It starts when a friend introduces you two. He seems cool but you think nothing of it — you think nothing of him. That same night you meet, the two of you are hanging out with some friends. Out of the blue, he says he wants to kiss you.
“I’m not gay,” he says, “I’ve just never kissed a boy.”
You’re drunk, so you kiss him.
For a moment, it all feels perfect; everything stops. This isn’t your first kiss, but it sure as hell feels like it. Post-kiss flirting commences and, before you know it you’re kissing again.
Eventually, the two of you are holding hands and you’re dragging him back to your room. Frantically you text your roommate telling him not to come back. Things get heated, clothes come off, and a hook up is had.
No sex though — you’re saving that for someone special, you think to yourself.
The next day you wake up content and a little confused. You have a friend request, a new follower, and a text message. All from him.
Now, even more confused, and slightly flattered, you text back. The texting continues and chaos ensues.
If you fast-forward a week from the day you met the boy, you’ll find yourself lying on your back. Enamored, drunk, and completely ready to lose your virginity, you enthusiastically state that “Yes!” you want to have sex. But it’s more then sex, it’s a “genuine connection.”
Gradually, a relationship develops. Nothing public, nothing spoken, but a relationship is definitely formed.
You meet at obscure hours of the night — times when no one can see you two together.
“You can’t tell anyone, promise?” he asks. “Of course,” you promise. He smiles.
He calls you “his dirty little secret” and his “secret boyfriend.” You think it’s cute and laugh. Lying down, next to each other, in some classroom you shouldn’t be in, he starts talking about the future.
“One day we’ll tell our kids about this” he says
“You should come home with me this summer!” he exclaims
Starry-eyed and smitten, you decide you love him. You won’t tell him though, not yet.
In fact, you soon learn that you won’t be able to tell anyone about it. You simply can’t confide this emotion in anyone because the guy they’re about isn’t open about his sexuality. Telling someone that you love him would “out” him.
For days and days it eats away at you. Wanting to share your joy with someone, you tell the friend that introduced you to him.
But your friend’s reaction isn’t a pleasant one. She asks you why. She’s angry for you. She says that this isn’t fair to you. This isn’t healthy. This isn’t okay.
You blow it off like it’s nothing.
What does she know?
Yet slowly, her words draw upon you. You feel sad that you cannot share your happiness. You feel sad that he won’t talk to you in public. You feel sad when you remember that you have to lie about your hickeys. You feel sad that this guy who is so wonderful is too uncomfortable, that the world may never know who he really is, and how amazing it makes him.
Falling in love with a closeted guy is a catch-22. The love is passionate, true, and scandalous. You feel like you’re living in a movie. For the time you spend with him, it’s great. However, you slowly learn that love shouldn’t be hidden. It should be shared and expressed.
You end things with him.
But, the feelings never go away.
Throughout the year, you continue to hook up anyway — no strings attached. It feels empty, and not like before.
You miss those late night escapades you had before. You want him to keep telling you those amazing, wonderful things. You miss having someone, and you just miss his company.
You wonder why you would ever let someone you love go away so quickly. You try to rekindle things with him, but he’s not having it.
“I don’t even know if I like guys” he states.
Speechless and on the verge of tears, you let it go and pretend like you don’t really care. You can’t let him see you cry.
Still you think about him. You think about him when you read those stupid Thought Catalog articles that eat away at you because they know exactly how you feel. You see him in the guys that you hook up with, searching for him in their eyes.
Eventually you will stop talking to him. You’ll stop hooking up with him. And you’ll wonder what the hell happened.
Later, you notice that he unfollowed you on Instagram, he unfriended you on Facebook, and that realistically, he probably deleted your number. You feel your self-worth plummet and become distraught.
You decide that you’re not in love with him anymore; but you still love him, probably. You always will, maybe.
One day, a realization hits you. You are not the victim. You are the victor. At the end of the day, you are out. You are open. You are free to be who ever you want to be.
But he — he is still in the closet. Closed off and looking for a way out. He suffers. And maybe, he always will. You want to help, but you know you can’t. You know he won’t let you.
So you try to help in the only way you know how. You write, and write, and write and hope that one day your writing will reach him. You’re not sure why you care about him so much. You love him still, maybe. But maybe you know exactly what it’s like to be in the closet, hoping that one day he will understand himself. And that one day he will be open. And that one day, you will know that the kiss you gave him on October 11, 2013 was not for nothing.