• Picture of a rearview mirror reflecting the road behind the car
    Short Stories

    Demanding Visibility

    The door slammed behind me, muffling his roar.  Maybe I could no longer hear him at that moment, but I would probably hear him later because it was certainly not the last time we were going to have this conversation, if you could even call it that.  Most conversations I have do not include faces red with fury, the slamming of hands on the walls and tables, spit from angrily enunciating words while shouting, and only one person vocalizing their thoughts while the other shrinks into their seat. Most conversations do not look like this, except for the conversations I have been having with him lately.

    “Where are you going?” my sister asked from the stairwell as I powered down the hall.

    “Out,” I replied tersely, grabbing my car keys and slamming the front door behind me.

    No amount of doors slammed could quell the rage that I had to suppress while he had verbally torn me apart.

    Tobacco and spearmint lingered on my tongue, and I touched my lips, smiling as I remembered why.  With my other hand, I twisted the key in the lock and opened the front door. I froze in fear when I saw a figure standing in the stairwell, but then I realized who it was and relaxed, although annoyance quickly replaced that feeling.

    “It’s past 11.  Where have you been?”

    “Out,” I stated.

    “An eleven PM curfew means you have to be here at eleven, not leave where you are at eleven,” she explained, irritated.

    “I lost track of time.”

    “Who were you with?”

    “My friends.”

    “Which friends?”

    Exasperated, I threw my hands up in the air.  “I already told you!”

    “Don’t raise your voice at me. Remind me.”

    “Marisa…the usual,” I explained, struggling to level my voice.

    “Where did you go?” she inquired.

    “Out.”

    “Out where?”

    “Dunkin, Starbucks, whatever was open.”

    “Those places close at ten.  What did you do for an hour?”

    I narrowed my eyes at her.  “I’m going to my room,” I replied, shrugging past her and heading up the stairs.

    “Answer my question!” she yelled after me.

    “We were outside.  I’ll make you an itinerary next time,” I said, slamming my bedroom door behind me.

    My bedroom door burst open and she stormed in, leering down at me as I lay in bed.

    “Good morning,” I sarcastically greeted her, sitting up.

    “What does this mean?!” she asked, desperation evident in her voice as she threw papers onto my lap.

    I briskly shuffled through them and then calmly met her watery stare.  “Where did you find these?”

    “Online.”

    “Well, I don’t know what they mean,” I replied, handing them back to her.

    “Is this who you are?” she asked shrilly.

    “No.  I don’t know.”

    “What do you mean you ‘don’t know?’” she shrieked.

    “I don’t know!” I yelled, tossing off my blanket and standing up.  “I told you everything I know!”

    She challenged me with her eyes for a few beats before turning and storming out of my room, slamming the bedroom door shut behind her.

    I slowly opened my bedroom door, and we tentatively emerged from behind it.  My heart pounded as she looked down at us from the stairs that led to her master bedroom.  She spoke sternly and carefully.  After a brief interrogation, she dismissed us with a threat to call the police if I bring the woman beside me home again, and she informed me that we were going to discuss this later.  As per usual, there probably wouldn’t be too much discussion.  Numbly, I nodded, and then we raced down the stairs, seeking out safety in my car.

    She leaned over the middle barrier in the car and tilted her head up toward me, smiling.  “Alright, well I have to head home, but text me when you get home.”

    I nodded and leaned the rest of the way to kiss her awaiting lips.  When she pulled away, she smiled at me, causing my heart to flutter.  She looked out the windshield and started talking animatedly about our weekend plans, but then she paused.

    “Hold on,” she said, her eyebrows furrowing as she focused on the rearview mirror.  “What’s that?”

    I looked at where she was pointing.  Behind the rearview mirror was a small, black microphone.  My heart raced as realization struck.

    “Can I pull it down?” she asked.  I silently nodded in acquiesce.

    She turned the microphone over in her hands, raising it closer to her eyes.  “I don’t know if this is a recording device, or if it’s just part of your car.”

    “I don’t know.  My dad regularly works on the car, so I don’t know.”

    She put it back behind the rearview mirror and looked at me.  “I’ll take a look at it more closely tomorrow when I see you.  Try to relax for now.”

    I tersely nodded.  She lifted her hand to my cheek, cupped it and pulled me toward her for a last goodbye kiss.  I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the one before.  “It’ll be okay,” she murmured.  “Text me.”

    Then she opened the door and climbed out of my car.

    I reluctantly got into the passenger side of my car.  He wanted to take a drive with me to get gas, which was thoughtful but I knew he had an ulterior motive.

    We rode in silence for ten minutes, and after he told the gas attendant to fill it up, he began his speech.

    “I don’t understand you anymore,” he confessed, looking over at me sadly.

    I met his eyes and replied, “I’m just not hiding anymore, but I’m the same.”

    He shook his head.  “No, you hid from us for years.”

