I’m not sure when I first realized I was broken or different. Maybe it was when the voices in my head started talking to me more than usual. Or maybe when I started to realize my feelings for my best friend, Annie, was much more than a friend. Either way, it wasn’t normal. At least for my family. I once talked to my mom about my feelings for Annie and the voices and that’s the worst mistake I’ve ever made. She thought I was possessed by the devil and that it was wrong to have feelings for Annie. She forced me to get help or she would kick me out. I did get “help”. The help was me being forced to talk to our Preacher. I made him believe that he had “fixed” me. I’ve kept quiet about these secrets ever since. Annie doesn't know about any of these problems and she never will. If she ever finds out I’ll be killed. I think at least.
“Angel” I heard my mom call for me as I put my diary away. She opened the door and said “Annie’s here and ready to go”
I nodded and grabbed my bag for school and walked down the stairs to see Annie waiting at the front door for me. I felt myself blush a little as I look at her. I couldn’t help blushing at her, she looks so beautiful with her outfit. Her long red hair was in a ponytail like usual and she was wearing her black short-sleeved hoodie with a hot pink tank top underneath it and with black jeans to match. Around her neck was a necklace with a butterfly on it. I gave it to her on her 16th birthday as a way to celebrate her being clean from self-harm for a year. Even though she hasn’t self-harmed for two years the scars are still on her arm haven’t faded much over two years. She doesn’t know this and I hope she doesn’t find out but I’ve been self-harming for about a year. It’s been helping with the voices in my head.
“Hey” She hugged me like she does every morning and adds “I love your outfit”
My outfit is a light blue long sleeve shirt with flower prints on it. I’m wearing black jeans like her to go with my outfit. Around my neck is a necklace with gold heart locket with my name engraved on the front. This was given to me on my 16th birthday by Annie. Inside the locket was a picture of us.
“Thanks, I love your outfit too” I said as I hug back.
We left the house and started heading towards the school. We were close to the school when she said “after school I need to talk to you. We’ll go to my house to talk”
“Why” I asked now really nervous.
“You’ll find out after school” she said before walking into the school. I followed her until we had to go our separate ways to go to class.
I was really nervous by the end of the school day. I still don’t know what Annie wanted to talk about. I met up her at her lock like always and we headed to her house. Once we got to her house we went to her room and she shut the door.
“What do you want to talk about?” I asked her as I sat on her bed.
“Roll up your sleeves” she said.
“Why?” I asked pretending I didn’t know what was on my arms.
“I saw something on yesterday.”
“What did you see?” I started getting nervous again.
“I’m not fully sure but you need to roll up your sleeves for me to be sure”
I sigh and rolled up my sleeves knowing that she was going to see at some point. My arms revealed countless cuts and “dyke” carved into my left arm. She stared at me and my arms in shock. I looked down and as I stared at the ground I remembered how a little over two years ago it was Annie on the bed looking down at the ground. Annie had wanted to talk to me in private and when we were in her room she had rolled up her sleeves and showed me her scars. Like me, she had countless scars on her arms but unlike me, dyke wasn’t carved into her arm. She told me she started cutting shortly after her 13th birthday and she knew she needed help before she killed herself. I helped her tell her parents and get her help. Now I’m the one that needs the help.
“Angel….Why?” She said, speechless.
“Like it was with you, it helps.” I whispered.
Annie hugged me tightly and said “What does it help with”
“The voices in my head and the problems at home”
“What problems at home?”
“My mom hates me because” I stop talking because I’m scared to tell her.
“Because you’re a lesbian?” She asked.
“H-how did you know?” I asked shocked.
“I’ve known for awhile and dyke being carved into your arm helped me figure it out.”
I look down, unable to say anything. She kept hugging me and a silence fell upon us. Eventually the silence would be broken by her mom coming into her room.
“Annie does Angel wa-” She stopped talking the second she saw my arms. Her mom went up to me and asked “how long have you been doing this Angel”
“A little over a year” I whispered about ready to break down and cry. Annie hugged me a little tighter.
“It helps with so much pain”
Her mom looked at both of my arms, especially at my left arm. “You’re a lesbian?” she asks and as I nod she turns to Annie and asks “does she know?”
“No mom, I haven’t told her yet.” she says.
“Told me what?” I ask and I look at Annie.
“I’m a lesbian too” she says.
“What? Really?” I say completely shocked.
She nods and looks at my arms and then looks at her mom “what should we do?”
“Do what she did when you were in the same spot. Tell her mom and start getting her help”
“NO” I yelled and lowered my voice and started crying as I said “she’ll kick me out if she finds out or she’ll do what thinks is help and force me to go to church and “fix me” that way”
Annie hugged me very tightly as I cried and her mom said “you need help though”
I nod and Annie asks “can she spend the night? It’ll help us figure out what to do”
Her mom nods and says “Of course she can. I was going to ask that when I went in here in the first place. You two go and get her stuff. I’ll start dinner”
We both nod and get up and leave for my house. It doesn’t take long for us to get there and we go inside and head up the stairs to go to my room. We get stopped by my mom though.
“What are you doing?” she asked and seemed angry.
“I’m going to spend the night at Annie’s” I said.
“No you’re not”
“Because of this” she had in her hands my diary “I read your last entry. Why did you lie about not having feelings for Annie anymore”
Annie looked at me shocked as I said angrily at my mom “Because you hate me for it. You called me a dyke for crying out loud. What kind of mom would hate her child for liking the same gender” I rolled up my sleeves and showed her my arms as I continue “All of these are because of you. I started this the day you first called me a dyke. Ever since that day I started this stupid addiction and now I need so much help to be able to stop. Annie’s family is willing to help me, you, not so much.”
“Pack up your stuff and get out of my house. I don’t want a dyke living here”
“Fine” I took my diary back and as Annie and I walked to my room to get my stuff I said to my mom “just deal with the fact that I’m lesbian and I’m very much proud of that”
Annie helped me as I packed my stuff as quickly as possible. We’re both quiet as we pack the clothes, a few books, and my diary. As soon as we’re done we quickly leave and head back to her house. We both don’t talk until we get to Annie’s house where we explain what happened.
“Oh Angel…You can live here” she said as she hugged me.
“Thank you” I said barely above a whisper.
Later that night when Annie and I were in her room she looked me and asked “what your mom said earlier, that you had feelings for me, is it true?”
I looked down starting to blush and said “yes, I was too scared to tell you though. Afraid that you won’t like me back and afraid that you wouldn’t accept me. I know that now at least I didn’t have to be afraid of you accepting me”
Annie smiled and asked “how long have you liked me?”
“For pretty much as long as we’ve been friends.”
Annie kissed me on the cheek and I looked at her shocked. “I’ve felt the same way all these years.” I couldn’t say anything since I was so shocked. Annie smiled and kissed my lips and I kissed back. Annie’s mom walked in and smiled.
“About time” she said. We pulled back and looked at her blushing a deep red.
Annie hugged me and looked at my arms “promise you’ll stop?”
I nodded “yeah, at least I’ll try my best”
It’d be a year before I stopped for good. Now 20 years later the scars are still there, like Annie’s, but they’ve faded. Annie and I got married at 25 and have a couple of kids. We love both of them very much and they both ask about our scars. We don’t tell them why, just say that we’ll explain when their older. Soon we’ll tell them and hopefully they’ll never start the addiction that both Annie and I have gone through.-Angel