by Aaliyah Netherton
Brittany Richards was something more than your “average 12 year old”. She had better grades than kids her age, better clothes than them, better family bonding, better everything. But she lacked one thing everyone else had. Her social skills were lacked due to her unknown identity of her sexuality. She grew up with a mother and a father, until they split up at a young age. She knew that she wasn’t normal, she knew she was different from all the other girls her age. Often, she would watch as they played tag with the boys on the playground, noticed the girls starting to realize they had a “crush” on the boys. She knew that she didn’t fit in, but she just didn’t know how, and she wasn’t going to stop until she knew. She wanted to know what was wrong with her.
By the time Brittany got into middle school, she discovered all the girls fixing their hair, and starting to shave their legs, and putting on makeup, but she didn’t do any of that. She saw the other girls wearing tight clothing, and leggings, and trying to look “cute”, and she realized these girls were doing all of this for boys. Though Brittany liked to hangout with the girls at the mall, and at dances, she felt outside of her comfort zone completely. She watched as the guys played basketball, and flirted with girls, and she wanted more than anything to be around them. She would go home, and put on khaki shorts, and throw on her pocketed shirts with tennis shoes and look in the mirror and saw what she wanted to see. She wanted her parents to know what she wanted to start wearing to make her feel more comfortable, but what she didn’t expect was that her world would change upside down forever.
As she walked into her living room, she heard her dad and mom talking, when all of a sudden, everything came to a stand still. Her dad was the first hit, then her mom. Brittany was on the ground thinking to herself “What have I done wrong? What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”. After she got the first beating, she stood up with her slouched back, and bruised arms, and waddled back to her room sorrowfully. She knew she did something wrong by the way her parents reacted. She knew in that moment, there was something really different about her and she was going to figure it out. The next couple of weeks she went to school, she noticed herself starting to look at girls, the way the walked, the clothes they wore, the way they talked. She had no interest in boys, and she never really did, though she tried and it didn’t work. She started to secretly wear her khaki shorts and pocketed shirts under her regular “girly” clothes just to see how people reacted. She got a lot of looks, from teachers, from students, and even from parents, but she didn’t care. She knew what she was. She walked into her classroom, sat down, and felt a presence staring at her from across the room. It was a girl named Ally, someone knew since Kindergarten. Ally smiled, noticing the change in Brittany’s attire, and accepting it. Though Brittany felt uncomfortable, she thought maybe it would be a good idea to make new friends whilst in her new transition. Brittany decided to continue to keep it a secret from her family, and close friends, she was still in denial.
Ally and Brittany started to spend more time with each others, first after school, then overnight stays at each other houses, becoming best friends. One night, Ally randomly says “Brittany, I want you to know know what you are, and I accept and support your decisions. You’re my best friend and I will never let you go through this alone. ”. Brittany got confused as to what Ally was trying to say so Brittany asks “What do you mean you know what I am? What am I?” as she looks in confusion. Ally softly asks “You’re gay aren’t you? You like girls? Not boys, right? Because I think I may sorta.. kinda.. like you…” Brittany looked in disgust, shaking her head yelling “NO. I’m not, that’s not me. Please don’t ruin our friendship. I’m not gay, and neither are you! Got it? That’s wrong. You’re my friend, that’s gross. Don’t bring it up again please.” And Ally listened, and dropped the subject.
Following the days of the Ally situation and talk, Brittany really started to think about what she was saying. The word “gay” repeated through her mind over and over again, as a negative connotation and beaten down everyone’s throat that is was wrong to be that way. Brittany deep down knew that is what she was, but she tried so hard not to be. She ignored Ally in the hallways, her texts, her calls, and she pretended to be sick when Ally would come over to her house.Then she started to think about Ally, over and over again, everyday, but then Ally wasn’t coming to school anymore. Brittany decided to text her, and see what was up, but she never got a response. Brittany knew she liked Ally too, and she was ready to apologize and confess her feelings for her finally, but Ally was nowhere to be found. She decided she needed to go to her house to talk to her, and see where she has been and why she hasn’t been coming to school. When Brittany arrived at Ally’s house, her old best friends mother, red-eyed and puffy faced answered the door slowly. “Um, is Ally home? I’ve missed her at school I just wanted to see what was up.” Ally’s mother starts to bawl her eyes out and softly says “Ally.. is dead.”
Brittany runs home in despair, feeling guilty, tears running down her face all the way up her stairs, to her room, locking her door, and falling on her bed. Ally was her only supporter, her only smile, her only purpose in continuing to live. If Ally wasn’t around, Brittany decided it wasn’t her time either. As her parents slept, she crept down the rusty, squeaky stairs down to the desk in the living room and pulled out her dad’s pistol. She sat down, cried, and wrote a note to her parents, apologizing in advance for the lifetime of suffering they had coming their way, but she just couldn’t handle it anymore. With the letter folded on the table, a BOOM was heard, and Brittany took her last breath in peace.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I know this will be hard for you to comprehend, and it was for me too. It took years of finding myself to realize what I am. I am GAY, always have been and always will be. Ally was my getaway, she was my reason, my purpose for coming out, though I never had the chance to, I was ready. You will never understand this decision, and I really wish it didn’t have to come to this. I love you, and I always will, I just wanted your support, but now, I know I have it. Love you. with everything inside of me.
Always your baby girl, Brittany <3
Jeffersonville High School, 2016