On the outside, Shanna seemed like a very happy and well-balanced individual. Nobody could see the pain she faced. Nobody knew that she struggled with fears and depression every single day. Not even those close to her. Throughout the years, many people walked out of her life because they didn’t understand her. They didn’t know the real her.
When Shanna was nine, she experienced her very first crush. The realization humiliated and shamed her. Her first crush was on a girl. Her family was very religious. They practiced a very Southern Baptist faith. Knowing her family would never understand how she felt, she forced herself to pretend she didn’t feel the crush.
As time went on, she found herself crushing on many girls. She pushed the feelings back every time. She discovers that she also has crushes on boys too. So, she focuses her attention on that instead. She didn’t care if she pushed too far. It helped. At least for awhile.
When Shanna turned 14, she started high school. It had been a year since she felt a crush for any girl. She thought that maybe it was a phase in her life that she was over. She was relieved. She focused on her schoolwork and making friends. She was happy and comfortable. She discovered that she enjoyed writing poetry after learning about it in English.
Midway through the semester, there was a new girl in her science class. Her name was Grace. Shanna knew the moment that they locked eyes that this girl was special. She knew that what she had felt since she was nine years old wasn’t just a phase. Locking eyes with Grace, she knew that this would be harder to just shrug off.
Grace and Shanna spent a lot time passing notes for the remainder of the school year. They became very good friends. Shanna was sure that Grace felt the same for her that she did, but she was too afraid to ask. She wasn’t ready to cross that line still. She was still worried about what her family would think of her. Every time she and Grace touched, she felt a rush through her body that. She couldn’t describe the feeling and she did her best to fight off the urge to shiver.
At the end of the year, Grace moved away. Shanna was heartbroken. She never got the nerve to say how she really felt, but she knew that she loved Grace. She cherished every single letter she got from Grace and read them over and over. Now, she’d never see Grace again. Never get the courage to tell her how she really felt.
Years went by, Shanna constantly fought off any crushes she had on girls. She dated guys that she really cared about. She was happy, but she never really felt whole. She spent quite a few years wondering about Grace and what had happened to her. She felt restless. The happier she felt with who she was, the sadder she felt about what she wasn’t.
When she was seventeen, she finally let her guard down. She met a lovely girl named Tammy who she really liked. They got close. Tammy was her first girl kiss. Sadly, her stepmother caught the kiss and forbid Shanna ever speak to Tammy again. She was crushed. She realized she’d never be able to fully be who she felt inside she was.
(To Be Continued)