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       I'm Not Gay, p.1

           Imani J. Walton
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I'm Not Gay
’m Not Gay (Freshman Year)

  By Imani Walton

  Copyright 2015 Imani Walton

  “I think I‘m bi.” It wasn’t a miraculous realization with a beam of light shining down on me with a choir singing in the background. I was just walking to class with Seth and Michelle and suddenly my mouth spoke. I didn’t think about it. It just kind of came out. Afterwards, there was nothing but silence. Until Michelle gave a simple “okay” and Seth just shrugged his shoulders.

  In 8th grade, I had my first crush on a girl. I adored her. She was gorgeous and her smile made me weak. Just being around her brought butterflies in my stomach and for a while I kept it to myself. How could a girl like a girl? Sure it was heard of but I wasn’t a lesbian. I liked boys too. My mom found out and sat me down and asked me “do you like girls?” I shrugged. I didn’t like girls. I liked a girl. I was confused. How am I supposed to tell someone what I like when I wasn’t even sure what I liked?

  Freshman Year

  I had the entire summer to get over Beth. I was sure I was over it. But when I saw her walk into class on the first day of school, I was smitten. Her eyes lit up when she saw me and she automatically took the seat next to mine. “Melaina! It’s good to finally see someone I know in here!” Beth’s voice was laced with joy.

  “Yeah this place is huge!” I giggled.

  “But the boys are so hot!” She scanned the room. I watched her eyes bounce from face to face.

  “Right. Boys,” I mumbled.

  “Bad summer romance?” Beth’s eyes sympathized with me as I nodded. What else was I supposed to do?

  “I feel you. I met a boy over the summer too.”


  “Oh my god, he was so cute! And he played guitar and wrote a song for me and his eyes! Oh my. His eyes were beautiful! But to top it all off, he was an amazing kisser!”

  “So what went wrong?”

  “He’s a junior and doesn’t want to be seen with a freshman.” I smirked.

  “Boys are idiots. He has no idea what he’s missing out on.”

  “You two can talk about that later,” our teacher, Mrs. Stefansen, said from behind us. She walked to the front of the room to introduce herself but I wasn’t paying attention. My focus kept being pulled to the mesmerizing tan on Beth’s skin.

  “Would you just tell her already?” Dalton spoke with his mouth full and pointed his sandwich at me from across the table. “You don’t have a chance if you never say anything.”

  “I’m not good with rejection,” I said.

  “How do you know you’ll get rejected?” Isabelle asked as she slammed her lunch down next to me. She sat and scrunched up her nose at the food.

  “I don’t even know why you buy lunch at school when you know you’re just going to end up throwing most of it away,” I said.

  “‘Cause I know Dalton will eat it,” Isabelle said as Dalton reached over to grab the pizza slice off her tray.

  “As true as that is,” Dalton swallowed. “Melaina is trying to change the subject. We need to get back to the fact that you’re in love with Beth.”

  “I’m not in love with her! I just think she’s cool,” I said.

  “No you don’t. You think she’s hot,” Dalton said as he chewed. “And who could blame you? Her boobs are fantastic.”

  “Don’t be perverted. And please chew with your mouth closed,” Isabelle said. “Look Mel, as your best friend and unofficial therapist, I think you should tell Beth so you can stop staring at her all the time.”

  “I don’t stare! I just gaze occasionally.” I rested my chin in my hand. Beth’s table was across from ours and I could see every freckle on the bridge of her nose. “I can’t help it. She’s so…”

  “Sexy?” Dalton offered. I rolled my eyes.

  “It doesn’t even matter. She doesn’t like girls and even if she did, I’m out of her league.”

  “What are you talking about?” Isabelle said. “Beth dated that girl, Alex, and she was far from an ideal girlfriend. Anyone who even gets a second of your affection is lucky. Just go for it and stop making excuses.”

  “Fine. If I were to tell her, how would I even start?”

  “Just go for it. Don’t overthink it,” Isabelle faced me. “Okay. Pretend I’m Beth.”


  “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that. Now, I’m Beth being all beautiful and amazing and whatnot. Just tell me how you feel.”

  “Okay. Well, uh Beth.”

  “Yes Melaina?” Isabelle flipped her hair over her shoulder. I stifled a snort.

  “You know, I’ve liked you for quite some time now.” I raised an eyebrow and smirked from the side of my mouth. Isabelle faked a high giggle.

  “Oh really?”

  “Yeah. I would just love to kiss your sexy red lips. I bet they’re real soft.”

  “Why don’t you find out?”

  “Boom! Sex scene!” Dalton raised his hands in the air.

  “You’re such a mood kill Dalton,” Isabelle said.

  “Isabelle, I know you’re in love with me but you need to learn to control yourself,” I laughed.

  “How can I with you flirting with me all the time?”

  “That’s how I roll baby. Get used to it.” We all failed to stifle our laughter and Dalton choked on a piece of his sandwich only causing more laughs from me and Isabelle.

  “What’s so funny guys?” Beth sat down next to Dalton and my voice disappeared.

  “Oh nothing,” Dalton said. “It’s just that Isabelle here really likes this girl and is too scared to tell her.”

  “Really? I didn’t know you liked girls Isabelle.”

  “What can I say? There’s just… something special about her,” Isabelle said.

  “Well, who is it?” Dalton and Isabelle glanced at me at the same time. It was a quick glance but not quick enough. “Oh.” My face got warm and I stared down at the table. “Isabelle, I don’t think she, you know, rolls that way.”

