Something Missing

“When I was a girl not much older than you,” Helen’s grandmother said, “I liked a boy. Actually, I loved him very much. But it didn’t work out.”

Helen stirred. She’d heard this story before.

Her grandmother smiled indulgently. “You think you know this story, don’t you? Well, there’s more. I changed everything for him—my hair, my clothes, the way I stood, the words I used when I spoke. I did everything I could think of, and then some. Finally, he noticed me. We dated for a long time and then got engaged. But there was always something missing. Finally I gave up and returned his ring.”

Helen nodded. This was all familiar.

“He was gay,” her grandmother said. Helen looked at her sharply. “Neither of us knew it then,” her grandmother said. “Many years later, I learned that he had come out. It all made sense then.”

Copyright © 2013 Loretta Miles Tollefson

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