The first time I died, the weapon was a kiss. I can’t remember how it happened, just that we stared at each other, then he pressed his lips to mine. They felt soft, gentle, like a girl’s. I froze in shock. His tongue against mine woke me from my stupor. A million thoughts exploded in my head and I hugged him to me. His hands moved all over, caressing my abdomen, sliding lower until they found the bulge that pressed against my jeans. I shook. Two boys, making love for the first time…
Yes, I died that night.
The second time I died, the weapon was a word. A rumor had spread at school. Boys started whispering behind my back. Girls laughed. My friends stopped talking to me; they wouldn’t even sit near me. Oh, I caught a couple sympathetic looks, from some kids that I didn’t know more than by name. But not even they wanted to be seen getting too close to me.
But they didn’t matter. Neither did my family and their judgmental speeches and threats, or the frowning teachers and nosy neighbors. He was the only one that mattered, the only one I cared about, the only reason that made getting out of bed and going through it all worthwhile. I had him, the only person that had ever made me feel that I didn’t have to hide who I was.
I found him in the hallway, beautiful as always, talking to some jocks and their pretty girlfriends. He saw me. My stomach fluttered. I smiled, hesitantly, as he stared at me. Then he called me a faggot, and laughed. The others joined in. I couldn’t help it. I cried. I cried all day at school and later that night at home.
Yes, I died again that night.
For my final death, the weapon was to be a gun. Yet as I sat in the dark, with my dad’s favorite pistol in my mouth, it occurred to me how fitting it was that this all was going to end the same way it started, me in turmoil, with something stuck in my mouth.
I laughed. And laughed. Soon tears streamed out of my eyes and my belly ached, but I felt better. As something withered inside me, I realized that I was already dead to my parents, and to everyone I knew. A bullet would not change any of that. They’d already written me off. If they hated me for something I couldn’t change even by dying, then it wasn’t me that was the problem.
Yes, I died that night. The me that thought I only mattered if they deemed me worthy. I’d never be the same.
And I was okay with that.
Henry Lara is a writer, avid reader, and all around good guy (so he says). After serving four years in the US Army he moved to the area around Boston, Massachusetts, where he lives to this day. His short-short stories have been featured in Every Day Fiction. He studies English at the University of Massachusetts and blogs about books and writing fiction at henrylara-author.blogspot.com.