Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Komorebi is my favorite word. It’s not an English word and there is no word in English to describe it exactly. Roughly translated komorebi means the sunlight through the leaves of trees, some people take this literally, but for me, it means something else.
The beginning of that day seems as trivial as any other. I woke up later than I would have liked, got dressed, and left for school. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first, I met up with my friend group at the same time and at the same place we always did. Page and Maria ate breakfast together and we walked each other to our first-period classes.
The first half of the day was filled with ridiculous teenage drama. He said she said types of things, who was dating who and who wanted to date who. It’s my fault things went the way they did. If only I had been nicer to him, Page and Maria would still be here. Everyone would still be here if only I had told him the truth.
“Aileen, you’re going to be late again!” My mother is nothing but loud in the mornings. “You won’t have time for breakfast if you don’t hurry and get up!” It's not her fault she doesn't know I don’t eat in the mornings, but I still hate her for saying anything about it.
“I’m coming, I still have to shower!” The only way to get her to stop yelling is if I yell back. It’s the only way she listens, it has been for as long as I can remember. I looked at my phone to check the time and realized just how late I was. I stayed up late working on a math assignment the night before. I hoped I wouldn't sleep in and now, low and behold, I did.
There was no time to shower so a quick spray of leave-in shampoo would have to get me through the day, at least until lunch. I'd planned on running home and showering then. I wore baggy camo pants and a plain black long sleeve, though I knew it would be well over 80 degrees today. I brushed my teeth, put on my glasses, took my meds, and I was out the door.
Kilby Girl by The Backseat Lovers blared on my speakers in my 1992 Chevy Van. The volume hasn’t been able to change since I bought it my Junior year. I kept telling myself how much I need to get a new stereo so I can listen to my music without destroying my eardrums.
I got to school about thirty minutes before the first bell rang. In those thirty minutes, I was trying my best to avoid Eli, my ex. We were together for almost two years before I finally came to terms with who and what I am. I still haven’t got the guts to tell him the real reason I broke it off with him.
“I still can’t believe she would even try to talk to you after the way she left things,” Maria was practically screaming over the fact Page got cheated on, two weeks ago I might add. “She never cared about you, it's ridiculous. She only pretended she cared about you cuz of your body, it’s just not right.”
“I know that, but I really liked her,” Page had tears in her eyes and her voice shook. I could tell just how much she liked her, I’ve never had anything like that before. “Besides I still want to be friends with her. She was such a big part of my life and with her gone, I don’t know how to go on.” the wave of tears finally broke from the shores of her icy blue eyes. I knew now wouldn’t be a good time to tell them what had happened with Eli or to tell them why it happened.
“Hey, Page, try not to worry about it too much. I’m sure she cares about you,” I shot Maria dagger eyes. She knew she was hurting Page and she needed to help me make her feel better. “ I’m sure if you give her a little time she’ll text you again and will want to pick up where you guys left it or at least be friends again,” I sat next to her and put my arm around her shoulder, she leaned into me and cried harder.
I got a warm feeling in the bottom of my stomach, the kind of feeling I only get when I’m close to her. I shouldn’t think like this, not when she’s sobbing on me over someone else. I need to tell her. I have to explain to her how much I care and how much I wish she would have been with me instead of some girl she met at MY volleyball game.
My thoughts were swiftly interrupted by another set of arms wrapping around Page and me. Maria had finally taken the hint and was trying to make Page feel better. I cursed her under my breath, but in all honesty, it was a good thing she had.
“So, Aily, you gotta tell us what’s going on with Eli.” Page said pushing us off her and wiping the last bit of tears from her face. “When I walked past him today he did nothing but glare at me.”
“Yeah, what’s up with him? I told him you would be here soon and he just scoffed and rolled his eyes. Did something happen between you two?” Maria gets so cute when she thinks she’s being tough. She gets a little crease between her brows and her bottom lip pokes out just a little farther than it usually does.
“ Oh yeah, about that, guys I have to tell you something-” I was cut off by the bell telling us to go to our first period.
“Damn, well that’s alright you can tell us after class.” Page said tilting her head slightly, the way she does whenever she’s talking to just one person. She looks so different from Maria, they both have long hair, longer than mine at least, but Page’s is a lighter blond than Maria’s, Probably from all the times she’s bleached it. Page is covered in freckles and blushes every time she smiles. “Or wait, you have first with Maria. Tell her first and then tell me after class.” and just like that, with a hug and a peck on the cheek, she was gone into the crowd of smelly underclassmen.
“Right, Aily, you have to tell me what happened with you and Eli?” Maria’s eyes darted back and forth between mine, searching for answers in my face. “Oh my god, you broke up with him didn’t you?” I knew I wouldn't have to say it, she could read me and I knew she had her suspicions.
“Yeah, I did.” I felt almost ashamed about it. I knew it had hurt him, but he”ll understand. I’ll tell him why in third period. “Maria, I learned something about myself-” again I’m cut short this time not by a bell, but instead a shrill voice.
“ I heard Aileen broke it off with Eli.” then more than just one. All of them were talking about something I did for no one other than myself. I knew that it was all in my head and they weren't all talking about it. I knew maybe one or two of them could have even known about it. It’s not like I was even popular in the first place let alone Eli. We didn’t really know anyone outside of our small groups and even then they didn’t really know anyone outside of that.
“Aily? Hey, are you alright?” Maria’s voice snapped me out of it “You were spaced out pretty good. You haven't done that for a long time. Was it something I said? Should you wait to tell me until after class?” All I could do was nod, I didn’t want to explain the walls crushing me or all the eyes on me.
“Maria, I think I’m lesbian,” I didn’t even have to look at her to know her smile had dropped and her eyes had gotten three times bigger.