HelpMe512

United States

Aro(?)/Ace
He/Him
Transphobes stay out
Joined September 2019

"If I wait 'til my tomorrow comes, is the waiting all I've ever done?"
-Ben Platt

Message from Writer

"It's alright, it's okay. You're not a monster just human and you made a few mistakes,"
-It's Alright by Mother Mother

"One page of the bible isn't worth a life,"
-The Village by Wrabel

"A hundred bad days makes a hundred good stories and a hundred good stories makes me interesting at parties,"
-100 Bad Days by AJR

"With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist"
-Saturn by Sleeping At Last.

"But there's a moment when you realize they're not superheroes or villains. They're painfully, unforgivably human. The question is can you forgive them for being human anyway?"
-Dry by Neal Shusterman

Love is (-un-)conditional #hopecontest1

April 8, 2020

FREE WRITING

7
River hunched over his computer screen, cringing at every word he read. Emery, age 19, brutally beaten after coming out as transgender, read the headline. River didn't want to read further, but it was like watching a train wreck; you just can't look away. He wondered vaguely if that could happen to him if he ever came out.
    "Ra-chel!" came a shriek from the other room. River heard footsteps rapidly coming towards him, and he sighed and shut his computer before anyone could see what he was reading.
    "Rachel! Mom wants to talk to you downstairs!" River's ten-year-old brother, Zach, yelled as he barged into River's room. "Whatcha doing?" he said in true little brother fashion.
    "None of your business," River said, throwing a pillow at Zach. "Now get outta my room." He was playing with Zach, but he was secretly panicking. What did Mom want to talk about? Did she find one of his social media accounts? Did she see his grades?
    Zach screwed his face into a smirk. "I bet you're chatting with boys online. I'm gonna tell Momma!"
    River sighed inwardly. I like girls, Zach, he wanted to say, but he bit his tongue. "Tell Mom I'll be down in a minute."
    "She wants you now," Zach said, giving River his best "you're in trouble" look.
    River looked at his brother in alarm and slid off his bed. As he walked down the stairs, his heart beat almost out of his chest. He tried to take deep breaths to calm himself, but he still felt his hands shaking as he sat down on the couch next to his mom. His dad was also there holding her hand.
    "Yeah?" River said, trying to keep his voice from shaking too.
    "Rachel, you know you can be completely honest with us, right?" His mom started.
    Where was this gonna go? "Uh, yeah," he managed to say.
    His mom took River's hand. "I looked at that video thing you have - TikTok or whatever - and…" she paused, trying to search for the right words. "I saw your name was River on it and I saw a few videos. Are you… trans?"
    No. No, no no. River's mouth went dry and he couldn't answer. His parents were two of the most transphobic people he had ever met. Hell, he had even seen them at a rally to ban transgender people from public bathrooms, not to mention the facebook posts about "trans people corrupting our children". This was River's worst nightmare.
    Before he could respond, his father said gruffly, "We know you feel very pressured right now to fit in, but these feelings will pass, and you'll be able to accept that you're a girl."
    Ho-ly crap. "But… I'm not," River sputtered. He couldn't think of anything better to say.
    "Rachel Amara Newman, you listen to me!" his father said, getting louder and louder. River knew he was pissed if he used his full name. "I raised a daughter and I expect it to stay that way!"
    River's mother put a hand on his father's shoulder. "Martin, calm down," she muttered, but there was no stopping him now.
    "I do not have another son, you hear me?!" River's father was yelling now, and he rose from his seat on the couch.
    River stood too, his hands clenched into fists at his sides. He struggled to keep tears from his eyes. "I'm your son, Dad. You'll just have to accept it,."
    His father glared at him with fury in his eyes. "No, you're not. You're no child of mine."
    His mother rose and tried to calm her husband, but it was no use. He advanced on River, his finger pointing in his face. "Get out of this house," he said flatly. "You have no place here."
    River looked at his parents, speechless. Finally he said, "Mom…?"
    His mom looked at him sadly, and then looked at the ground. "Listen to your father," she said quietly.
    River gaped at them. "You can't just… You can't kick me out!"
    His father stared at him coldly. "Get out," he said, every syllable like a punch to the gut. He pushed River towards the door a little too roughly.
    "Rachel, just do what he says!" his mom cried out. Her hands covered her mouth and nose, and tears streaked her cheeks. River knew it wasn't because she cared about him; it was because she couldn't handle the fact that her kid might be trans.
    He pushed his father right back. "You know what, eff this!" River shouted through tears. He gave his father another shove.
    His mother recoiled like it was a slap to her face. "Do not put your hands on me, girl!" his father roared. He cuffed River in the back of the head, sending his sprawling to the floor.
    "Martin!" River's mom gasped, backing away.
    "You heard me! Get out!" His father howled.
    River scrambled back, holding his head. He could feel a warm liquid trickling from where he was hit. quickly got to his feet and backed into the door. He knew how his father could get; it wouldn't be a good idea to stay. Much worse could happen. He shook his head as he fumbled with the door handle. "How could you?" he choked out at his mother.
    She held her head in her hands, but made no move to help him. "Rachel, I'm sorry. But we're trying to help you. We love you," his mother said.
    As River was basically pushed out of the house he shouted one last thing at her: "To hell with you! Both of you!"
    The door slammed in River's face, and he heard the click of a lock. No this couldn't be happening. All he had was his phone and a little bit of cash. What was he going to do? He didn't have a plan, so he just ran down the street, and cried until his tears ran dry.

