The First Trial
This story first appeared on mateonikolav.com                                                                                                                                 Nov 8, 2018
It’s either 5 or 6 pm; rush hour in Bogotá is rather distinctive. I’m grateful for the stillness of the highway as it gives me time to elaborate what I’ll say. I want to be angry but shock value prevails. I recall my mother’s unexpected phone call, “Where are you? I came to your school to pay for your tuition and they tood me you did not board the school bus. You even said to me you had your play rehearsal this afternoon. No teacher knows your whereabouts. WHERE are you?”
I look out the window, the sky is obscure, raindrops fall and fly away, merging with the dust sitting in the heavily polluted windows. I realize the bus is now moving at a confident speed. It’s only a matter of time before getting to my stop. 
“I should be watching The Devil Wears Prada with Nicholas and his sister,” I think. But instead I’m just sitting on a grimy metropolitan bus, constantly pulling out my phone, turning the screen on, and turning it back off as it goes back into my school uniform’s oversized pocket once again.
I suddenly feel ill. I should’ve just told her about my plans to see a movie with friends… she’s been supportive of my extroverted ways. She would’ve let me! 
Or actually... no; I’m 15 years old, it’s a school night, I’m doing horribly in math…physics…chemistry… shit. even I understand those are valid arguments to keep a young boy home. 
While I exhaust what the fuck I’m gonna say, a feeling of discomfort unknown to me takes over; I can’t decipher why being caught this time feels so mortal. I get myself back in the moment, only to notice a crucifix pendant hanging from the driver's rear view mirror,  I’m now fixated on it as it swings violently in every direction.
I suddenly wish I paid more attention to understand my mother’s interpretation of catholicism. Her immense, sometimes asphyxiating love, is evident to me. Her morals are not.
Could she be selfless enough to understand I met with Nicholas, my first gay friend, to better understand myself? Would I have to lie every time I wanted to see my new friends as I grew older? I was tired of hanging out with people who couldn’t grasp just who Audrey Hepburn was or who’d have the audacity to watch a movie dubbed. Nicholas understood my teenage fascinations and my appreciations for foreign cultures beyond my own knowledge.
—-
The bus stops abruptly, I’m here. Using my arm as an umbrella, I run towards the shopping plaza’s arch door. It’s only been a minute out yet I’m soaking wet and miserable already. Retrospective as ever I wonder… Is this my own epiphany about coming out? — whatever. I don’t have the time or the right age to dwell in this question. 
With no excuses yet in mind, I rush myself towards the coffee shop we’ve chosen to meet at. As I approach her; I notice she’s distracted on her motherly iPhone addiction. I admire her beauty one last time before greeting her. 
“Where were you? What’s going on?” - she righteously asks as we look into each others worried eyes. I immediately realize I’m done with feeling guilt and carrying dead weight. I give her no time to ask more questions. 
“Mom, I have to be honest. I was with my friend Nicholas. He’s gay” -  my half-baked statement comes out. I await to respond to her follow-up question. But there is silence only.
“What are you saying? Are you gay? You’ve had girlfriends before” -  She proposes in shock and disbelief. 
I'm paralyzed. I really want to say “no mom, I’m not gay. Or bi. Or straight. I’m just myself. The son you've always known; passionate about the arts and proudly sensible. Slightly annoyed at how everyone likes soccer except for me.”
I keep this revelation hidden in my thoughts. The idea of adopting a label for the rest of my life at 15 haunts me. As my brain processes a thousand possible scenarios at lightning speed, I can only conclude I don’t want to hurt her. 
She is silent, but her tender facial gestures demand for answers.  Time is running out.
“I’m bi……curious?” I slip effortlessly, lying under oath. ​​​​​​​
I know that will at least buy us some more time to figure things out...