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Hello. Or I suppose it should be goodbye.

I’ve got a while now, as our old bath takes years to run, but to be honest I really have no idea why I’m writing this. I suppose I’m trying to be less of a coward. It took me so long to even admit these things to myself; I could never be brave enough to admit them to others. And I hate myself because of it. I have always been scared. Of the dark. Of spiders. Of heights. Of death. Everything. But I’ve never been as scared as I am now. Of admitting this. And even now I’m struggling. Reading over what I’ve written so far I realise I haven’t even admitted it yet!

You really can’t understand how hard this is. I feel like a freak of nature.

Before I kill myself I need to get this off my chest, then, I think, I can die happy. It’s supposed to be a sin to commit suicide, but then again what I am is a sin. I can admit that I’m scared of what I’m about to do. The sleeping pills in my hand should not feel this heavy. The running water should not sound this loud. But many things in my life should not be. I should not have turned my back on what I am, but denial is a strong opponent. Depression is stronger.

I do not feel him now, but when he comes he seeps through the cracks in my life, through the faults, and makes them bigger. Big enough to do damage. Big enough to destroy all other feelings but him. If someone asked me to describe him, I’d say he is tall and thin, and paper flat. With long, long fingers for prying at my cracks. He is blue, my depression. Sometimes dark like the oceans, sometimes light like the skies. When he is dark there is fear. When he is light there is hate. When he is gone there is love. There is never more than the one, for fear, hate and love are all one note on the heartstrings. But I am glad that there is only ever one, for all of them are life crushing. I do not think I could cope with more than one at a time. Hell, I haven’t even coped with that. If I had, then I wouldn’t be here today.

The bath is almost run. I need to finish this. Three simple words, and I’ve done it. I’m writing in pen so I cannot rub it away. It is a small comfort, but one I need. Three words, and it is done! Something I haven’t been able to say in all of my life. Three words…

 

I am gay.

 

There. I’ve said it. I’m sorry mother, hate me for sinning. I do not care. What a lie! Of course I care. But I cannot change your faith or your feelings. If you must hate me, then so be it. It’ll help you get over my death. But please, as my dying wish, give this to Minseok. It is to him that I have the most to apologize for.

 

Minnie.

I do not know where to begin. The bath is run, but I must finish this.

I know it is too late, but you loved me, once. I pushed you away. When you came out to the rest of our friends last year, and they turned away in disgust, I was too afraid not to follow them in their actions. I know I’ve hurt you, and I’m sorry. I am so sorry. I have never been sorrier in my life. And when you told me you hated me, I knew I deserved it. Maybe I was worthy of you once, but that was a long time ago.

Remember that time by the apple tree in your back garden? Of course you remember. It was the first time we kissed. I thought that that feeling would’ve been enough to coax me through my fear. That amazing feeling. But of course it wasn’t. When I was fearful, I could feel nothing else. When there was love, there was only love. I grew so confused with this. I’ve accepted it now, but then I hated myself for it. And when there was hate, it obliterated all.

You had already known about him; my depression. You were the only one I trusted to tell. And you helped me through it. When I was with you, I was happy. But when, at school for example, there were others, fear took over again. Fear of being judged. Fear of being hated. Fear of being gay.

I don’t want to be gay. If you and I were both straight, it would’ve be so much easier. We had always been friends, and I wish it could’ve always been that way.

But at the same time, now that I’ve finally accepted this, I don’t think I would want it any other way.

I suppose what I need to do now is apologize for last week. I didn’t know it was going to go so far. They threw stones at you! You and that new boyfriend of yours. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember his name. Hate took over me then. I hated them for hurting you. I don’t think you noticed, but most of my stones ‘accidentally’ hit the others and not you or your boyfriend. You know I’ve never been good with my aim…

But I should’ve stopped them. I should’ve defended you. There were so many of us, and only two of you. Of course it wasn’t fair. It still wouldn’t have been fair if I’d tried to help you. It would’ve made no difference. You would’ve still got hurt. That’s what I kept telling myself. But when you screamed, my heart broke. It literally felt as if someone had dug a knife deep into my chest and right through it. It took me awhile to realize what you were screaming.

“I hate you!”

I knew it was directed at me. I didn’t think twice about that. And if my heart had already been broken, it was burned then. That’s what it felt like; like it was being burned from the inside out.

But you have every right to hate me. I hate myself.

But thankfully it is not hate that I feel now in my last minutes. Or fear. I’m not scared anymore. It is such a relief. No, what I feel now is love.

I love you, Minseok.

I’ve wanted to tell you that for so long. I know it’s too late now. I know it probably means nothing. And I know it’s selfish of me, but I hope you’ll forgive me. I do not hope that you still love me, however. That ship sailed a long time ago. Of course you do not love me. How could you? You said it yourself; you hate me. You should. I do not deserve your love.

I’m not quite sure how to finish this letter, but I think I should say goodbye.

 

So yeah.

I love you Minnie. And I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me.

 

Goodbye,

Jongdae x

 

 

*

 

“Do I have to?” Minseok groaned.

“Yes!” his parents snapped simultaneously.

“Why?!”

“You and Jongdae have been friends for years, we’re sorting this out!”

He groaned again, and unwillingly dragged himself into the car. He had no desire to ever speak - to ever see - Jongdae again, and here were his normally uninterested parents literally forcing him to go sort things out.

According to Jongdae’s mother, Jongdae had apparently been ‘acting weird’ since the whole incident last week. So what? For all Minseok cared Jongdae could act his way weirdly out of his life. He was furious with him. But no matter how angry he was, he couldn’t help how he felt about Jongdae. He missed him. Missed the times they used to spend together.

Up until now he had still believed Jongdae would pull through eventually. Yes, Minseok had started seeing other people. He had a boyfriend; Luhan. He liked Luhan but, if he was to be honest with himself, he knew they were only ever meant to be friends. He didn’t even think the boy was really gay. He really just seemed confused. He’d grow out of it… Minseok knew he never would. He’d tried dating girls. It felt wrong. Being with Jongdae felt right. Yet Jongdae obviously disagreed.

When they arrived at Jongdae’s house his mother told Minseok that he was in the bathroom. So they waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, Minseok couldn’t stand it anymore. He marched up the stairs. No one tried to stop him.

“Jongdae! How long are you gonna be?!” he yelled, banging on the door. “Dae?! Dae!” He banged on the door again, until the lock broke and the door swung open. He froze.

“…Dae?” he whispered, his voice breaking half way through his name. Slowly, the reality of what he was seeing sank in.

He ran to the boy and hoped he wasn’t too late.

 

*

 

“His parents are filling out some forms and will be here shortly. Are you all right by yourself?”

“I’m fine thank you.”

That voice. I slowly opened my eyes, scared to believe what was happening.

His eyes, beautiful but red from tears, gazed into mine.

“Min-”

“Shhh,” he whispered, holding his finger to my lips. In his other hand he clutched my note as if it was the most precious thing in the world. “We can talk later.”

“But-”

“I forgive you, Dae,” he whispered, “and I do still love you.” Then he leant down and kissed me, and all I could feel was love. I knew my depression would be back, but I knew Minseok would be there to help me through it. I would never let him slip away again.

“I love you too Minnie.”