note. He explained in hushed tones that their sexuality was sacred and that they never out each other. The note asked if I was hermaphrodite. I looked at them and my eyes teared up and I nodded. They gave me the warmest welcome, patting my back and giving me hugs. They said that I belonged with them. Billy assured me that I can trust them.
After lunch, Billy and I stood outside the cafeteria. He had to go one way, me the other.
“I want you to come to my house tonight,” he said.
“Come to your house? Why?”
“I want you to meet my mother,” he said. “I’ve told her about you and now she wants to meet you. Can you come?”
“I would have to take the bus and I’m not sure where it is,” I said.
“What if Greg and Mom came to your house, came inside and met Mama, and then you ride with them back over to our house? They said they will have you home by nine.”
“They will come get me?”
“Will you come, too?”
“Mmm, me and Penny aren’t exactly friends yet.”
“So, you want me to talk to Mama about all this?”
Billy shook his head. “Mom has already called her. She has promised that your visit will be short and chaperoned.”
“Oh. This is already set up without me.”
Billy grinned, “Now, how can you say no?”
He just stood there grinning. I looked around, then back at him and shook my head. “You,” I said.
I got on the bus after school. I didn’t feel good about going over there. There was a knot in my stomach bigger than the moon. I followed the line of kids to the first empty seat and sat. I put my backpack in my lap and buried my face in it. I’ve never been over to a boy’s house, never met his folks, and they were Angel’s relatives, and they lived on the same street. It was just too close. All that made my stomach turn.
In a few minutes, the last kids were all on and accounted for and the drivers pulled away. That was when I heard it. It was that rumbling roar. I turned in my seat and saw the face of a kid behind me. Then, just past him over his shoulder out on the street, there it was, Angel’s motorcycle. His ponytail flew behind him as he pulled alongside the bus. He looked up at me, straight at me, and then grinned that half-mouth grin. He said something then giggled. I could only make out the mouthing of it, but I’m sure he said, “I’ll see you later.” I’m sure of it. It was in his eyes.
I spun around fast and plopped back down. I didn’t want to look at him anymore. We rode on and after a few blocks I didn’t hear the rumbling anymore so I peeked out. He was no longer there. After I got home, Mama confronted me about the date.
“First, happy birthday,” she said. “I got you some clothes. I didn’t have time to wrap anything, but they’re on your bed.”