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You Look At Him: A Short Story

You look at him. He doesn’t look back. You live in a different world. A place where you are afraid. You are 13 years old and you have no idea what is happening to you. You sense it. You feel it. Under no circumstances, not a single moment you show it. Because you know you live in a hostile world. It does not matter whether it is 2008, 2013 or 2017. In this world there are people who will judge you, will exclude you, will actually hurt you and some will kill you for who you are.

 

You walk along the corridor at school. You look at him. He does not look at you. You look at him again. He smiles at you. You smile back. What was this moment about? Maybe everything. But probably nothing. You are too afraid to find out. The world is too afraid to find out. The world is too afraid to look at you. You put on a mask. You wear it every day. You act out a character for life.

 

 

 

Later:

You walk along with your friends on gay pride. You look around. There are noises, loud music wanting to be heard, to be listened to. You and all the others are colourful. People look at you. But they don’t see you as part of what they are but as part of something else. You stand out. You are everything they are not. Are they jealous that you dared doing what they did not? Maybe. Never mind though. Because you are still on the other side. It is their fault but also yours. You were raised to believe that you are so different that they see you even more different. By marching down the streets in all the colours you give them the opportunity to point out that you are different. But you don’t want to be. You want to be the same.

 

 

 

Later again:

You are at a party. He looks at you. You don’t care no more. You hear people talking to you but you don’t listen any more. He tells you he accepts you. The person that you are. It is okay to be that way. But what is there to accept? Thanks for telling me but I really don’t care. Thanks for telling me I actually do care but there is nothing to accept. Because you cannot accept a person. You have to live with the people around you. Do not accept but live with it.

 

 

 

Even later:

You left the party because you could not stand it any longer. You are at a bar. He looks at you. This time he smiles at you. You smile back. What is this moment about? Everything you have been waiting for.

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Fabian Sindelar

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