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No Fear: Two Words

Joined: 3/15/2013
Posts: 1
Two Words

When I was a kid, my siblings and I met on the bottom bunk in my little brother Tyler’s room and held contests. My older sister Kaitlin always created and judged them. Tell a good ghost story. Name the new baby Mom was expecting. One contest, I competed with Tyler and my little sister Libby in cursive writing. Kaitlin looked at our sentences and declared Libby the winner.

“You always pick one of them!” I screamed and ran off, locking myself in the bathroom. Later, Kaitlin knocked on the door.

“Brodie, I changed my mind,” she said. “You won.”

“I don’t care,” I sniffed.

“Then why are you crying?”

Since then, a bathroom’s been my favorite place to cry. When my Mom would ask me why I didn’t go to the basketball game—“All your friends will be there,” she’d say—I would excuse myself then sit on the toilet cursing that one classmate who threw Skittles at me during games. When I’d wondered why deciding not to kill myself for the umpteenth time still didn’t make me feel better, I would latch the door shut and flush the toilet loudly.

“Were you sick last night?” My dad asked me once. “I heard a lot of weird noises.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I’m better now.”

The bathroom, I thought, was the only private place on Earth. Growing up, I always shared a room with a sibling, and nowhere in our house was ever empty. Tyler visited the kitchen to make cereal, followed by Kaitlin looking for nachos and Libby a Coke. Mom read her latest mystery novel in the living room. Dad and my littlest brother Marshal watched sports on the basement’s wide screen. My family suffocated me when I needed to hide something: usually tears or hormones. In bathrooms at home or stalls at school, I tried to flush them, wash them down the sink.

My first day home after college, I was in the bathroom again. Looking at the mirror, I watched a film mist over my red, puffed eyes. Now was different. I was crying because I wasn’t going to hide this something in the bathroom anymore. A year before, I would’ve rather grabbed a razor blade then reveal this, but I’d already shared with college friends. They didn’t mind. They still liked me, I was relieved to know. Now home, I wanted to tell my family, however fast my heart was beating. So I left those red, puffed eyes in the mirror and walked out.

In the kitchen, Mom picked a ring from a pile of jewelry cluttering the dining table. As she examined it, necklaces and beads slid down from her hand. Less and less of them clinked onto the table until the last ding was heard. Then Mom noticed me in the door frame. She held the ring toward me.

“Look at this. You can give this to your wife one day.”


“I’m gay.”
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Comment by Girlboxer1970

Joined: 1/15/2013
Posts: 79
Holy Cow! Great essay! How did your mom respond? ~P.
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 8:27:14 PM
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Comment by maurabeaver

Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 59
Congratulations! You’ve been selected the first place winner for the March writing contest: "No Fear".

Check out the full writing contest summary here:

We will be in touch soon via email regarding your prizes.

Don’t forget to share your story and show your accomplishment on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

Thanks for submitting and we look forward to your future submissions.
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 4:10:07 PM
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