January 15th, 2011
It was an accident.
I wasn’t supposed to find out. I
wasn’t supposed to find out.
But I did.
And the story goes like this:
Senior year of college was a giant cloud of irresponsible madness. Filled with carefree nights, copious amounts of pizza and an indescribable amount of dancing before, during and after any and every occasion. This night had all of those things, and more.
It started as a standard Friday evening. After a highly successful pre-game at the run down abode we were cool calling home, the gang and I stumbled across the street to the Skybox bar.
Our ID’s were checked.
Hands were stamped.
And life was good.
We each bought a round and basked in what we knew we would forever consider our glory days. Every three seconds someone was tapping me on my shoulder to mouth Katy Perry lyrics. Because baby, I was a goddamn firework and everyone in the bar needed to know it.
There was another tap on my shoulder.
Bienvenidos, *Kylie. Kylie, a best friend and extremely crucial member to the gang, had arrived.
Except this time it was different.
A few days earlier a close friend of Kylie’s drunkenly pulled me aside at a “frat gathering” and informed me that she and vodka needed to tell me something, but I had to promise to not look at Kylie any differently.
Fast forward. Play.
We performed the classic “OH HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY OMG thank GOD you’re finally here. What an absolute shock that you would be at one of the three bars in the neighborhood. I’m going to react as if I haven’t seen you for decades…SHOTS!”
As standard protocol, Kylie was surrounded in a matter of seconds. She was one of those beautiful, petite lassies with an infectious laugh. Every group has to have one. Get over it.
She was happy, but not really. At least I didn’t think so. I thought that she might be but now I knew too much. I couldn’t imagine wearing a facade on your face everyday was the perfect recipe for satisfaction. I kept glancing over in between small talks and break out dance sessions to make sure she was okay.
Her performance was impeccable.
An hour later, I was growing rapidly more impatient, anxious and inebriated.
I went up to my friend Johnny.
Took a sWIg of his budlight…and handed it back.
It was time.
I marched right up to her, completely disregarding her current lighthearted conversation about, well actually…I have no idea.
I fell into her and hugged her on my way down. She laughed and said “Ohh Olive how are you doing?” I smiled, looked her square in the face and classily informed her:
“Oh Kylie, if you like vagina, then that’s totally cool by me. HIGH FIVE.”
I saw that…going differently…in my head…
And there I was. Hand in ^ awaiting the “GO LESBIANS” high five to be reciprocated.
She forwent the high five (lame), pulled my hand down, beelined for the bathroom and locked the door the door behind us.
She leaned against the counter, I took a seat on the…seat. (Options were quite limited, leave me alone) This bathroom was big enough for 2 people, 1 confession, and that’s it.
“Olive I…I think there’s something you know about me. And I only say that because you just asked me to high five to vaginas, which even for you, is a little weird.”
I just kind of went for it.
“So hey Kylie…are you a lesbian or…?”
She put her head in her hands, “I don’t know. I think so. But I don’t want to be.”
The floor was pulsing with today’s greatest hits, the mirror was clouded with the body heat on the other side of the door, the counters were greasy with unwashed college hands. And this…this…was the setting for this monumental moment. The only thing keeping this secret in was our silent agreement and the loose deadbolt on the door.
Suddenly a sea of college kids decided they chugged one too many miller lites and began pounding. This discussion was officially on a time limit.
“How long have you…when did you…?” I attempted the standard questioning process.
“You know Brooke?”
Girl that came up to me at the party.
“So all this time she’s been hanging out with us, have you been…?” The intention to finish sentences was there, but we were on a time crunch people.
“Sort of. We started things in high school, I scared myself, I thought it was a phase so I pretended like it never happened. But then she started…seeing someone named Jenny and well, I became jealous. But not like best friend jealous, but the real jealous. The jealously you only feel in relationships. And that absolutely terrified me…”
I needed more answers.
“And when you dated Nate…”
“Never loved him. Never even missed him. I wanted to. But I couldn’t. I think that’s when I knew.”
I suppose this would explain her blatant disregard for his presence during their one year relationship. Good work, Nancy Drew.
The pounding continued. We ignored it.
I had never seen her look this honest and this scared before.
As I sat atop the closed toilet seat, I decided this was the supreme time to be serious. “Kylie I…I don’t want you to fight this. I love you, and I’ll be honest. I figured when you told me I’d look at you much differently. And I do. But not because you’re gay, but because,”
“I’m not gay. ” She cut me off. “I mean I don’t know. Shit.”
“Okay well. I don’t look at you differently because of what your preferences are, I look at you differently because I’ve never in my entire life see you this honest. It’s fucking awesome. ”
She couldn’t disagree with me.
The crowd outside was getting restless and unruly. OMG HURRY THE FUCK UP OR MY DICK IS GOING TO EXPLODE AND FALL OFF.
…Suddenly I was considering being a lesbian too…
They pushed against the door >>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<< I pushed back.
The screams were getting louder and the music was drowning out her confessions.
I raised my voice.
“We’re not going anywhere until you can admit that you’re happier if you can accept this about yourself.”
“Olive that’s a big request. This is hard. I mean I think I can be. I’m just still trying to figure it all out. My family will disown me Olive, you know that. My dad told me once that he would never speak to me again if I were gay. Did I tell you that? He actually said those words. He said them out loud. And I don’t want that. Not at all.”
Now the pounding was getting louder. Pushes were getting more aggressive. More threats about penises ensued. How ironic.
“Maybe. Maybe not. I can’t imagine this is easy. At all actually. But you don’t have to do this all by yourself.”
“You mean it?”
“Kylie, I always say things that I mean in the bathroom.”
Can we keep this between us for now? Just for now? I’m not brave enough yet.”
They pushed again.
I pushed back.
“Of course. This isn’t my secret to tell.”
“High five for vaginas?”
We high fived, finally.
I finally released the door and witnessed the sheer joy every drunk college kid feels when they see a glowing aura around the nearest toilet.
We rejoined our group of friends. They asked where the hell we’d been. I told them I wasn’t feeling well and Kylie was taking care of me in the bathroom. They told me I was a hot mess. I told them they were assholes, but they weren’t wrong. She looked at me and we both smiled.
A lot has happened since then. One of the most incredible journeys I think I’ve witnessed in any of my friends.
I can’t wait to tell you where Kylie is now. Stories to come.
But I’ll give you a hint:
She’s not disowned.