“I don’t know how to put this, but I need to let this out of my system. You have been my best buddy for a long time, so I thought you’d understand. I want to come out as a homosexual.”

His fingers were still trembling, a little more than when he had typed the message over an hour ago. He had edited it over a hundred times, despite them being friends for over ten years now. He knew he could never tell his parents. Even if they could take out time to listen to him over their personal life, they would laugh it off and tell him to join a gym. A tear slipped down his cheek, another sign society thought made someone ‘less manly’, so he rubbed it off. He was not ‘less manly’. Keeping his phone with the unsent message on the table, he picked up the remote. A channel showed a comedy show about two foolish gay men, another news channel covered protests for section 377.

That night he had a dream. A nightmare, to be precise. It was a vision of his classroom. He felt vibrations, a feeling that everyone was staring and talking about the way he was walking into the class. He felt conscious of the position of his hands. His ‘best buddy’ was sitting with a bunch of boys, all looking away from him. He could see how awkward they all became as he walked past them. He could hear the ‘word’ being whispered, he felt all the benches and the desks echoing it. He felt as if he was walking with the ‘word’ written on his forehead with big, bold letters. He slipped in the back bench, as a girl walked over to him.

“I am so sorry for what happened. You know, if you need to talk, I am always here to sympathise.”

The sentence chewed at his heart, even in his dream.

 

“Darling, wake up!”

She let out a shriek. There he was, her little kid, lying on his bed, blood soaking the sleeves of his pink sweater.

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