                    *                    *                    *

    Ten years after his parents had disowned him, River was working in a small, run-down grocery store across the country. With the small amount of money he had, he had bought a bus ticket to California, where he stayed with a friend from online. He eventually got a job, raised enough money for a full transition, and had a stable job bagging groceries. He hadn't seen his family once since he had left, and he intended to never have to see them again. Maybe it was petty of him to hold a grudge this long, but he figured they deserved it for kicking him out.
    River was stacking bags of chips on a shelf, when three college boys sauntered up the aisle, laughing among themselves. River thought he recognized one of them, but he quickly shook it off. The boy probably just looked like Zach; there was no way Zach would be at a small grocery store in California. River shook his head and focused back on his chips.
    "Yo, Zach!" One of the boys crowed. Sure enough, the boy who looked like River's little brother turned his head expectantly.
    River covered his mouth with his hand. There was no way it could be him. It had been so long. What would River even say? Besides this probably was just a coincidence. Only one way to find out, he thought.
    River walked up to the boys as calmly as he could, but his hands still shook. Damn, they always shook when he was nervous. As River approached, the boys went quiet. "Are… Are you Zachary Newman?" River said, pointing a quivering hand at the boy who looked like his brother.
    The boy nodded cautiously. "Yeah. Who're you?"
    River's throat choked up. He lifted a hand to his mouth to hide his shocked expression. For a moment, all he could do was stare at his brother, unable to say anything.
    Zach shook his shoulder experimentally. "You okay, man?"
    River snapped out of his shock. "Zach…" he said, his voice shaking. "Do you remember Rachel? Your sister?"
    Zach cocked his head, and then it dawned on him. His concerned face turned into pure shock. "You're not…"
    River nodded, tears welling up in his eyes. "It's River now. Did Mom and Dad tell you why they kicked me out?"
    Zach threw his arms around River, taking the older brother by surprise. In a choked voice, he said, "They told me you were trans and…" he hesitated and then went on. "And they said you were dead to them."
    River's blood boiled hearing that, but he ignored it. "Do you want to come to my place and talk?"
    Zach pulled out of the embrace and nodded. "I think we have a lot of catching up to do." Then he turned to his two companions that stood in the aisle awkwardly. "Kyle, Jake, this is my brother River," Zach announced proudly.
    And for the first time in ten years, River gave a smile of pure joy.
For prompt 1 of Eleanor M's contest.
The dashes in the title is supposed to be a strikethrough, I just can't format titles like that.
Oh and if you have opinions about this piece that you feel you need to share, as it can be a controversial topic, please be respectful of everyone and their beliefs, even if you don't agree with them. This is a safe place, pleases keep it that way.

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  • April 8, 2020 - 9:41pm (Now Viewing)

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3 Comments
  • Coolgirl2020 (LOVE YA ALL)

    T-T That is the saddest thing ever. I hate that there are people who are transphobic or homophobic! I'm straight, but people shouldn't discriminate on those who aren't!


    10 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    This is so painful to read (in a good way). When people use their beliefs as an excuse to be cruel, it makes me want to scream, or cry...


    11 months ago
  • Eleanor M

    Amazing job!


    11 months ago