    “There was never a reason to bring it up.”

    “You could’ve brought up that you were struggling.”

    “I needed to figure things out for myself.”

    The attendant returned to the driver’s side mirror, and my dad handed him cash.  We sat in silence while the worker counted the change and handed it to back to my dad.  My dad restarted the ignition and pulled out of the station, heading home.

    © 2016, 2018 Vic Romero

    In honor of Pride Month, which has passed but…I thought I’d share regardless. 

  • Speaking My Mind

    July…

    In this month, I’ve come out to my parents a second time, my parents met my girlfriend, and I also got into my first fight with my girlfriend.

    By “coming out” a second time, I just told my parents that I had a girlfriend.  My dad handled it better than my mom…not that my mom handled it terribly this time though.  My mom basically worried about my safety and my future, meanwhile my dad focused more on the fact that I can tell him anything and that he loves me.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Almost Three Years Later

    Yesterday (11 Oct) was National Coming Out Day, which caused me to think about my late cousin.  She was the first family member I came out to and the second person I told overall, and she insisted my parents would still love me if I was able to fall in love with women.  I miss her every day.  She was so easy to talk to and never judged me for whatever crazy shenanigans I was getting myself into.

    Anywho, I didn’t write anything new to celebrate National Coming Out Day, but I attached the link to the post that includes the texts I sent to my cousin about my sexuality here.  Unfortunately, I didn’t include her responses…I’m sure I have them on my old phone or laptop, but I don’t have those items with me now.

    For other “coming out” posts, you can just search that phrase on my website.  There is a variety of poetry, stories, and blogs about my journey, which has been difficult and long…it doesn’t feel over either.  Since the relationship that spurred me to come out in the first place ended two years ago now (wow, time flies), and since I’ve moved out of the house for most months of the year due to university, I sometimes feel like my sexuality has been…erased.

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    Layers Part III

    Carry my heart
    On your jagged hook
    My lungs are
    Punctured because of you
    And you don’t care
    Really, you don’t.
    The knife just keeps searing me
    My blood continues to flow
    Enough eventually comes
    Now I’m finally dying
    Then you start to bandage me
    Although I never hear an apology
    Let’s forget you’ve ever hurt me
    It’s easier than bringing this up again, right?
    Zero chances I’ll ever let you back in
    I at least have that much self-respect
    Next time though I won’t allow you to
    Get away with this fucked up treatment you fondly call “love”

    © 2014 Vic Romero

    (Acrostic: Compartmentalizing)
    **image from Google

  • feminist blogs,  Speaking My Mind

    Roger Rabbit

    Hello, all

    Things have been crazy lately.  There has been a lot of lectures from my parents as they struggle to understand and accept my “no-label” sexuality, tears, stress and anxiety, tension, and lack of sleep.

    It’s funny how I thought my mom was going to take my sexuality well…she said I threw a bomb onto the house and she has been waking me up in the early mornings, hounding me with questions about my sexuality, giving me lectures about AIDS, expressing her distaste in my lack of religious beliefs and her disappointment in me, how she thinks I’ve been brainwashed…she has offended me many times.

    Conversely, my dad, who also feels disappointed, is not acting that way toward me as much, and I thought he would be the parent that would take this news the hardest.  He works a lot so he’s not around much…but when he is around things are generally okay with him.

    However, I’m scared to be alone with my mom in fear that we’re going to get into an argument like we did yesterday.  With my dad, I don’t think he’s randomly going to bring up my sexuality.

    Anyway, things have been rough in my household lately.  I’ve been fighting a lot and crying…I haven’t been this distressed with my parents since my sophomore year of high school.  It’s kinda weird…I’ve been thinking about how and why we stopped fighting so much…it was because I stopped “rebelling” and started doing what they wanted me to do.  Except the problem now isn’t with what I’m doing, it’s with who I am.  Although they hated that I am dating Janice*.

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    No More Apologies

    god i’m so sorry i have broken your heart i’m so sorry i have gone about this all wrong i’m so sorry i have wished all along that we could get along but i screw it all up and i’m so sorry i keep tearing you apart with every article of clothing that i pack it feels to you like a smack like a stab in the back i’m so sorry that this hurts you so bad i’m sorry but it hurts me too my heart is covered with black and blues and i’m sorry i hadn’t told you the truth but it’s hard to be honest when i couldn’t even be honest with myself i didn’t know how to go to you i didn’t know how to ask for help i’m sorry but i was lying in the dirt of the tears that i had been crying for hours for days for years i was dying for so long but at least all of my tears showered the withered flowers so they lived on so they grew up to be strong as i was corroding away as i was deteriorating into dust but at least i becoming something because before i was nothing i was just living to waste my time until i died i was making the motions and imitating life…

    but now i feel whole i feel content with myself and i don’t apologize for finally being who i am

