I wasn't popular in high school. In a Catholic institution filled with all things blond, tan, ambitious, and religious, I was the weirdo agnostic who dug combat boots and barely saw the light of a grade higher than C. My sole friend—a conservative, prim Brainiac—never viewed me as a misfit, however. I was her dear pal. A sleepover buddy. I was the person who snuck into a vacant girls' locker room at lunch to philosophize life and Tolkien with her, without the background chatter of a blustering cafeteria.
Before we graduated, I made the risky choice to tell her that I was bisexual. I never had a crush on her, I said, but I wanted her to know the real me, whatever that was, before we journeyed our separate ways to college.
A week or two later, she sent me a lengthy hand-written letter, the old-fashioned way: through mail. It was one of the most beautiful, raw, and compassionate things I had ever read, filled with unconditional love and support. I was floored. In my head, I whispered continual gratitude—a thousand silent thank-yous to whoever listened to my internal ramblings that I had, despite my prediction, not lost a friend.
I tucked her letter in my bedroom drawer and vowed to the stars I would respond soon. But I never did. And I never saw or heard from her again.
in the wind
a thousand apologies