My eyes shoot open, like an owl in the dead of night. im in a room filled with machines and the steady beeping of the heartbeat monitor. the room is dimly lit with only the grey light coming from the window. i look out to see big snowflakes falling on the cold streets of Buffalo. for once in my life, i felt relaxed, because there is nothing like winter in Buffalo.

But the reality hit me like a ton of lead, i was in the hospital and Ethan was alone. i couldnt bear the fact that he was there by himself. i mean, he left his school to be with me, and im not there for him. what did he see in me that he liked so much? i have no idea. and on top of that, if i truly am gay, (which i think i am) i cant tell my father, he looks at bi/gay people as sub-human, and i dont want to be seen as sub-human.

My first day back to practice, but my back is killing me after the accident a few days ago. my coach is only letting me do light contact practices so i don't injure myself. i hate it, I'm not allowed to finish any checks, i can only use stick checks, i cant block shots, what the hell am i supposed to do now?

"coach, i think you should put me in a game."

"no way Ty. you are my best defenseman and our only legitimate chance to win a championship. i cant have you hurt yourself again." Coach Carson said.

"he's right Tyler. we cant afford to lose you. not now" Ethan said skating over to me.

"this is bogus!" i said angrily. i got off the ice and headed to the locker room.

"i cant believe this! our captain is a fag." Kyle said as Dane laughed.

"i'm not gay!"

"then way were you cuddling Ethan in the locker room last monday?" Dane asks.

"that wasn't... i..."

"speechless. you know what that means Dane?" Kyle said reaching into his pocket.

"yep!" he replied

"NO! PLEASE!" i begged.

"too late its already on Facebook." Dane said.

i immediately started to get upset. so i went back onto the ice. i skated around the rink a few times.

"Tyler, can i ask you something?"

"what?" i said

"well.... um... i like you... and i was... um...."

"Spit it out!" i screamed.

"Ok! um... will you.... go out with me...?"

i contemplated about the spreading of gossip so i thought to myself, ah, fuck it.


"look, um i shouldn't of asked you, your straight, what the hell was i thinking? im so-"

"Ethan! i said yes."

"really? well i guess were..."

"boyfriends?" i interrupted.

"...yeah... Boyfriends." he said grinning.

we stood there awkwardly, when for no reason, we held hands.

One week later...

i was laying on my bed shirtless staring at my body for no reason. what can Ethan see in me that he likes? i couldn't figure it out, but i still couldn't believe i was actually gay. all these years, all the girlfriends, and i couldn't see my true feelings.

but the major step comes up. i have to come out to my parents.

"Tyler! dinner!" my mom hollered at my closed door.

i threw on a shirt and headed downstairs. "what is it?" i asked.

"Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots." she said. i sat down at my usual seat next to dad. i don't know why there was 4 chairs because i was an only child, but maybe they'll use it for something else.

"um Guys? i have something to tell you..." 

"What is it" my father asked.

"well... you know my friend Ethan right?" i said kind of looking down.

"yes, of course. he's a nice boy." my mother says.

"well.... he's not my friend anymore... he's my boyfriend...." i said looking at the floor. 

"so your Homosexual?" my dad asked with a disappointed look in his eyes.


"well i think its wonderful! Ethan is a nice boy and i think you guys are perfect for each other." my mom said. my dad got up from the table and left.

"Frank!" my mom went after him, and i just sat there and started crying.

"Frank you could of been more supportive of Tyler. he needs you in this time in his life and you basically made him cry. at least say to him at some point that you love him and nothing will change that. wait, why the hell am i asking you to? YOU have to in order to keep a relationship with him."

"look Sarah, i know he needs us. but you know how i feel about Homosexuals." 

"Frank, please remind yourself that he is not some kid, he is your son."

i could overhear mom and dad argue about me. i hate being at the center of everything. i just wanted my dad to love me and treat me like he always did.

"what are you going to do Frank? leave him on the curb and say get lost? weather you like it or not, he is still the same old Tyler and you need to be there for him. and its not like hes dating some kid who only wants him for... that... he's dating a boy who is respectful to us, he is well liked, he gives Tyler a person to talk to, and more importantly, hes respectful to, and loves Tyler. and no matter what you do Frank, you can change how he feels." my mom said to him. My phone vibrates, Ethan sent me a text message: "i miss you!"

i grin, and reply: "i love you!" My dad catches me texting, he walks over, "no texting that boy! hes obviously has clouded your true self" and he snatches my Phone away.

"Dad! why did you do that? i... i thought...." i said with tears building up in my eyes. "frank! give him back his phone! what the hell is wrong with you?' my mom screams. she hands me my phone, and i look at my dad with a hurt look in my eyes and i ran upstairs crying. i slammed my door shut and texted Ethan:

"I need you here with me Ethan! more than you know!"


Josh Volland

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