‘I’m not gay!’ Dan yelled at his friend Louise after she had asked him for the, hmmm 87th time? Why he kept looking at Phil Lester like that. ‘And I don’t like Phil!’
'Then why do you go everywhere with him? You’re never more than three feet away from him for gods sake!’
'Because… because he’s my best friend!’
Louise sighed. This was the answer she always got, she was only teasing him and she knew Dan knew that, but sometimes it seemed very much like he didn’t.
Dan hated people. In fact, he didn’t particularly like being around anyone unless their name was Phil Lester. Phil was the only person that he had ever felt close to, Phil had shared all his secrets with Dan and often tried to get Dan to tell his secrets too, though he never would. Phil always found impossible to tell what Dan was thinking.
Dan knew what he was thinking though, of course, and his mind often played games with him, trying to torment him and convince him that his biggest fears would come true. This was obviously stupid so he hadn’t bothered to tell anyone, even Phil (especially Phil) his biggest fear couldn’t possibly be real because… well because.
Dan’s biggest fear was being gay.
It wasn’t that he was against gay people, for he knew that Phil was gay, he had come out to Dan years ago, in a way so casual it was almost like it didn’t phase him at all. Dan hated this about him, the way he never seemed worried about anything,
'Okay, okay. Come on we have to go to maths now’ Louise continued.
'Oh uh, is it time already?’ Dan replied absentmindedly, he was quite relived actually. Louise wasn’t in his maths so he could get away from her endless accusations that he was gay, at least for an hour.
'Hey guys!’ A voice called from down the corridor as Phil and Louise had just started walking. The voice caught up with them, it was Phil.
'Hey Phil’ Said Dan 'Louise you should really get going, you’re in a different class to us’
'Alright, alright bye then’
She winked at Dan as she said this before walking away in the opposite direction and Dan had they urge to yell that he wasn’t gay at her again.
'You’re blushing again Dan’ Phil smirked.
'I’m. No I’m not!’
Dan knew this was a lie. He turned even more scarlet as he looked into Phil’s eyes, he wasn’t sure why but he often found himself blushing when looking at Phil.
'Yeah you are, it’s okay I know it’s cause you fancy Louise’
'I, I what? No!’ Dan spluttered 'come on let’s go to class’
He regretted getting to class so quickly, in fact he wished he hadn’t got there at all, within ten minutes he felt as though he was about to fall asleep.
The rest of the day didn’t go to great either. He had narrowly scraped detention for his English homework, Louise had continued to annoy him and as a result of this so had Phil. Phil really did seem convinced that Dan loved Louise because he brought it up again when Dan was round his house later.
'So if you don’t have a crush Louise, who do you have a crush on?’
'No one’ Dan replied instantly without hesitating, seeming a little to certain.
'And I…’ he looked into Phil’s eyes again and this time he did hesitate ’ I really should get going’
He wasn’t sure what had made him want to leave, but it was probably the uncomfortable burning he’d had in his chest the whole time he’d been there, alone and with Phil. He thought of Phil’s eyes again and the burning became stronger. What was happening to him?
He went through the next day throughly confused, wondering when this feeling would go away. It didn’t. The days of confusion soon turned to weeks and showed no signs of stopping, until one day when everything became clear.
It had seemed like a fairly normal day, at least the kind of normal Dan was now used to where he felt like there were actual flames in his stomach. He had got up, got dressed, had breakfast and headed to school. Louise had taunted him at break and lunch with her usual comments, to which Dan had responded with the usual yell of 'I’m not gay!’ Though it was perhaps a little quieter today, a little more unsure.
It didn’t become clear to him until the end of the day when he was walking out with Phil, he was walking down the corridor when he felt something under his foot. By the time he realised what it was he had fallen to the floor. He hadn’t actually noticed it had happened, his mind had been somewhere else until Phil reached out his hand.
'Here’ he was giggling 'let me help’
Dan’s confused looking face looked directly up at Phil and smiled, he couldn’t help it, Phil’s face looked so happy as he giggled, his bright blue eyes glistened and his tongue poked out slightly. Dan reached for Phil’s outstretched arm and as their hands connected, so did two invisible wires in Dan’s brain and it was at that moment that he realised something. His biggest fear had come true and he was in with love his best friend.
It was strange actually to think of it as a fear in this moment, for it did not seem scary to him anymore. The burning feeling in his stomach ceased and he got up to his feet, still smiling.
He didn’t talk much on the way home. It wasn’t until they reached the safety of Phil’s room until he spoke again.
'Yes? What is it, you’ve been awfully quiet today, is it Louise? Are you finally going to confess to me that you love her?’
'No!’ Dan shouted, though he didn’t seem annoyed, he could tell Phil was only teasing.
'There’s something I need to tell you’ he continued.
'You know there’s actually something I need to tell you too’
'Really? That’s funny, it’s like when we used to tell each other secrets when we were younger’
'You mean when I used to tell my secrets and you’d never tell yours?’
Dan blushed guiltily.
'What did you want to tell me?’ The two said at the same time. They both burst out laughing.
'What do you think I want to tell you?’
'I don’t know’
'Why don’t we say them at the same time?’
'Well, uh okay…’
They looked straight into each other’s eyes, Dan into Phil’s bright blue ones and Phil into Dan’s chocolate brown ones.
'Three. Two. One.’
'I’m in love with you’
The two continued to stare at each other, unable to form words. They leaned into each other and their lips, instead of forming words met, in a kiss that exploded into a warm and fulfilling embrace.
Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) was a
South African author and activist, best remembered for her novels which explore
important issues of the day, and offer progressive views towards their
resolution. Her most famous work is Story
of an African Farm, which deals with controversial aspects such as religion
and the treatment of women in society.
Other important works
include Woman and Labour, with themes
of socialism and gender equality, or From
Man to Man, which extends to also include a condemnation of racism along
with sexism. In 1907 she became the vice-president of the Women’s Enfranchisement
League in Cape Town, but refused to continue working for them when other
branches of the organization tried to exclude black women from the suffrage