Recently, Navales (you all remember Jonathan, right?) and I started doing our writing exercises again, kind of like a season two after the first one faded away. I'm posting our second topic because the first one was actually a script, which I failed miserably on while the veteran's work almost made me cry. I'm not very good with scenarios, although I write pretty okay prose. Anyway, we're trying to be a little more strict when it comes to the finish date so I hope this exercise won't fade out like the last time.
Topic #2: You're ten years old and you just witnessed your older sibling come out to your parents.
I looked at the mirror and the reflection wasn’t mine. I looked like my sister sitting in the kitchen looking down at her knees not knowing what to say. My reflection looks like her heart beating much faster than usual. My reflection is a nervous shake in her hands that she can’t shake off. And when I blinked my reflection had changed. I became a copy of my mom and I wore a face of confusion and disappointment. I was scared for my daughter but most of all I was scared of what everyone would say. My reflection became the shame my mom would have when everyone called her daughter a dyke. I became everything they both felt and everything they didn’t want. I became ideas and politics and pride and religion. I became everything that was important and everything that wasn’t. I looked at the mirror and wanted to see me but the reflection wasn’t mine.
By Jonathan Navales
The house is quiet.
I wish I was downstairs with my brother right now. When Mom and Dad are both quiet, it usually means a bad thing. It means that they are both very angry. I don't understand why.
I got sent up to my room almost right after my brother told my parents the truth about himself. He told Mom and Dad that he's gay and that he needed for them to know it. It's true. Hiding himself from Mom and Dad was really bothering him.
I saw the look in Dad's eyes as he was staring really, really hard at my brother. I saw how hurt Mom seemed before she turned around to tell me to go up to my room. I told her I didn't want to, that I had to be here for Joshua. Then Dad turned to look at me with his scary eyes that made me want to run. I can only imagine how scared my brother is right now. I'm sorry, Joshua.
I guess this is a big deal, but I don't understand why. I mean, so what if Joshua likes boys and not girls? It's not strange, there are many people who are gay. They're just like anyone else. Why would it make Dad angry that Joshua doesn't like girls? Why would it hurt Mom so much?
I remember what Mom and Dad said about gay people a while ago. Dad said that gay people go against nature and everything moral. Mom said that the Bible said it was a sin, that it went against God. I don't know if I believe in God or Jesus or the stories that the people at church tell me, but if God is the creator of the world like people say he is, and if He doesn't like gay people, why would they exist?
Now everyone is yelling at each other all at once and I can't make out anything that they're saying. Dad's voice is the loudest and it rises above everyone else's and I hear him say, “Tell me where your mother and I went wrong! How can my son be one of those faggots?” I think Joshua's crying, but I'm not too sure, and now Mom's yelling at Dad. It's such an ugly word, I wish it never came out of Dad's mouth.
I want to run downstairs and scream at my parents. I want to tell them how mean they're being to Joshua. What difference does it make if he likes boys or girls? He's still their son. He's still my brother. But that would get me into trouble. So, I'm just going to run downstairs to give Joshua a big hug. Because I love him, no matter what.
By Hannah R.J.A. Song