  “What?” Isabelle asked.

  “I saw you two. I know who it is.” I couldn’t help it but I let out a relieved giggle. She thought Isabelle liked me.

  “It’s not me Beth,” I said. “You don’t know the girl, she goes to a different school.”

  “Oh! Well, Isabelle, you’ll never know if you don’t try.”

  “That’s what I’ve been saying!” Dalton yelled. The bell rang and Beth ran from the table to walk to class with her friends.

  “I hate you guys,” I said when Beth left earshot.

  “No. You love us,” Isabelle said. “Did you see how fast we covered for you? We deserve a medal for that performance.”

  “Or a sandwich,” Dalton added.

  “Dalton what won’t you do for a sandwich?” Isabelle asked.

  “I draw the line at prostitution.” I snorted. “You’re right. I’d so sell my body for a good sandwich. But it has to be good… mediocre at best.”

  “I don’t have time to talk about Dalton working the corner,” I said. “I have to get to Geometry.”

  “We’re in the same class,” Isabelle said. “You’re not going to be late.”

  “I know I’m not. I won’t allow it to happen, definitely not on the first day of school. That’s just wrong.” I started walking out of the cafeteria, Dalton and Isabelle walked on either side of me.

  “You still coming over after school?” Isabelle asked.

  “Yeah,” I answered. “I might as well since I need to pick up my clothes from your house.”

  “Except that pink shirt.”

  “You can’t have my shirt.”

  “Fine. It’ll just disappear then.” I laughed. Isabelle looked down and smiled at her phone at her phone. “I have to meet up with Gerry. I’ll see you in
class.” Isabelle ran off in the opposite direction. I watched Dalton’s shoulders slump.

  “Hey,” I nudged him. “It’s not like they’re married or anything.”

  “She seems to like him a lot,” Dalton mumbled.

  “She does. But he’s a loser. She just needs more time to see it.”

  “I guess.”

  “And once she realizes that he’s a bum, she’ll dump him and come running to you to tell her sorrows and you can be all like ‘baby, I’ve always been the one for you’. And she’ll be like ‘of course!’ and you will dip her all romantically and you two will kiss while the sun sets behind you and you will hear the sounds of soft jazz and me vomiting.” Dalton’s face struggled to hide his smile.

  “I don’t think I’m her type.”

  “Her type? She doesn’t have a type.”

  “Yes she does. She always goes for the tall guys with beautiful eyes and abs and arms like logs.”

  “Now that you mention it, that does sort of sound like her type. But things can change!” We stopped outside my class.

  “I doubt it.”

  “Oh come on. You’re on the football team and you’re muscular and tough and your eyes aren’t ugly. Plus you’re taller than her.”

  “Everyone is taller than her.”

  “Not 5th graders. You have a chance! This could be the year! 2 years of having a crush on someone and keeping it to yourself is enough. We’re high school kids now! Time to man up.”

  “I guess. I should really head to class.”

  “Yeah, see you later.” Dalton turned to walk away right as Isabelle was running to the classroom. She ran right into him. Before she could fall, Dalton caught her. It was like a movie and I couldn’t believe I was seeing it. He helped her regain her balance. I could feel the heat coming from Dalton’s face.

  “Thanks Dalton,” Isabelle said. I glared at her but she only returned a smile. “Come on, we’ll be late.” She grabbed my hand and dragged me into class. We grabbed the last two seats. Gratefully, they were in the middle. Not too far from the front where the teacher will ignore all my questions but not too close up front that he’ll call on me for every answer. Isabelle was grinning ear to ear but before I could ask why, our teacher began his ‘Welcome to High School’ spiel.

  After school was the same as every day when I went over to Isabelle’s house recently. “Why doesn’t she love me?” I moaned while stretched out on the longer part of Isabelle’s L-shaped couch. “I’m adorable and funny and smart. I’m a catch. So what’s the problem?”

  “Maybe she doesn’t like how conceited you are,” Isabelle said. I snatched the bag of chips from her hands and stuffed my mouth before she was able to snatch them back.

  “I’m serious. We would make such a great couple. The only better couple than us would be peanut butter and jelly.”

  “Who’s the peanut butter out of you two?”

  “What? Why does that matter?”

  “I don’t know.”

  “Can you stop taking my love life as a joke?” I draped my arm over my eyes. “What if we never get together and that ends up causing World War III?”

  “How would you two not dating cause World War III?”

  “Well, uh, oh! Okay. So say we never get together right? And we never adopt a cute little baby together, the baby that would’ve stopped the bombing on Russia that causes World War III.”

  “I think you’re exaggerating a little.”

  “You can’t tell me I’m exaggerating while you’re dating Mr. Gorgeous.”

  “I think that gives me more authority to tell you you’re exaggerating.”

  “You can tell me I’m exaggerating when World War III comes along and your house ends up getting bombed.”

  “Don’t jinx me like that.”

  “Now you’re worried about being jinxed! Isabelle, save the world and help me figure out why Beth doesn’t love me.”

  “Maybe she does like you but you’ve been oblivious to all her hints.”

  “You, the Queen of Oblivious, are saying that I’m clueless?”

  “I am not oblivious.”

  “Are you kidding? Dalton has liked you for two years. He has bought you flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day, he sang for you on your birthday, he
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