    © 2014 Vic Romero

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    “This Was A Prison”

    from google images

    No one knows

    My inner heart

    Where my feelings are conflicted

    And restricted…

    They all say “you’re in the closet”

    But I feel more like I’m imprisoned

    Trapped inside myself

    Dark, solitary confinement

    In the dark

    I can still hear

    Homophobic slurs

    The disgusting jeers

    Violence and hate are used to create

    Humiliation and shame

    And loveless preachers preach that hell is a queer person’s fate

    Yet the outed walk hand in hand with their dates

    Pride shines on each face

    I long to be with them

    But for now, I’m safe

    I’m behind bars

    Locked away

    In the dark

    Where it’s quiet

    Where I’m surpressed

    My feelings

    My thoughts

    Passion and lust for love

    Are all safe from hate

    I hate that I have to “come out”

    Why can’t a girl loving another girl be a norm?

    It’s just the way some girls are born…

    But even after many years

    Many people coming out

    And being proud

    It’s still not widely accepted

    In some places, being queer is not even talked about

    At least I now know

    And I can admit it

    I like girls

    I like them a lot

    But journal, you’re the only one that knows

    You’re the only one that I can

    Talk to

    And it sucks that in this jail

    This closet

    I am alone.

    © 2013-2014 Vic Romero

    <<wrote this on 14 December 2013 before I came out to a few people…although I have come out to the most important people in my life (excluding my parents), I still feel like I’m in the closet (especially because my parents don’t know) but at least now I have people (and an amazing girl) to connect to and talk about my sexuality with.  Anyway, below is the quote that inspired me to write this poem.  The quote below that one is a great reflection of how I feel about my sexuality nowadays.  Thank you for reading 🙂 >>

    “They got it wrong when they called it “the closet.” This was a prison. Solitary confinement. I was locked inside, inside myself, dark and afraid and alone. (Chapter. 23)”
    ― Julie Anne Peters, Keeping You a Secret

    “The best thing about coming out is, it’s totally liberating. You feel like you’ve made this incredible discovery about yourself and you want to share it and be open and honest and not spend all your time wondering how is this person going to react, or should I be careful around this person, or what will the neighbors say? And it’s more. It’s about getting past the question of what’s wrong with me, to knowing there’s nothing wrong, that you were born this way. You’re a normal person and a beautiful person and you should be proud of who you are. You deserve to live with dignity and show people your pride.”

    ― Julie Anne Peters, Keeping You a Secret

  • Speaking My Mind

    Peanuts and Chocolate

    Hello, everyone, hope you all are doing well and you have been having a good new year so far.

    My new year has been pretty incredible. I came out to some of my friends and my sister, I found out that the girl that I have been crushing on likes me back (we’ve been talking nonstop for almost three weeks now, it’s been established that we like each other…) and…oh yeah! I went on a date with her! Yesterday, January 20, I had my first official date with anyone, and my first date with her…it was amazing. I’m still in shock that she likes me back, that she has liked me since I started working in July, that we went on a date and that she had a nice time and wants to see me again, that most of her friends know about me and her best friend wants to meet me…it’s all crazy exciting and overwhelming.

    Anyway…I have intended to write everyday in 2014, but that didn’t happen once I started talking to her. I was too happy to write, or too…I just couldn’t write.

    But I do want to catalog (mostly for me) all that happened between me and her for the past two weeks so…I transferred the texts I sent to my cousin about all my problems/concerns/events onto here because I don’t feel like typing it all again lol. The following texts are only my half of the textversation (texting conversation).

  • Speaking My Mind

    Loving Life Right Now…

    I came out to my friend and my sister yesterday, January 8th.  They both took it really well, which was awesome.

    I told my friend, Melissa, first.  I picked her up at her house during lunch and I told her that I wasn’t completely straight, that I liked girls and that I had a crush on a girl that I work with who also happens to be my boss.

    My friend didn’t miss a beat and after I told her the entire situation she gave me all this love advice.  She’s amazing.

    I told my sister when I was driving to Walgreens (talking while driving is the best thing ever because you don’t have to look at them while you’re confessing your soul/heart).

    My sister was amazing as well.  She thought I was silly for thinking that she wouldn’t accept me, considering that her friend is gay and that she is extremely supportive of the LGBTQ community.  Then in the parking lot at Starbucks we had a long discussion about feminism and sexuality and it was so liberating and amazing to be honest with my sister, who is also my best friend.  I felt like we connected more.  Like we’re closer.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Crashing and Burning

    I’m so fucked.  So, so incredibly fucked.

    It was Sunday night.  I made the boss I have huge crush on a mix CD after we had talked at work about bands that we liked…then I texted her asking if she was going to be at work on Tuesday morning because I was planning on going to my job to eat with a friend, and I wanted to give my boss the album.

    Ever since that night I texted her, we have been talking…non-stop.  Like…long messages.  

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