It was 1953. George sat in school. A daisy knotted between his fingers.
He looked over at the boy who had stolen his heart. His name was Michael. He was so intelligent and articulate. It was like he had a photographic memory. It was pretty impressive for a 13-year-old boy and as a fellow 13-year-old boy George didn’t know half the things he knew. He could recite brief biographies of Kings and Queens and American Presidents. He knew about English Literature and some Greek philosophy.
He’s so bright. So gorgeous. But I’m not supposed to be feeling this way. It’s what my dad and uncle call “abnormal”, “unnatural”. But it feels so normal, so natural, so amazing. If I tell Michael he’ll hate me. Probably punch me. I’ll probably be killed. But oh how I love him. I’m a bad person, a bad Catholic. Can you go to hell for feelings? I try to do what’s right. But I see me and Michael and our future … it doesn’t seem that bad. It must be what mum said, the devil has got into my head. That’s what she said about that young local man who committed suicide years ago after it was discovered he had been with a man. Gareth Mason, 18, “evil got into him”, George’s mum had said. The other man went into hiding after. Why does this feel so right if it’s supposed to be so wrong?
George crumbled the daisy in his fingers. Killed the daisy just like he would go through life trying to kill his feelings. It was too dangerous to give that daisy to Michael as a sign of his love and affection. It was too dangerous to be happy.