Happy Birthday Freak

My response from yesterday’s writing prompt Oh The Humanity. Did you write anything or did this shake any stories out of you? Let me know in the comments! 

“We need to talk to you.”

The phrase, we need to talk to you should be expelled from the English language. It’s a phrase that should be said as often as “That hot fudge sundae was dreadful” and “I love being stuck in traffic.”

Okay, maybe it’s slightly worse. I went through the list of things that it could possibly be. Maybe they found some party pictures on Facebook. Maybe they found the joints I kept in the Altoids case. Maybe they looked into the folder on my laptop marked “Physics project” that was full of gay porn. I started to sweat.

“We need to talk to you. It’s about your birthday tomorrow.”

I was certain that I misheard them. Since I was a kid my birthday was never acknowledged. While most of peers would go to the amusement parks, or have pizza parties, I went without. I was lumped in the unfortunate category of joyless child from a strangely religious or shamefully poor household that didn’t or couldn’t celebrate birthdays. As much as I tried to explain that I just didn’t celebrate birthdays to my peers and that I wouldn’t try to convert religions, they didn’t really believe me. I was marked as a strange kid and have been ever since.

It worked out okay in the end, being socially stunted. It meant that by the time high school hit, I was successfully flying under the radar. I wasn’t popular, but at least I wasn’t noticed and that didn’t bother me in the slightest. Now that I was nearly 18, all of the personality baggage had been stowed in the overhead compartment and I was on autopilot.

“Now don’t freak out…”

This phrase should also be banned. My throat fell into my stomach and my stomach was en route to the basement of our apartment building. What could be so contentious that both of my parents would be putting up such a grim, unified front. And what in the hell does it have to do with my birthday?

“It may not be anything…” Dad said, supportive hand on Mom’s shoulder.

“You just might be a little different.” They kept finishing each other’s faltering sentences and it kept ratcheting up my anxiety. Mom was clutching her pearls which was the mommiest and most troubling thing I’ve ever seen her do.

“And it’s totally fine…”

“We still love you…”

“We will always love you.” It was the porn folder I decided with a sigh.

“Mom, Dad, I think I’m gay.” That was a lie. I was GAY. Not as gay as my barely secret almost boyfriend Adnan mind you. He was fabulously, outrageously gay, but I was still a big fan of the male form.

“What? Oh honey we knew tha…” Mom started to dismiss my impromptu coming out.

“But that’s not what we needed to talk to you about… but good for you, son.”

“You’re… a well–” A flash of green light interrupted them before they could trail off again.

“A mutant.” A stranger appeared in the corner of the living room.

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