My parents stared at me accusingly. This was the worst moment of my life, and it was caused by the very people I should be able to lean on in these kinds of situations.
"What did you say again!?" my mother shouted at me.
I needed all my power not to burst out crying. If I couldn’t hold Sanyi’s hand to get strength from him, I wouldn’t have been able to bear it.
"I…" swallowed "I’m… a lesbian."
Sanyi reassuringly stroked my shoulder. I was a fool to hope my parents would receive the news as well as he did.
"What do you mean by you are a lesbian?" my mom screamed. Her breath was irregular, and the hatred in her eyes was burning much worse than in any prior mother-daughter arguments we had, even though that was a regular weekly thing in the past eight years. "My daughter won’t be a fag."
"Mom" Sanyi tried to calm her down.
"Son, you are staying out of this! You’ll get yours later for holding this back from me."
"No, mom!" My brother said firmly." Your daughter is your daughter. The same girl you gave life twenty years ago."
"No. The one before me is just a deranged teen. My daughter won’t be a fag."
My attention was constantly switching between them, and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t say a thing. Arguing about things we had seen differently, or the rules she had set me was one thing, but arguing about what I was completely stunned me. I wasn’t the only one who sat there silently. My father also watched them without a word. After the first shock he wasn’t angry, sad, or disappointed, neither did he try to de-escalate the argument. I would’ve been surprised if he did. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him openly go against my mother’s will.
"Your daughter is not a ‘fag’! She’s a young woman who loves other women. Get over it!"
"Don’t dare to defend this disgusting aberration to me!"
"Mom, please, don’t do this" I begged.
"Do not talk to me! Do not dare to talk until you forget this insanity! What did I do to deserve you becoming so disgusting?"
"I am not disgusting. This is who I am"
She stepped closer and slapped me. She has never done such thing before. Sanyi immediately jumped between us.
"Mom, now you went too far!"
"I was the one who went too far!? Tell that to your fag cunt sister!"
My tears started to rain like a tropical storm. My brother helped me up, embraced me, and walked me to the door.
"You are gonna regret these words, mom!" He looked back before we left the room. "You are gonna regret this, and I hope for all of our sake it won’t be too late."
Like if I were shot out of a catapult, a sat up in my bad. My hair, my pillow, my blanket all were wet from my sweat, and I was breathing heavily like I was in the middle of a five click run. This goddamn memory again! I would have a hard time remembering the last time I had dreamed about my coming out, but when I did, it always had this effect on me. It’s not that I didn’t understand why the most hurtful memory of my life decided to crawl to the surface once again. Then I had to confess the truth to two very important people of my life, and now I was planning to do something similar. My mom received the news in the worst possible way, but she was an awfully conservative old woman at the time. Now I wanted to confess the same thing to a twenty-eight-year-old girl, so I was hoping for a much better reception. A wonderful, dreamlike girl whom I deeply fell in love with. Yes. The greatest love of my life, who - just as my mother - felt repulsed by lesbians. Well, it might not have been a coincidence that the memories of that nightmarish day from two years ago came back after all.
I sat up to look around in the room. My roomates, fortunately, didn’t wake up, so I got away without explaining them why I looked like someone who had seen a ghost. I crawled out of bed, into my slippers, and stumbled out the room toward the bathroom. As soon as I closed the door behind me, I immediately felt the coldness of the hall. Damn army and its barely heated buildings. According to the calendar, we were in the autumn of 2006, according to the looks of pretty much everything in this goddamn hall, it couldn’t have been any later than 1976. It felt like the time has stopped at this base 30 years ago, because it didn’t look even a tiny little bit different than how my father described it from the time when he served here during his conscription. Cheap quality, atrocious looking floor tiles, hospital style wallpainting, decaying wood windows and yes, the aforementioned heating or more like the lack of it.
As I was floundering drowsily to the ladies’ room, I couldn’t help but wonder about the absurdity of my situation. Me, the always rebellious, undisciplined chick in the army. Bad comedies tend to start like that, but to be fair, sometimes I felt my life was just that. A bad comedy that makes someone, somewhere really far away laugh.
