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“We know your secret, Tianna.” Directly across from her in the closely-knit circle of four young ladies, Sarah-Lee locked eyes with her close friend of seven years. Tianna stammered inaudibly, unable to find the words. Her curvy, feminine, Latina features glowed in the soft light of her friend’s bedroom. She felt sweaty, exposed, and uncomfortable.

 

“Well, what do you have to say? We’re your best friends!” Beverly spoke up. She was being either modest or polite- Tianna was in no shape to figure out which. Beverly was actually Tianna’s oldest and closest friend- they had known each other for nearly 17 years.

 

This had been one of Tianna’s biggest fears for years- she had played out the scenario in her mind countless times and yet, she still had no idea what to tell her friends. They waited, arms crossed- the silence in the room was deafening.

 

“I-I’m sorry.” She finally managed to blabber out an apology. “I-I-I guess….” She swallowed hard, trying to will tears not to flow down her face- it was a useless venture. Composing herself just enough to halt the waver in her soft voice, she continued. “I guess I was too ashamed to tell you- you’re all so pretty and have dated great guys and…”

 

The girls burst out laughing, interrupting her. “Oh not THAT! We know all about you being a lesb and all- we’re totally cool with it!” Rosie shrieked out.

 

“Huh? You do? But how…” With the laughter lightening the mood a touch, Tianna allowed herself to smile softly and wipe her eyes with her hands.

 

“Yes, SILLY!” Beverly responded. “We knew that ages ago when you rejected Hawkley but kept making eyes at his ex all year!”

 

It was true- Joe Hawkley had dated a handful of girls in high school and he had asked Tianna had found Tulsi, his tenth-grade girlfriend to be gorgeous. Hawkley had caught Tianna admiring them a few times so he was shocked at being rejected when he asked Tianna out after their summer break-up. That was when Tianna had been popular all over the school- things had changed quickly in Grade 11.

 

“Or when we were looking at Dave’s Maxim stash and you snuck one of the magazines into the bathroom to frig off?” Sarah-Lee yelped excitedly. Dave was Sarah-Lee’s brother, two years her junior.


“You guys knew about that?” Tianna’s face burned beet red as her left hand covered her mouth.

 

“Duh, we totally heard you huffing and puffing when we went out to the pool.” Sarah-Lee rolled her eyes. “You forgot to put the magazine back too- it was in the bathroom when I went in later.”

 

Rosie noticed her friend in a shocked distress and quickly intervened to stop the damage. “But it’s totally okay! We love you! It’s great having a bestie around who you know won’t steal your hunk!”


The girls giggled. Beverly had dated Rosie’s ex for a brief time in Grade 12 and Rosie hadn’t taken it well. It was still an inside joke years later.

 

“Yeah, totally awesome!” echoed Sarah-Lee. The girls stood up and moved over to Tianna for a prolonged embrace.

 

“Just don’t get too wet in there!” joked Rosie as they hugged. Tianna pushed her away, realizing just how long they had known about her sexual orientation. “Wait, so you guys ragging on me about finding a boyfriend each time we go out was all harassment?”

 

Beverly dropped down to squat next to her friend. “We were trying to coax you out of the closet, hon. We knew you would be much happier if you just told us and we could pretend to be surprised and happy for you. Anyway, we’re sorry about encouraging you to sleep with any rando that hit on you- we knew you wouldn’t actually do it.”

 

A new realization hit Tianna as she spoke. “Wait, so what…” Her voice tailed off as a cold panic engulfed her again. Her other dark secret had surely been discovered.

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