The Journal – Chapter 15: The Night Alone

James sat alone in his bed, back against the wall, pen, and paper lying on his lap. Balls of scrunched up paper littered the floor. Draft after draft of the same letter that could ruin everything. His family. His future. So much ink and paper wasted trying to find the right words to shape the truth and form the three words, “I am Gay” for his parents to read. A half bottle of Russian Standard vodka stood almost empty on his bed stand with an empty shot glass and pint glass next to it. The morning sun lit the wall and was moving towards him with every second. He hadn’t slept.

For the past two months, he had created a routine. He went to university, went to The Pilgrim then went to Xander’s flat. The cycle repeated itself in no certain order, but he hadn’t stayed a single night in his flat since meeting Xander. He only returned there for fresh clothes. He did his coursework either at The Pilgrim or while Xander was drawing. They’d chat, laugh, talk and fuck. They were comfortable with each other, but James always knew this was going to end one way, so he decided he had to do something about it. He told Xander he wanted to go home for one night on his own and didn’t tell anyone why. Honestly, no one seemed asked why because nobody seemed to find it strange. James had been so used to staying at Xander’s flat over the last two months that it had just become reality.

He’d gone to Tesco and bought a 35CL bottle of Russian Standard Vodka and a 2L bottle of Diet Coke and a meat feast pizza and gone home, turned on Netflix and binge-watched Suits. He opened his pad of paper and the truth and his feelings poured out of his pen and onto the page, but no matter how many times he wrote them down and no matter how many different ways, the words never gave the truth the meaning he wanted. The more he drank, the angrier the letter became. He ranted at his parents through the page that no matter what their religion said or what they believed, he couldn’t change and that he was who he was. By early morning, fatigue had set in and through each yawn; regret that he had lied edged through each word. The longer the yawn the more he realised that if he had admitted the truth when it all began then this wouldn’t be happening. Page after page was ripped out and scrunched into a ball and tossed across the room. When the sun peeked through the window, he downed the last of his vodka and coke and wrote down another draft. The draft that sat before him now. And he knew he couldn’t write another. He folded his pad closed, dropped it and his pen on the floor, rolled over and fell asleep.

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