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)