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No Regrets

(by Emily) This was the life I was forced to live in until I could get a better job to get more money to get back on my feet. I swore I would have gone insane in the past several days if it weren’t for Joey’s constant visits. This room I slept and stayed in for nineteen days was little and jaded with cracks here and there on the walls and stains covering up the dull, light blue paint. The window across from the old metal bed was not as clear with darkened blinds hanging over it and on the adjacent wall, the dark wooden made a small squeaking noise whenever it was moved. Barely anyone entered or left my room, though, including myself. The only visitor in here was Joey and him alone.

Most people would find it queer for two teenage boys with jet-black black hair and filthy eyeliner covering their eyes to be in the same room with a locked door, and even more queer to find them both lying in the small bed wrapped in each other’s arms. Not in this place, though, where all the rooms that stretched out endlessly held two female or male teenagers. Not the center for homosexual teens, who were kicked out of their homes by their parents.

“Chris, you awake?” Joey whispered in my ear, tickling it with his warm breath. I could feel his body tightly pressed against mine with his arms around my body.


“I love you.”

I turned around and kissed his hand, then his lips.

“I love you, too.”

“And I love your snake bites.” He giggled as he gently tugged on them with his teeth before kissing me.

I looked at him and thought back nine months previous to today.


I opened my locker only to see a pair of the most gorgeous eyes staring back at me through my locker mirror. It was intensely blue with the black hair with red streaks making them more intense. His left eyebrow was pierced and another ring went through the lower right corner of his lip. I could tell he was new by the way he stared at the pieces of paper in his pale hands and the way he tried to open the lockers.

“You’re new, aren’t you.” I asked after finally mustering up the courage to talk to him.

“Is it that obvious?” he gave me a big grin and introduced himself as Joey.

“Chris, baby, come on, let’s go to English.” Lindsey, my girlfriend, came running down the hallway.

I didn’t know why I felt so attracted to him, a guy, while I had the popular girlfriend at my side. I gave him a smile before taking Lindsey into my arms. Most people saw us as an interesting couple seeing that she was always bubbly and social while I was the kid that stood in the corner silently. Lindsey would sometimes complain how I wore more eyeliner than her but I never really cared to lessen the amount.

It had been a little over a month since I met Joey. I had gotten to know him better at school and sometimes outside of school. I could talk with him forever without fearing what he’d think of me or running out of interesting subjects. We were always laughing when we were together and never a moment where we would linger on a little grudge.

The next month, three months after I met him, Lindsey and I were running into problems in our relationship. I felt like it wasn’t going anywhere at that point and that it never would. She was demanding and expecting too much from me, who had no money and no time. We were constantly quarreling over one thing or another and when we were, we were in our own homes.

To add onto that, problems at home arose when my little sister, Rose, broke her leg, costing us much money. Since Dad had left us when I was seven, my mother raised us both by working long hours in the office and coming home around midnight only to find herself having to leave at eight in the morning. Junior year was hectic and it wasn’t getting any better as I was left in charge to take care of Rose’s needs.

“Damn it, Chris! You know we can’t afford this!” my mother yelled at me at dinner in front of Lindsey. “This is the third time you’ve gotten yourself into a car accident in two months!”

“Mom, can we do this later?” I pleaded.

“Ms. Hollens, it really wasn’t his faul—”

I pulled her upstairs to my room and closed the door behind me. I laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling hoping that Lindsey would be able to start some conversation.

“Is there anything bothering you lately?”

“It’s nothing.” I lied.

“Come on, tell me.”

The truth was, I didn’t know what was bothering me…I just knew that there was something that bothered me but I couldn’t put my fingers on it. I gave her a goodnight kiss as usual and watched her leave that night.

Two months later, five months after I met Joey, we were best friends, almost anyway. It seemed as if I’d known him for years when in reality, it was roughly five months. I found out what a great guy Joey was and sometimes found him in attractive in some ways, which frightened and confused me. Our friendship grew as my relationship with Lindsey deteriorated. Soon, I found pathetic self sitting in my car, gripping the steering wheel, with a red hand mark on my cheek. I broke up our two-year relationship with Lindsey and I couldn’t blame her for being mad.

I was at Joey’s house, as usual, where I, ironically, felt most at home. I didn’t have to deal with my mother yelling at me and I didn’t have to be constantly worried about Rose. I could just relax and talk about everything and everyone with Joey.

“Is everything okay with you and Lindsey?” he asked me.

“I broke up with her like a week ago. I think she’s still mad.” I picked the fuzz off of my wristband.

“I’m sure she’ll be fine in a few days.” He placed his hand on mine and stopped me from stripping off my whole wristband. “So are you looking to go out with anyone?”

“To tell you the truth, I’m kind of confused on something.”

“Can I help?”

“Joey, you know I don’t like it when you have your door closed.” His mom opened the door and gave him a look, which I didn’t understand.

“Sorry, Mom.” He took his hand off mine immediately. “Hey, I wanna show you something.” He took my hand and led me to his car, which he drove for half an hour before we arrived at an old building.

“Where are we?”

“Recreational Center.” When he took me inside, everyone turned to stare as if I didn’t belong there and wasn’t welcomed. We entered into a different room, though, where everyone seemed to know Joey.

“Who’s that guy?” one guy asked with what I thought was a little jealousy in his voice.

“This is, Chris, the guy I was talking about.” Joey gave him a hug and the three other girls and guys surrounding us.

“Is he…” Janet, one of the girls there, started questioningly.

“The performances are about to start.” Joey interrupted and pulled me into a dark room.

For the last act, a girl came out with a sheet of paper and mic in her hand. She sat down on a lonely chair and began to read.

