“It’s been really hard for me to open up in relationships… That’s been a recurring theme in my relationships where it’s hard for me to really give in to it… that’s why I’ve always felt when I’m in a relationship this sort of loneliness.” – Chelsea Williams
Fiction. Based on a True First Lesbian Crush.
by Nikki Wicz
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
It was always dark when we drove up the parkway. It was the only way to see the stars. On the cliff side, she would point out Orion and tell me of her childhood. It was probably a million years ago, but she told me that she would lay in the yard and memorize the sky. As a kid, I wasn’t half as curious. My world was magical enough. One of my neighbors had horses and and the other neighbor lived in an old church that I wasn’t allowed to enter. Now, I would’ve imagined ghosts or some vampiric secret, but then it was the mystery itself that interested me.
The wind burst through the blanket around my shoulders. She had offered it to me when she saw me shivering, in return, I pointed out the Pleiades because it was the only one I could remember.
When she told me of the story of Cassiopeia, all I heard was the sound of her voice, like fairy kisses. Even there, where streetlights couldn’t pollute our view, I only saw the way her face glowed. I met her freshman year of college. I didn’t know her then and when I told her about it, she didn’t remember meeting me. It’s because we didn’t really meet. The cafeteria was overcrowded and we had no choice but to sit next to someone. Her hair was long then. Twisted up into a clip, uncombed and probably greasy. All she said to me was, “can I sit here?” For the next hour, well after my food was gone, I listened to the story of her summer as she told her friend. Her grandmother had died. It was the worst summer of her life. She never noticed me staring.
We met again in our non-fiction workshop. “I tell people about your stories all the time. Your writing is beautiful!” She told me the first time we hung out. We were at the tea shop downtown. The one where you have to sit on the ground and they ring a gong to tell you they’re closing. I’ve only been there once. That was the first time I started to wonder if she was some sort of ethereal being.
I was afraid of getting too close to her or too far away; I didn’t want her to think I was weird, or worse, uninterested. She told me of her recurring dream of an elevator that took her to infinite floors, one was just a garden. Her stories were mesmerizing, I thought she had a supernatural connection to some other worlds. More than anything, I wanted to remember every detail of her dreams; every word she ever said, but all I have are ideas of her.
We saw a shooting star on the cliff top that night, between our cigarette smoke. “Make a wish!” She said.
I was too distracted then to think of anything. “You can keep it for later,” She told me. “I have a lot saved up.” I wished I could’ve watched her smile forever.
It didn’t last very long: my heart-eyed obsession. It was on one of those drives up the mountain that I should’ve known. The lights of the houses were like reflections of the stars on water; like the sky just went on forever around us. We were driving through the clouds as she told me she had spent her emotional energy on her job. She worked seven days a week and had off the following seven working with young, mentally-ill girls. I wanted to believe that I didn’t care, that I needed a distant relationship, that I could deal with the space, but that’s not really what she was saying.
Around her I always felt small. I was the twinkle of light in the night sky while she was the star.
In high school I cut off all my hair. My “friends” were sure then that I was gay, but I wasn’t. Something always felt wrong holding hands with my boyfriends. When I had sex for the first time I was numb. I was only afraid of getting caught. The act itself wasn’t much to be afraid of. It was simple and quick, like getting a tooth pulled. I didn’t even know it had happened until it was over and I felt sick. Not nauseous or ill really, just wrong, but I imagined it was because it was the first time. I let a lot of things happen to me after that. It never felt right.
My parents rose me Christian. They were the sort of Christians that believed being gay was wrong. “Don’t talk to me about it,” my dad said to us once, “It makes me uncomfortable.” But I felt more than that. I was broken.
It’s been three months since I’ve talked to her. Nothing really happened. We were busy and I had fought myself into the ground. I was fighting to make it through work, fighting to keep up my persona to my parents, fighting to not murder a roommate. I was too tired and confused. And she was the sun.
It’s been a year since I sent the text that convinced her to hang out with me. Every day since then, I wanted her to be happy, to be strong. I still do. And if she’s taught me anything, it’s that magic truly exists.