Don't Tell Daddy

I walked into the living room one night, it was a Sunday. 

My mom sat at the couch, drinking tea like always.

I shuffled over and sat on the edge with her,

Looked over and braced myself

for whatever was to come.

 

“Mom, I don’t know how to say this, so I’m just gonna try. 

I’ve been realizing something lately, but it also doesn't feel new. I realize I like boys”

 

“Boys?” She was shocked, I didn’t know what to do. 

“Boys liking other boys is not the kind of thing we tolerate in this family. 

Your father and I raised you to be a true man.”

 

“Mom, I can’t help it.” I said.

 

She looked up at me, reserved. After a while of still silence, she said she needed time to be alone, that she doesn’t know what to say to me.

 

“Please mom, please don’t tell daddy.”

 

Someone barged into the living room. 

 

“Is this the boy I saw you with at the park? I knew it. I thought I saw something.” He turned to my mother, “IS THIS TRUE?” 

 

I stammered, “daddy, dad, dad, I’m so sorry”— I was already halfway running.

 

I ripped open the front door and started sprinting down the street,

 

I could hear my dad running and yelling after me:

 

“You are a child of God. How dare you ever be like this.” 

 

The smell of smoke and pine trees fill my lungs and my face feels wet.

 

I keep going. I look down to realize I’m wearing flimsy sandals- 

I don’t want any bruises tonight. 

 

I kick away the sandals on the side of that dark street and keep going faster now, 

 

I can still hear him yelling after me. 

 

The asphalt is crap in this part of town and the gravel begins to dig into my feet. But I don’t have a choice, I just need to keep moving.

But my body can’t take it anymore, I knew I was about to give up-

 

I screamed.

 

Not at my daddy.

Not at the pain on my feet.

But at God, for he did this to me.