Have you ever wanted to just bury your head in the sand and never come out? Because that’s how I feel right now. I feel so awful and stupid and embarrassed that something that horrible came out of my mouth. Where did it even come from?
I have no clue.
The rest of Sunday was a blur. I knew I had to fix it. I couldn’t just not fix it. I called my best friend something awful. Well technically I didn’t call her that, but I indirectly did. Which is just as bad. I texted her, called her, snaped her, she ignored me.
I have to do something to fix this.
“Hey,” Carson walked over to me in my driveway.
Shoot! With all this Josie stuff I totally forgot to text him.
“Hey, I’m so sorry I spaced on you. I just have a lot going on. My friends basically banned me from being near them.” I sigh and lean against my car.
I had been pacing my driveway, something I do when I’m stressed. The fresh air helps me think.
“Why?” he leaned on the car next to me.
“I fucked up Carson. I said something so stupid and awful.”
“Remember when that guy kept picking on you and calling you… you know that word, that slur for gay guys. Well, I basically said the girl version of that word to my best friend. I’m royally screwed.”
“Why’d you say it?” he said seriously.
“I didn’t mean to! It just came out! She was pressuring me and I was backed into a corner. I don’t know, I just wish I could take it back. She started crying! I made her cry! What do I do?” I look to him for help.
“That’s fucked up,” he looks off into the distance.
“Not helping! I know it’s fucked up. How do I un-fuck it?”
“Did you say sorry?”
“Yes! Of course, I said sorry. It didn’t help. I mean you beat that guy to a pulp for calling you that. How does anyone recover from saying something like that? It’s like I’ve gone to the dark side and I just realized I can’t see in the dark!”
“Relax Kat, anyone who knows you knows you couldn’t hurt a fly even if you tried. If words don’t work you have to try something else. They always say actions speak louder than words.”
I eye him, the wheels slowly turning in my head.
“I know that look,” he smirks.
“I fucking missed you.” I tackle him in a hug.
Carson and I have been secret friends for years now. We’d always hang out after school and go on walks around the neighborhood together. He’s basically my best friend, but the guy version.
When I pull back, he pecks me on the lips.
I wasn’t expecting it and jolt in surprise.
“Oh sorry, I didn’t mean, I was just, I thought—”
I cut him off by kissing him.
When I pull back his whole face is red. I can’t help but giggle at how cute he looks.
“You just surprised me is all.” I peck him on the cheek.
“Are we like boyfriend-girlfriend now?”
I laugh, “I forget you are basically a virgin to everything.”
“Hey!” he pouts.
“Yes Carson, we are boyfriend and girlfriend.” I roll my eyes.
He smiles at me, gosh he’s so freaking adorable. I can’t help but kiss him again.
“So what’s the plan?” he asks when I pull back.
“Well, you know me, go big or go home. Our school has always been on the more conservative side when it comes to LGBTQ+ students.”
“You’re telling me, I once saw a trans girl be forced to change back into men's clothing because she was out of dress code. Which she wasn’t. It was so stupid. She basically cried and didn’t come to school for a whole week. That school sucks.”
“Let’s fix that. How about we organize a gay pride march in front of the school. Right when morning prayer is supposed to happen. That will get everyone’s attention. Then Josie will see how truly sorry I am and how much I support her.”
“Plus, you’ll be giving LGBTQ+ kids a chance to have their voices heard.”
“Exactly! One problem, we have less than 12 hours to organize this whole thing and get people to show up to school early.”
“Well you are one of the most popular kids at school, can’t you pull some strings?”
“Sage shunned me!”
“What about Sophie?”
“Hmm…” that could work. Sophie doesn’t hold grudges, I bet I could get her to help me out once I explain everything.
“Okay, say I do get people to show up. What about decorations and what not?”
“We can make a bunch of signs and hand them out when kids get to school. I’ll help you. Plus I know where we can get a big rainbow flag.”
“You really are the best.” I peck him on the lips.
“I just like to be helpful.”
He’s so freaking sweet! Ugh! I’ll get cavities from how sweet he is. Why haven’t we been dating all this time? Oh yeah, because Josie said he was a loser. She totally sabotaged me. If anything, she should be apologizing to me!
You fucked up.
Fix that first and then address the other issues.
“Okay, you go to the store and get all the supplies. I have lots of markers and stuff so just get the poster board and the flag. I’ll get Sophie to help me. Meet me back here when you’re done.”
“Okay, you can count on me.”
“I know I can,” I kiss him again before going inside.
So I call Sophie. She ignores my call, so I text her that it’s an emergency and she calls me.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” she asks.
“Don’t hang up, I’m fine.”
“Really Kat,” she sounds annoyed.
“Look I know I fucked up. I’m going to fix it, but I need your help. Please. No way Sage or Josie will talk to me. You’re my only hope.”
“What you said was fucked up.”
“I know! Please, just hear me out. Since Josie won’t hear my apology, I’m going to show it to her.”
“Carson and I are going to have a gay pride march for the students at the school tomorrow morning, same time as morning prayer. I want you guys to see that I would never judge someone because of who they like. What I said was stupid and fucked up and I feel like shit because of it. Please Sophie, help me make this right.”
“Hmm, okay you convinced me. How can I help?”
