This is what we’re celebrating.
Sammy chooses an isolated chair and sits.
As the speaker enters the room so do a few others; one of the fellows settles in the seat next to him. Sammy averts his eyes.
She introduces herself as Cass. She seems at home in her skin, smiles a lot and gives the impression people can talk to her.
“Since this is the first meeting for this group, we’re going to do some exercises and games to help everyone get to know one another. We’re all here not to judge but to help, however we can.”
That sounds good. I like that. She looks like she means it too. As the staffer discusses the problems gay youth face, he relaxes. When he had entered the room his palms had been sweaty and his legs had trembled. He knew he had been nervous about this meeting, his first, a group called Open Closet, sponsored by the local GLBT organization. He had always believed he was alone in his feelings and desires toward men. He had always felt he was different. At a few points in the presentation he exchanges glances with the guy next to him and it doesn’t seem awkward.
After the break, he takes a good look at his neighbour. Wow is he ever cute and he smells good too like a … cinnamon candy bar. He doesn’t appear gay. He’s muscular with wavy, brown hair. I bet he could pass for straight. Yet here he is.
During one of the exercises, Cass asks, “Who has a girl friend or boy friend?” A couple of the guys raise their hand and one of the women. Sammy hears a “whew” from his neighbour and chuckles. Bet he’s relieved he’s not the only one with a girl friend. Two years ago I had a girl friend too. Then Cass asks, “How does that make you feel?” One of the girls admits, “Like a phony.” The cute guy next to him nods his head in agreement. After that Sammy notices the fellow take some deep breaths and his posture becomes less rigid.
The afternoon consists of a bunch of exercises, skits and games. As Sammy becomes more comfortable within the group, the bundle in his mind finally loosens.
At the end of the session, as the two young men prepare to leave, “cutie” turns to Sammy, “You did good there with those exercises.”
Sammy jerks like a puppet on a string, “Uh, thanks. Will you be here for the next meeting on Wednesday?”
The other fellow struggles to get his backpack on; his hair falls onto his forehead but he doesn’t push it back even though it hides his eyes. “Yes I will and I hope you are too.”
“I will be here for sure—see you then!”
Sammy flies down the stairs and out the door to catch his bus. He knows his face has broken out into a huge smile.
I’m sorry but since I’m not an author I have no swag to give away. I hope you enjoyed my short story.
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