleep when it’s dark and miss keeping the whole house awake? It was his specialty,one I had grown used to. As soon as we got back to the house he threw himself into his grandmother’s arms,a usual event for him. They were in her room tonight. I could hear her talking to him. Oh well it didn’t matter what the conversation was about,I needed to go back to thinking about what she and I were doing in her car at the drive-in. My little wet dream was interrupted by the shrieking sound of my mother screaming in my doorway. Immediately,I thought something had happened to my son or to her. She was completely incoherent and out of control. I was like ‘what in the hell..”? She finally found her words and was able to ask me if it was true that I was kissing my girlfriend at the movie. She said that she asked my son and he not only told her that we kissed,but that we used our tongues. I can laugh now that I am an adult,but at that moment all I felt was a shiver from the frost that had built up from the sweat on my back. I hadn’t even realized that I was sweating. I watched my mother go from being a semi mild mannered woman into someone that should possibly be feared if met on a dark corner. She was angry and her appearance was beyond disheveled and unruly. I don’t thin I ever heard such words from my mother,though I should not have been surprised. After all she was a devout Christian of West Indian heritage. She did nothing without the Lord her God and adamantly demanded the same of everyone in her household. those living outside of her household were dealt with in a dismissive manner. Either you worshipped God her way or you were dismissed.
In the days and weeks following she barely spoke to me. It seemed she hissed when something was required of me. She and my son become the best of confidants. It got so,I did nothing in front of him. I knew I could no longer trust his youthful honesty to keep my secrets and half truths from my mother. She made it clear that she was no longer allowed in her house and that I could no longer see her. that didn’t work out too well considering we went to the same school and were on the same basketball team together.
At 18 my mother made a speedy departure from all that she knew and loved to seek solace and her and my father’s idea of utopia. that left me here on my own with no one to stop me from doing anything or being with anyone I chose.
After 4 months,she and I moved in together. We no longer hid from my parents,but hid from hers. It was 5 years filled with hiding and lies and love and lies. Then like most first loves do,it ended. That ending cut like a knife and it kept cutting every time I saw her or heard about her. I eventually moved on to the next her and we kept that strong for the next 20 years.
During those times no one ever question my sexuality and everyone knew about my son. In fact, I never had a word or an issue regarding my true orientation until much later in life when I had no partner. It seemed then people began wondering if the reason I had no partner was a sign of my wanting to be with me again. A thought that never entered my mind after the fiasco of getting pregnant and then finding the loves of my life. It’s been damn near 40 years and it’s still not a consideration. Still,I wonder what instills that thought in people’s minds. Is it wishful thinking,projectionism? What could it be? I’ll let you know.