What was Örs, my ex-boyfriend thinking, when he invited me to join the military? And even more, what was I thinking, when I accepted the offer? Okay, that latter one isn’t that much of a mystery. I needed a job, and it’s not like I was drowning in the possibilities. For some reason not many companies want to give high-paying jobs to a 22-year-old girl with a low-grade high school diploma, and a questionable reputation as sales clerk. At the time I lived in the garage of my brother, and as nice as he and Marcsi - his wife - were, even their hospitality had its limits. And I probably won’t tell you a huge secret when I say, the five square meter, plywood walled corner I lived in the last two years wasn’t that much similar to the penthouse of my dreams. Of course it was either this, or moving back to my parents, which would’ve been easy. I “only” should’ve admitted that my “lesboness” (sic) was merely a teenage whim on my part. Well, even if it was that (it wasn’t) I wouldn’t have considered accepting the offer even for a second.
Of course I did accept an other offer, otherwise I wouldn’t have been here now. I still smile when I imagine how I could look when Örs presented me his idea in the local general practitioner’s waiting room.
"Well, Fanny, you know, if you really wanted to work, there are possibilities" he explained.
"What do you mean?" I asked after a loud sneeze.
"We always hire."
"What? The military? Do I really look that much lesbian to you?"
"Geez, don’t tell me you took that as a personal offend!"
"What? No. It’s a bit stereotypical to think that a lesbian is all over for every boyish thing, but whatever."
"Damn, you should know me better than think I misjudge you so badly."
I must have given him a terrifying look, because he decided to drop this thought and continued to present his original idea.
"A lot of women work for us, and none of them are lesbian… Well, one of them might, but she isn’t even a soldier. Believe me, there is nothing unusual about it anymore. Lots of women chose to be a soldier regardless their sexuality. This is just a job just like anything else."
Why would I have believed a word he said? He was the last guy I tried to have a straight relationship with, so I had a good reason to believe he still had his dignity hurt about it. Of course, our breaking up shouldn’t had been a surprise to him as I’ve told him from the very first second that I considered this an experiment.
The night of our unexpected reunion I thought a lot about the offer, but as I still wasn’t exactly the main candidate of several different well-paying CEO positions, I decided to call him and accept the offer. I was young and needed the money. Yeah, I’m aware how ex-porn reality-starish it sounds. If I had to have a job where it was compulsory to wear a uniform, the woodland colored has beaten the slutty schoolgirl one. As low as I was around this time, I seriously considered picking the latter up in a stripclub, so signing up for the military wasn’t that bad after all. I’ve been tomboyish enough in my whole life to not get intimidated by such masculine challenges, but I’d be lying, if I said it wasn’t a relief when in the recruitment office they offered me an HR position. That meant the comfiness of an office, and the burden of the paperwork, but a drowning girl shouldn’t complain about the color of the lifebelt, should she? Of course there was this little thing about me of hating authorities, and running my mouth when every sane person would have long shut up, but those things can’t possibly mean trouble in the military, can they?
So a mere ten months after I signed that paper in the recruitment office, here I was clumsily stumbling around the empty halls of the military boot camp of Szentendre and wondering, it might have been better if my dignity had won that night instead of those stupid urges like eating and living under a somewhat own roof. Everybody says it’s better to have lovesickness than being sick without love, but I honestly wouldn’t have had either if I didn’t get to know this wonderful girl who became my world in mere five weeks.
After I finished on the toilet, and washed my hands, on my way out I took a look at the mirror. It was a mistake.
“Fanny Burka, you’re uglier than a zombie” I grumbled to my reflection, that at the moment had very few similarities to an actual human being.
I left the bathroom, and scuffled back to our room, constantly groping the wall all the way along. Just as when I left, nobody had woken up when I got back to the room. It was no surprise. We had a really exhausting day, even for me, who played basketball until just two years ago. And the majority of the others didn’t even watch sports, let alone doing any. On the way to my bed, I stopped for a moment and looked at Adri, who was deep in dreamland territory. Her maroon curls framed her angelic face while she slept with this beautiful eternal peace. It would’ve been hard to tell if I felt this undying love for her because she actually was the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met, or because I just wanted her badly, and knew she was never going to be mine. I let out a painful sigh then went back to my bad and fell asleep almost immediately. In my dreams, Adri jumped into my arms when I came out to her, and told me she has been in love with me ever since we met. What a beautiful and naive dream it was…