Donna Louise here sitting at my computer after having breakfast. Pancakes sounded good this morning so I made some. My usual breakfast is an egg, two strips of turkey bacon and a piece of whole wheat toast. I drink a small glass of orange juice and a big cup of Irish Breakfast tea before I face most days. Today I decided to eat outside the box.
As we parted company last Saturday, Giselle said, “Please call me Gil from now on. It will make it easier on you as I transition. If anyone asks, we can say it’s your pet name for me. Would you do that for me?”
“Sure, Gil.” Now if I can only remember the new name.
Michaela hugged and kissed me on the cheek. “You’re the best. Thanks for being with us on this adventure.”
Guilt crept into my heart as I’m not sure I’m onboard for the trip yet. What about it bothers me so much?
The closest incident that made me this angry occurred when I was seventeen. My childhood boyfriend Louie, who’d always been the man I planned to marry, called and asked me to go to the lake with him. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. He’d been acting funny, kind of withdrawn and depressed, but he wouldn’t talk about it.
He picked me up and I had this new, two-piece swimsuit which I thought made me look kissable at the very least. We parked the car and walked to the beach where we spread out our blanket and towels. After a short swim, we plopped down on the beach to brown in the summer sun. He didn’t say a word.
I asked, “What’s wrong with you? You seem so depressed.” I heard what I thought was a gulping sound like a drowning person makes. He was sobbing and gasping for air. I pulled him to a seated position and took him in my arms. How romantic to hold your boyfriend when he’s crying.
When he regained control of himself, he pulled away from me and said, “I’m a homosexual.”
I tried to talk him out of the idea for totally selfish reasons. He insisted he knew what he was. “Why can’t you let me be who I am?”
“Because I think you’re wrong.”
“No, I know what I am. If you don’t want to be friend anymore, just tell me. Okay?”
I got all righteous and jumped to my feet. “I’m not that kind of friend. If you’re a homosexual, I’ll still be your friend.” Even as I said it, I wasn’t sure what I said was true. I wanted Louie back the way he was before he told me.
We talked a couple of hours. He told me how he had suffered, but never once asked how I felt about the revelation. Okay, I was focused on how I felt, but I was only a teenager.
He dropped me off at home. I watched him drive away with a big piece of my broken heart. I walked up the steps to the porch and slammed the screen door several times. Mama appeared in the doorway. “Have you lost your mind? You’ll break the screen.”
I looked at her and burst into tears. “Louie is a homo and I hate him.”
She opened the door, put her arm around my shaking shoulders and led me over to the swing. We sat down and she said, “You go ahead and cry all you need to and then we’ll talk.” And that’s what I did—soaked the shoulder of her dress with my tears.