I have a pretty large family. My oldest brother is about thirty one. My parents started having us pretty young.
I have a fifteen year old nephew, Gear, that I love very much. We're the exact same age.
"Auntie Izzi." He always greets me warmly with a hug and a kiss on the cheek whenever I see him. He's taller than me, at 5 foot five. "I missed you, even though I saw you at school, like, yesterday."
"Hey, squirt." I said, making sure to kiss him back.
He always goes on to comment on how pretty I am, and everything's all peachy keen.
Until, last night when he pulled me aside, asking for some time alone.
I sat him down on my bed, where he was timid and uneasy.
"Auntie Izzi," He said gently, running a hand through his dark, sleek locks, which he has pulled back in a bun. "Can I tell you something?"
"Yeah," I sat down next to him and put my hand on his calloused, inkstained one.
"I'm gay." He then proceeded to sob into my shirt. I was caught off-guard. Definitely.
I just stroked his hair, and rocked him back and forth until his sobs subsided to soft sniffles.
"Can I just stay here, and put my head in your lap?" He asked, sniffling.
"Of course, sweetie." I let him do so. I hummed a gentle tune to release the tension in the air. "Of course."
"I have a crush on a guy at school, and I sent him a note telling him I liked him." His voice shook as he retold the events.
"My dad saw the note and ripped it up."
"What?" I felt tears burn at the edges of my eyes. My brother would never do anything like that. Or at least I thought he wouldn't. "Oh, honey. Do you want me to talk to him about it?"
"No, I took care of it. Well, Mom and I did." Gear's voice was bitter now. "She isn't talking to him."
I was stunned.
"Gear, our family will love y-you..n-no matter.." I started, but immediately burst into tears myself. I couldn't stop. It was uncontrollable.
"Oh, my God." Gear's eyes went wide. "Did I upset you? Tell me what's wrong."
So I buried my face in his Panic! At The Disco shirt and proceeded to tell him everything that happened over the past two weeks.
It felt awful, like I was stealing his thunder.
"Aw, Auntie." He held me close. "I'm so sorry, that's so scary to have happen to you."
I nodded, wiping the tears from my eyes. "I've barely been able to eat anything. I can't keep anything down."
"Let's start off with little things. Like, bread." He told me. "Eat bland stuff."
He wanted to help me.
i had to pay it back.
"I can show you the GSA club at school. I'm friends with the freshman that run it."
He contemplated this; and then nodded.
He took my hand.
"I'm starving; how does Elenora's chili sound to you?' He smirked.
I slapped him lighlty on the shoulder. "I think I'll opt for some cold cereal insttead."