The sprinkle of water with the warmth of the sun washed away the dirt on his skin. The dirt of the mud from practice. Football games were always a battle ground. A field filled with large men running and shoving each other to the ground. Nothing laid in the head besides the idea of victory and looking good in front of others that stand before them. Being the man in the game. Being the man in everything. Its all that he had trained for, to be the best man, to be the strong man, to be a man. Now, he stood six feet, two inches tall, a three hundred pound moving body of muscle. He looks perfect. People thinks he is perfect. He is perfect.
His face placed under the shower head, he closes his eyes. There was a feeling of impending interest. Something he couldn’t deny but tried to. He needed explanations for these feelings or he felt that these emotions needed a cure. There was no way he could just walk out of that room and ignore all these feelings. Being a young adult now, he thought he knew himself. But now confusion took over his whole existence. He knew people that had these feeling and came out to the world with them. He never understood those people. He had made remarks in public and laughed about those people.
There was a specific time he remembered. It was during a party in his high school years. One of his friend, a popular boy like him, came out of the closet. Everyone in the school seemed to be talking about him. Before he came out of the closet, all the other boys in the school wanted to be his friends. They just thought he was so cool. However, the next day when the news of his sexuality came out, things took a big turn. Opening his eyes to try not to think any further. The reflection of himself through the white tiles stared back at him.
Slowly, he inhaled the air and exhaled his emotions, twice. Looking straight into the reflection of his eyes, he started to speak.
“James? I’m with you. I’m sorry... I’m sorry I was with those guys laughing. I, this critic, this shameless, this monster, am sorry. I didn’t mean it, I didn’t know anything back then, I didn’t know myself. Call me nameless, I don’t deserve an identity for what I’ve said and done before. The guys I hanged out with, they were horrible, they will probably never learn to become someone as strong and awesome as you… No one understood about the type of life you lived during that time. No one! Their brains, my brain, were all sized down to a piece of nail, when it came to your situation. Yes, the earth was created for an atmosphere where every man could stand freely. But I’m sorry we made you cripple in fear.”
As his frustration built, dark clouds grew bigger above him. His thoughts balled up a feeling of uncertainty. He could not stop these thoughts from rolling through him.
“Urghhh! Why do I feel this way? Man!” He thought to himself. Am I gay?
The mist of the boiling water fogged up the mirror, the windows, the whole room, as he stood under the showering water, thinking.
“All those dirty looks, the scowling faces, the whispers of cutting words behind his back. Man! What were we all thinking?” The faint memory came back. He thought about how James’s friends and his best friends talked behind his back, including himself. He wasn’t James’s best buddy from the beginning, he knew that. However, they did consider each other as friends back when James didn’t announce he was gay and back when this infuriated, this nameless, this thought to be crazy person tried to figure out a part of himself.
There was a day which he clearly still remembered. It was about two days after James had said to everyone that he was gay. The news was fresh and it was the number one mostly talked about topic. Justin, one of James’s friend, started the conversation. “Its so hard to believe James is gay. I never would’ve expected it from a dude like him. Its weird, he’s weird. It just doesn’t suit him at all.” Every member in the circle jumped to say what they had to say. They all had their own remarks. Just knowing that James was gay, they categorized him. They put him down in the back of their head. They put him down in the back of their head just like this monster, this nameless person did.
A couple weeks after the hot topic news, James had made new friends. It seemed that he had gathered himself with people that understood him. Although that was true, there was a speck of feeling where James was still not fully accepted into that new society, nameless felt it in his guts and he still remembers that feeling. This specific, unpleasant feeling is what dreads him.
The hurtful intended rumors he had spreaded with the judgemental words were his pass. They were based off of his thoughts in the pass. The pass where he was a different person, or thought he was a different person at least. Now, it’s going to be a new story.
“My name is Robert Hardrick.”He finally knew who he was. He wasn’t about to deny it any longer. Turning the head of the shower faucet, the water stops running down his skin and into the drain. He needed to stop this flow of actions and come out of the room. Come out of the closet.