Kate and Shaina were both gay who were still in a place where they questioned themselves, tried to conform and failed their feelings. In a small town like theirs, people hardly talked about same sex relationships as openly. So their company brought joy and relief to both of them. Like any friendship Shaina has had, this one too heard very little. Kate on the other hand constantly looked for her and filled the gaps with her words. Two months of conversations and classes later, they found a friend in each other. Both of their parents saw the girls being happy and outgoing like never before. They encouraged the friendship as well. Little did anyone know how fate operates.
One night when Shaina had to be alone till late as her mother accompanied her grandparents to a dinner, her mother suggested to invite Kate for a sleepover. After finishing homework they decided to watch a horror movie. Shaina was a little skeptical before, but as the movie started, she was sure that she needed to hide behind the cushion. Kate saw how scared Shaina was and she wrapped her arm around her, holding her closer. Kate kissed her forehead and said, “Let’s not do something that scares you this bad”. For Shaina as unexpected was the kiss, she felt so happy to be cared for like that. She found her cushion (her new comfort place) in Kate.
As they grew older and closer, their friendship saw many moments like these. Kate was very protective of Shaina. Their love first saw deep friendship, that bloomed into love, when they realized that their last day in school is near. They applied to same universities as they wanted to stay together. But before they moved out, Shaina wanted her grandparents and mom to know what she felt. She couldn’t lie anymore. Emily was not keeping well, and grandpa James was getting old too. Shaina wanted their approval for a new life she will have and also to end the school life she finally felt was meaningful. She wanted to take Kate to the prom.
A week before she decided to speak about it to one person who cared for her unconditionally, G. She had tried it before as well, when she kissed Kate for the first time four months back but words never came out of her mouth. Today as she sat with Emily, she not only shared the little piece of her life that was growing into something big, but also opened her heart out. The Pandora of her heart had hidden questions, concerns and disappointments. Emily couldn’t hold back her tears. She was raised in an era where no one even talked about same-sex relationships. Therapies, cures and punishments defined the fate of such love, which was considered a crime, a disease and a mental illness. Emily’s closest friend when confessed to her how she felt about Emily, she not only laughed it off but Emily’s parents brought it to light. The Church, school and town raised eyebrows, questions and hell. A week later Mariana decided to end her life. Emily could never share this part of her life with anyone. She not only felt guilty, but realized how deep must be Mariana’s feelings that no one understood, not even her.When she married James years later, life just moved on. Flow of life pushes us forward and rarely moments hidden past are revisited.
Emily sat looking at Shaina with her vision blurred with wetness of her eyes. She could see how history repeated itself. She was given another chance to embrace the truth she laughed off before. She hugged Shaina and said, ” Love is the most beautiful feeling, my love. It cannot be constrained. There is nothing malicious about how you feel. World may not understand how you feel, but I know how Kate’s presence has changed you beautifully. If that what love is for you, it deserves to be embraced. Let’s go and plan how you will invite Kate for prom. We have a lot to do in a week.”
Middlebury saw an unprecedented. Kate and Shaina walked together as they crossed the line to start a new journey.
When life gives you second chances, it hopes you reflected and will act better. When life gives you love, it believes that it will strengthen you. It is for us to recognize when comes love and those second chances.