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Alternative Love Stories

I'm Gay

by Anonymous

We met in 1996. He was then the silly boy with whom I got along so well, the boy with whom I felt connected in a friendly way. I never would have imagined he'd become someone I couldn't be without. Someone whom I still love far past the boundaries we have set.

He made me laugh and he made me smile, but he didn't make me crazy in the "I want you so badly" sense. We'd go on dates, but we seemed more like best friends than boyfriend-girlfriend. I remember looking over at him one night while in line for a movie and thinking, I love him. But I don't want him. We broke up nearly seven months after that.

I wish I could say that was the end, that we went our separate ways and never talked again. Or that we became best friends and that was all. But no, I can't. Because we did become friends, but that wasn't all. I fell in love with him. Simply. I knew just as I had known I didn't love him four years ago. It took me four years to understand it, to work it out in my mind. But I knew.

We'd go out as friends and I'd wonder what it was like to be his
girlfriend for real. Those years ago were hardly anything, they were a game. But now I loved him, I couldn't and didn't want to be away from him. I was going to tell him, somehow. I had hoped for him to respond with an "I love you too."

But it didn't work out that way because I never really got my chance.

"I'm gay."

He told me this on the phone one night, while I sat by my stereo and
flipped through a stack of cds for a mix tape I was making. My breath felt literally sucked out. I stopped and felt as if my chest was being crushed. I could actually hear my heart pounding in my ears.

"Oh." I wanted to say to him: But I'm in love with you. How could you do this to me? But I couldn't. I can't. It's not his fault. I know that. But I felt like everything had been ripped away from me, my insane dream of us getting together someday. It had no closure.

It was just this thing I was stuck with: wanting someone unreachable.

When I try to tell this story, I can't convey exactly what it is we
have. A delicate balance between love and more-than-love (on my part, at least). Not long ago, I actually did tell him I was in love with him. It was so hard, so very unimaginably hard. I had to explain myself carefully; I didn't want him to feel as though he were letting me down somehow. I'm glad I told him the truth though, it makes it easier on me.

I know he loves me and I love him, and sometimes I get mixed up in what way it is, but I do know it's love.

Whatever the brand.


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