“Well, Carson and I are going to make signs and get a flag. We just need your help to spread the word and make sure lots of people show up to support us.”
“Done. I’ll get people there, you can count on me!”
“Thanks, Sophie, you are a lifesaver.”
“Thank me later!” she hung up.
Ugh! Now I owe her one. Nothing is worse than owing one to Sophie. Since the girl looks so innocent it’s hard for her to get out and do much with her parents watching her every move. She always cashes in on her IOUs and usually it’s to do something crazy her parents wouldn’t approve of. Last time I owed her I had to drive her two states over just so she could audition for some reality show. Thankfully she didn’t get in, but still.
Carson came back and we spent all night making signs and whatnot. I announced on my Twitter that there would be a small protest. And made sure to update all my social media about it. Carson was able to get in touch with some of his friends too, admittedly they are all geeky like him. But the more the merrier.
Monday morning, I do my make-up in rainbow. I slather on some blue lipstick; the one Josie gave me for my birthday a few months ago. And I wear a gay pride t-shirt with a rainbow bandana in my hair and rainbow suspenders on my blue jean shorts. I even got rainbow socks.
Even if no one else shows up, I’ll still be there representing.
Then Josie will see how sorry I am.
I meet Carson at school, and he’s dressed similarly to me, except he has on rainbow war paint. I laugh at how cute he looks.
“You are going to have to prove to my parents I’m straight after this, I swear my dad nearly had a heart attack this morning.” He said.
That made me laugh harder.
“Deal, I’ll be sure to come over and confirm your straightness.” I roll my eyes.
“Thanks,” he playfully nudges me.
We stick the flag in the ground and set the extra signs on the ground before picking up our own sign and holding it up. So far, it’s just the two of us.
“We need music.” He says.
I grab my phone and pull a Bluetooth speaker from my backpack before putting on some music. This should get people’s attention. It’s a playlist of iconic gay-themed songs and songs by gay people. I put on some Todrick Hall to get us started.
Carson’s friends arrive soon after, and they aren’t alone. They brought a whole crowd of people. Leading the pack were the badest bitches I’ve ever seen. Drag Queens in full attire and dress. I felt like I was in presence of royalty.
Other students slowly join us and pick up some signs we made.
“Told you,” Sophie says to Josie and Sage as they walkout to look at us.
Sage raises an eyebrow and Josie does her best to hide the smirk tugging on her lips.
Just then I kissed a girl by Katy Perry comes on and I hold my sign up higher for Josie to see. It says girls kiss better than boys. Carson has a sign that says boys kiss better than girls. It was a cute idea and we went with it.
They walk over to me.
“What are you doing?” Josie asks.
“What’s it look like?” I wave my sign around.
“This doesn’t fix what you said,” Sage adds.
“I’m sorry okay. I really am. I know what I said can never be taken back, but I want you to know that I’m not like that. I don’t hate the LGBTQ community. I support it. What I said was stupid, and unforgivable. But I’m going to do everything in my power to make you see, that wasn’t me. I was just scared.” I admit.
“Please, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Sage and Josie share a look.
“Well, there is one way you can prove it to me,” Josie smirks.
“How? I’ll do anything.”
“Kiss me, right here in front of everyone.”
“Guess you’re not serious,” she starts to walk away.
I look at Carson and he says, “Go for it.”
“Are you sure?” I ask.
“I think I can let it slide this one time. We are at a gay pride protest after all.”
He’s literally the best. I don’t care what anyone says. This man will be my future husband. Mark my words.
So, I look to Josie who is looking amused. I see the school paper coming to take photos and I whistle and shout, “Over here!”
They point their camera at me as I raise my sign high with one hand and pull Josie close with the other and kiss her on the lips. I can hear the clicking of our picture being taken. Josie melts into the kiss, pulling me closer until we are practically making out in front of everyone.
Suddenly the music stops and I feel my sign get ripped right out of my hand.
I pull back and come face to face with one of the teachers.
“You can’t be doing this here!” They shout before tearing my sign right in half.
“Hey! You can’t do that!” I shout.
Soon the crowd is in an uproar as another teacher confiscates my speaker and shuts off the music. The cops get called and anyone, not a student, gets escorted off the property. The principal grabs me by the arms and drags me inside with Carson.
Our flag was taken down and thrown in the trash.
“You can’t do that! It’s our right to protest!” I shout.
“School isn’t a place for your political agenda. It’s a place for learning, I won’t have any of that here.”
“You could learn a thing or two from your own students. Can’t you see, they are tired of being oppressed! You treat the LGBTQ community unfairly here!” I say.
“She’s right! I’ve seen it with my own eyes!” Carson adds.
“You’re already on thin ice Mr. Bowers. You just got back, unless you want to end up at an alternative school, I suggest you be on your best behavior. As for you Ms. Hanson. This little stunt just got you suspended from school. I’ll be calling your parents.”
“This is bullshit!” I shout.
“I’m adding another day just for that!”
I get up to lash out again, but Carson puts a hand on my shoulder and forces me back down into the chair. We share a look, his eyes plead with me to let it go. I sigh and cross my arms in defiance.
The principal smiles smugly at me.
What an asshole.
I hope he gets shit on by a bird today.