They call me Sokka, it’s pronounced with an –okka
Hey there, I’m Sokka! I was just wondering
yo u dtf?
Tragically that wasn’t the worst draft.
Sokka groaned into his hands, propping his elbows on either side of the laptop on his desk, peeking at the screen through his fingers. The pure white light of the unwritten email burned his eyes, like it was mocking his inability to strike up conversation. Sitting up, he decided to close it for now, instead looking back at the post he was struggling to reply to.
The post in question had appeared earlier that day on the blog Ba Sing Secrets, the gossip forum for every student in Ba Sing Se High School. It had quickly become the subject of schoolwide speculation because its content brought a shocking concept to light:
Gay people exist?!
Sokka read the post for what he imagined was the hundredth time since Katara had showed it to him that morning.
Why does life have to be such a rollercoaster?
Just constant ups and downs with no time to breathe or to take in your surroundings, full of people screaming and clinging to each other because they don’t know what’s coming next. It’s even worse at the back of the rollercoaster, which is where I constantly seem to find myself. I see the people in front of me yelling but I don’t see why. Everyone else seems to find something to shout about and I can’t see anything worth even speaking about.
The most annoying part is the fact that most of the guys who are just like me have found something to yell about, but it’s always a girl. I don’t see myself ever yelling about a girl.
I just wanna find a boy that’s worth yelling for.
(don’t comment if you’re just gonna say I’m dramatic, I get enough of that at home)
Of course, within hours everyone had been theorising as to who this mysterious “Blue” is. Sokka’s friends all weighed in on the matter that day when they went out for their End of Summer lunch. Aang thought it was Teo, the sweet kid in the wheelchair that had never asked a girl out. Katara thought maybe it was Haru, he was so handsome and quiet. Toph figured it was one of those two rich guys that are always together, Chan and Ruon-Jian. People always said they’d make a cute couple, not that the two were ever happy to hear it.
Sokka hadn’t given his thoughts, because there was only one name that came to mind when he asked himself who in school seemed gay.
It’s pronounced with an –okka.
When Katara had awoken him by bursting in his door proclaiming “I never knew that I knew a gay guy!”, Sokka’s heart had skipped a beat out of fear that she had somehow gotten a hold of his deeply inappropriate search history, only calming down when it became clear that Sokka was not the gay guy she was referring to.
But then who is?
The only clue was his email attached to the post: firstname.lastname@example.org. Not much of a clue at all to be honest, but Sokka would have to make do. Seeing that post had been a surreal experience, to say the least. To Sokka, being gay had seemed to be something that existed only for him and those guys on Queer Eye. Nothing and no one in his life had ever given him reason to believe that there were other gay guys in his town, so the elusive Blue was a reassurance that Sokka hadn’t known he needed. It was a sign that he wasn’t alone. And he wasn’t about to give that up.
Which brought him to this email. Or rather, the blank slate that he wished the universe would turn into an email. He needed to achieve a perfect equilibrium of casual and genuine, of fun and serious, of lonely gay energy and supportive gay energy. It needed to be a good first impression. Otherwise, Blue would simply delete the email and block Sokka immediately, and Sokka couldn’t afford to lose this chance to talk to another gay guy.
Of course, Blue was anonymous for a reason, and Sokka didn’t need to think hard about why. Coming out is scary.
Or so Sokka had heard.
He really needed to find out for himself one of these days.
Today was not that day however, and with that thought in mind Sokka realised that messaging Blue from email@example.com might not be a smart move for someone who was in the closet and wanted to stay that way. He would need a new email, a presentable email, an approachable email, one that a person would want to reply to.
Welcome to Gmail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Now unless Blue happened to be Aang or Katara, the only two people present for six year old Sokka’s declaration that he was the superhero “Wang Fire”, Sokka’s identity was safe.
And now all that was left was to actually write the goddamn email.
Sokka had been agonising over this for a solid hour, it was time for ACTION. What was that junk Aang liked to say, “Speak from the heart” or some shit? That little hippy tended to be pretty on the ball when it came to feelings and stuff, so Sokka was willing to take an Aang-style approach to this. Okay, write from the heart, write from the heart…
So I saw your post. The one about the rollercoaster. And I just wanted to tell you, I get it. I especially get how you DON’T get it. I mean, girls? They’re fine and all, but I just don’t get the appeal. I wanna shout about boys, just like you do. Why is that such a weird thing to say? Idk. I’m not even sure where I’m going with this. I think I just liked the idea of talking to someone about, y’know, gay stuff. So I figured, duck it, why not shoot you a message? Well, yeah, that’s all. If you ever wanna talk about all that stuff we both don’t get, just hit me up.
Sokka’s heart raced as Gmail confirmed that his email had been sent. He had put himself out there, he had taken the first step. That counts for something, right?
“Ah fuck, I said ‘duck’ didn’t I.”
A few hours after Sokka had managed to get to sleep after spending a few hours thinking of everything wrong with the email he had sent, Zuko awoke to a notification on his phone.