I was sat in Subway with Nathan shitting myself. I’d been thinking about telling Nathan about everything with Jacob after two years, having left high school. We’d met up after I’d finished college for the day and fancied some food. We sat in a far corner and I plucked up the courage to hint. I asked Nathan if he would care if I were gay or bi? Obviously I was subtler than that. Well, I hope I had been. He said he wouldn’t care either way because it wouldn’t change who I was. I mean he acknowledged that he wouldn’t understand why I would rather be attracted to guys than girls, but we were just 16.
I failed to call up my remaining courage that day and we parted later without me having revealed everything. The next day I was sat in my room in silence, staring at my wall, thinking, deciding, fearing, and hoping. I texted Nathan almost begging him to meet me after college on Friday (the next day). He guessed something was wrong because he tried to make me tell him right then through texts and I told him that this wasn’t a conversation for text messages. So he agreed to meet me at Mcdonald’s the next day and that is where I revealed that I had been sleeping with Jacob for the past two years and that I thought I might be Bi. Despite what other people thought of Nathan later on, he had no issue with it. He just accepted what I told him and even gave me advice about what to do next. It was over the weekend that everything seemed to change.
Nathan stayed over at mine, while my parents went away for the weekend and it was then that I told him everything. I mean everything. I left no details out because I decided that Nathan was the one person’s opinion I actually cared about. Everything still seemed fine. We played on my Xbox and watched films all night, but next day was when I noticed something was up with Nathan. He went distant and sat on the far side of the living room, not saying much or anything at all and when his Mum picked him up, he didn’t say bye or anything.
I started telling people that I was Bi, but on some occasions, some people already knew because Nathan had got there first, which confused me, until they told me that I should have told Nathan earlier. They didn’t seem to understand how terrified I was that I would lose him. Some of the other people I told were skeptical. Well not skeptical that I was Bi or gay or whatever, but they said they thought I was only doing it for attention seeking. Nathan wasn’t responding to my text or call or any kind of messages.
Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend and my friend, Kate had set me up with gay friend of hers called Jason. He was nice and good looking. I really liked him and with the emptiness of not having my best friend around and having some of my college friends condemning me as an attention seeker, Jason and Kate were the only two I felt I could be with. Except I found out that Kate was still in contact with Nathan and the fact that he was still talking to her but refusing to talk to me for whatever reason I had no clue confused and hurt me. Jason thought it was because Nathan was homophobic and didn’t like the fact that I was Bi. It was the only time I got angry with Jason and rebuked his assertion, telling him that Nathan was anything but homophobic because he had fully accepted me as Bi when I initially told him, but I did admit I didn’t know why he hadn’t talked to me since.
So after two weeks of no contact, I texted Nathan asking why he had suddenly stopped talking to me, but was still talking to Kate. He replied. He was angry. No. He was enraged. He felt betrayed. When we tell this story to people later, they always assume he feels betrayed by my sexuality, but they are wrong. They don’t understand Nathan. He felt betrayed because I had lied. I had lied to him of all people after everything we had been through in high school (a tale not for these pages). I had betrayed him with my deceit because I had not trusted him enough. He felt used that I had asked him to help me get with girls and betrayed by my lies. It was then that I realised that he was right and that when people say that the truth may hurt, but a lie hurts more, it was true.
For the next week, Nathan was on holiday in Majorca and I basically spent every day with Jason, dealing with how messed up my head was with the fact that Jacob still wanted to see me, but I was trying to move on from him, and events that had started in high school were coming to the end game in the same month and my best friend… my brother wasn’t there to stand by me. It quickly spiraled into the worst month of my life.
In the final week, Kate invited me to stay at her place for Halloween after I got back from my week away with my parents in Scotland. I was meant to meet her at Mcdonalds, but instead when I arrived I saw Nathan sitting in our usual spot. There was no reaction when he finally noticed me approach, but apparently, he didn’t know I was coming and that Kate had gone off shopping with her Mum and he had decided to wait because he hated her Mum. I bought my chicken nuggets and chips and sat opposite him. We talked and I tried to explain my fear of coming out and I could see his face that was initially blank and hard, soften as I apologised. He asked me questions about whether I was sure I knew exactly what I was doing and at the time I honestly answered that I didn’t.
I had no idea what I was doing at that time. I’d spent two years wrestling with my attraction to Jacob and the sex and my attempts to find some attraction in the girls I was trying to date. I asked him if he thought I could truly be Bi or gay if I hadn’t slept with a girl? At the time this seemed like a fair question, but I realise now that at 16, neither of us knew what the fuck we were talking about. By the end of the conversation, I’d decided to run straight back into the closet and try to be straight for the next two years. This led to me making a fucking idiot of myself when I met Harris and why he is in a relationship and I’m lying alone in my bed right now. Maybe I’ll be able to meet this “X” guy. Nathan said he would stand by and support me whatever I decided. Because we are family. We are brothers.