Ash sighed as they looked out of the window. They would have to walk to the GSA meeting in the rain. The GSA meetings were across town every Saturday, but Ash couldn’t have their parents drive them there. The risk of them finding out about Ash was too great. Ash grabbed a hoodie, put the hood up, and pulled the drawstrings. It would take about eight minutes to walk to the meeting, and Ah knew that walking in the downpour would really suck. As Ash was walking, a familiar voice was once again heard from behind.

“Hey!” Emery said as they caught up to Ash. “You’re walking without me?”

“It’s raining. I expected your parents to drive you or something,” Ash responded, trying to keep the rain from blowing in their face.

“We always walk together, and why would I make you walk by yourself in this weather? It’s like a hurricane out here!” Emery argued, now yelling over the roar of the rain hitting the earth. Ash smiled at Emery, but their vision was impaired by the rain. They arrived at the hall. There was nothing special about its appearance; there were no signs or decorations. Emery opened the door, and Ash followed them in. They were amazed by what they saw. Various pride flags were hung around the hall, and there were at least 20 people. Everyone seemed happy, not worrying about what others thought about them. People were talking, laughing eating, and just having a great time. Ash and Emery began walking to a table on the left wall as Ash closed the door behind them.

 “Hi, welcome to our GSA! I’m Alex, and this is Echo,” one of the people sitting at the table said as Ash and Emery approached them. Alex was a smaller and skinnier figure with short hair and pale skin. Echo was about the same height as Alex, but just slightly taller. Echo wasn't the skinniest person ever, but they weren't exactly fat. They had longer hair, down to the shoulders, and wore a red hoodie with a rainbow pin. As Alex reached under the table for two pens, Echo placed a clipboard on the table.

 “Here, this is just a little survey so the other members can get to know you a little better. However, if you're not comfortable with answering something on the sheet, that's perfectly fine,” Echo says as Alex hands Emery and Ash the pens. Ash and Emery began filling out the sheets.

Name: Ash

Age: 17

Preferred Pronouns: They/Them

Sexuality: Pansexual

Gender: Nonbinary

Interests: Music, Reading, Writing, Isolation

Favorite Food: Sugar Packets

Additional Info: Closeted AF 

Name: Emery

Age: 16

Preferred Pronouns: They/Them

Sexuality: Anybody, I don't like labels

Gender: Nonbinary Genderfluid

Interests: Memes, Friends, Gay Trash

Favorite Food: CHICKEN. NUGGETS. (With Sweet and Sour sauce, of course)

Additional Info: mozzarella is the best cheese.

Ash and Emery hand the surveys back to Alex and Echo respectively, and they begin reading. Alex smiled and hands Ash a name tag that reads “Ash | They/Them | Nonbinary.” Echo looks up at Emery, then back down at the paper, then back up at Emery again. Echo hands Emery their name tag, making a somewhat confused but entertained face. Ash and Emery then make their way to a larger table. In the middle of the table there was a sign that read “Coming Out 101.” They sit down, and the group at the table quiets down. 

“Alright. The last two seats are full, so we can start early,” the person at the end of the table says. “So, does anyone want to start?“ 

“I will!” Emery says as they raise their hand in excitement. “I came out to my parents a couple of weeks ago, and they were so cool about it!” Everyone stayed quiet and stared at Emery. Ash got up and pulled Emery to the side.

“Maybe we should leave,” Ash whispered to Emery, trying not to be heard by the nearby GSA members.

“Yeah, everyone's acting kinda quiet. Maybe we just don't fit in?” Emery replied. Emery looked down at their feet, and then back at Ash. 

“I… really appreciate you coming here with me,” Ash said to Emery, looking at the floor.

“It’s nothing, I-” Emery started, but was cut off. Unexpectedly, Ash looked up at Emery and kissed them. They both stood there, paralyzed with fear and confusion. Ash, afraid that their friendship was ruined, darted out of the building and began running home in the storm. When Ash got home, their dad was waiting at the front door.

 “Where were you off to in weather like this? You weren't with that guy on the basketball team, were you?“ he chuckled. Ash walked past him and up the stairs to their room. Ash crawled into their bed, buried themself in the blanket, and wished for everything to end. Ash wished they could’ve just been a straight, cisgender girl. That would be so much easier. Ash broke down and began crying, and didn't stop until they fell asleep.

Erin Schell
Author Works


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