“What is it about me working at the club that you don’t like? Do you think it’s changed me or something?”
It was then, as I spoke it, that I realized that Josh had actually changed. Working at the club, becoming a queen, and all the while dealing with issues that had plagued him throughout his life had changed him for the worse. He now saw things in a queen’s terms. There were now allies and enemies, and I was an enemy.
“I feel like the Josh I’ve known for almost 10 years is being covered by something else. I don’t understand what’s happened. You’re as near a family member as I hold dear, and I don’t want that to change.”
“You’re not going to understand. There’s nothing I can say to make you get it. So I’m just not gonna try.”
With that single phrase, a world’s weight settled on me and I realized that my worst fear had been realized. My best friend, the person I had spoken with on a daily basis for a decade, the person that I turned to when I didn’t know what to do, and the person who had truly saved my life on two occasions, was gone.
I couldn’t speak. I was completely still and utterly shocked. My hand rested motionless on my knee, holding a cigarette as it smoldered. He stood over me and turned to leave. Without a word he walked down the stairs and around the corner. May the sound of that car door slamming, I hope with all my being, not be the last I hear from him.