“I love that girl.” Joey turned to me and said. I could feel his gaze on me for a while.

“…and I asked myself and everyone ‘Why do I have to go through this? Why do people like us have to go through this? What did we do so wrong to be called a queer, a fag, a sin, a disgust?’ Because I know that we’re all the same human beings and being a lesbian or a gay or a bisexual person doesn’t make us any less of a person.

“I began this place for people like us to retrieve to a few years ago along with the help with many of y’all. So far it’s been great and for it to continue, I need y’all to help me fund it.” She gave everyone a smile.

I wondered what she meant by people like ‘us’ and it didn’t register completely in my head until Joey suddenly gave me a kiss. Weirdly, I felt no urge to pull back or act shocked but rather an urge to kiss back and hold onto the moment forever. So many things were rushing through my head as I felt his warm hands moving up and down my arm and his lips caressing mine so gently. He pulled away and studied my eyes to try and figure out what I was thinking of.

I guess you could say we were together after that. To the public, we remained friends, but privately, we were more. I knew now why his mom didn’t like his doors closed when I was there and I respected that. I knew that if my mother found out, I would be kicked out onto the streets with nowhere but here to go. I felt so many feelings when I was with Joey that I never felt with Lindsey and I knew that what I felt for her was artificial and made believe by me and perhaps her.

“Did you know that Joey’s queer?” Lindsey asked me off guard at lunch one day.

“He’s not.” I said a little annoyed, wishing that the talk would stop.

“That’s what everyone’s saying.”

“Well everyone’s just full of sh*t.”

“And you see awfully close to him.”

“He’s my friend.”

“Or more?” she was challenging me with her nonstop questions once more.

“Lindsey, we’re just friends!” I yelled causing several heads to turn at me in dismay.

Her friends sitting at the table next to me started to laugh at this as if they knew. What if they knew? Then I’d be dead and so would Joey.

My mother began to get a little worried about me nowadays. She found out that I had broken up with Lindsey a little over a month ago and interrogated me night and day as to why.

“I know why.” Rose said at dinner one day.

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because he likes someone else.”

My mother looked up at her then me.

“Who do you like, Chris?”

“No one. Rose, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Yes I do.” She giggled. I hope she was bluffing.

Eight months had passed since I met Joey and I never felt closer to anyone then I felt when I was with Joey…not even my own mother. I often slept over at his house and when I wasn’t at his house, he was at mine where we could lock the door and have all the privacy we wanted, except for my sister’s interruptions here and there.

“What if I came out?” I asked him one day. We were sitting on the tire swing as usual with my legs wrapped around his waist.


“You know, let people know I’m gay.”

“Please don’t do it.”

“I’m sick of saying we’re just friends, Joey.”

“It’s better than having to go through what I went through and what I’m going through right now.”

“You’ll be there with me, though, and that’s all that matters to me.”

“What if your mom finds out? She’s a total homophobe, remember?”

I was so sick of lying to everyone, though, and decided to do the stupidest thing: I kissed him in front of everyone at school. People didn’t know how to react to me at first but they soon began to give me the hardest time of my life. I was constantly being rammed into walls and being spat at. They vandalized my things and called me a queer and a fag everywhere I went. I was no longer accepted into their society but left out with Joey. I hated it but felt relieved that I could finally stop lying to everyone…well, almost everyone anyway.

Even when a month passed, everyone’s criticism didn’t die down. I was, however, able to have a normal relationship with Joey in the eyes of the public and I was happy for once in my life.

My mother was standing in the kitchen when I got home one day.

“What are you doing here so early?”

“Talking with Lindsey.” She said coldly. Lindsey walked in a few seconds later and halted in her spot. “Where were you?”

“At Joey’s.”

“Doing what?”

“Studying.” I kept looking at Lindsey and wondered what she was doing here.

“Don’t you lie to me!” she yelled at me suddenly.

“What are you talking about?”

“I know what’s been going on between you two!”

“I told her, Chris, for your own good.” Lindsey said.

“What did you tell her?” I asked panicked.

“My own f**king son is gay! How can you do this to me, Chris?”

“Do what to you!”

“You’re a disgrace to this house!” she began to hit me out of angst and perhaps out of anger. Lindsey pulled her off of me and stood in between.

“What’s wrong with you!” I didn’t know whom I was directing the question to.

“Tell me what Lindsey said is a lie.”

“I can’t.”

“Chris, it’s for your own good.”

“Tell her that I’m straight and that I don’t love Joey? Tell her lies? You don’t know what’s good for me Lindsey. You never did.”

“I want you out of my house. I don’t want to see you step foot in here or anywhere near here!”

“Mom, stop it!”

“I’m giving you five minutes to get your things. Then I want you out of here forever.” She stormed off into her room, slamming the door behind her.

“Why the hell did you do that?” I shouted at Lindsey.

“I love you.”

“You don’t know what love is. Get out.” I ran to my room and hurriedly began to stuff my clothes and money into a bag. I said goodbye to Rose and I was off to Joey’s house in my car.

“Hey.” I mumbled when I got to his house. He instantly knew what had happened judging by my tear soaked face and a bag in my hand.

“I’m sorry, baby.” He tightly embraced me in his arms.

“Who is it?” his dad came to the door.

“Hi Mr. Owens.” I muttered plastering a smile on my face.

“Dad, can he stay for a while?”

He hesitantly looked at Mrs. Owens, how had joined the scene a little while ago, and eventually agreed.


“Baby, what are you thinking about?”

Joey’s voice brought me back to the present.

“When I first met you.” I smiled and gave him a kiss.

“Do you regret it?”

“Not at all.”
Future Kids
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