Once upon a time, Luke Chambers went on a confusing sexuality journey. I can be more specific than that. Once upon One Little Lie, Luke Chambers went on a confusing sexuality journey.
I really enjoyed writing this storyline, so there’s a lot of it, which is why some of it isn’t in the book. There needs to be more about being bi in books, says the bi person, and also, I love Zach, so that’s probably why I liked coming up with this stuff.
Here’s some info about this scene: See Zach. See Zach be bi. Bye Zach bye.
Now here’s some info that includes, um, actual info. Due to shenanigans, Luke told his parents he’s dating a girl while he’s really dating a boy and all he knows is that he likes a boy, he just doesn’t know what means in terms of who and what he is.
His BFF Zach is bi, and Luke often ropes him into his gay freakouts.
As you maybe haven’t read the larger story this is part of, I should probably note that these are a character’s thoughts. This doesn’t make them right. In fact, a lot of them are wrong. That’s the fun thing about first person POV, you get to see the thought process from beginning to end.
It was Friday and we just played and won a game at another school. I cleaned up afterwards and got to my car before realizing I’d left my mitt in the dugout. When I went to grab my glove, I almost ran into Zach, who was there flirting with some girl.
“Seriously?” I questioned when I saw the pair and muttered, “I’m the one who hit a home run.”
Sure, I was taken. But we were at a rival school and she didn’t know that. And I was a pitcher. I didn’t get a huge number of home runs, it was annoying I had to bat at all, so it was doubly impressive.
“I got on base every time I was up,” he told me without looking at me and smiled at the girl with him as he said, “And I look better running.”
That was debatable, but I didn’t get into it as the girl gave Zach her number and left. He looked like he wanted to leave too but was resigned, waiting for me to speak. Good. I just didn’t get this.
I still couldn’t really picture him with a guy, but I guess it would happen eventually. Maybe his pride was wounded because the first guy he went on a date with after he came out chose someone else. But he said he liked guys, so eventually he’d have to get over that and give in to being gay.
“You still want to date girls?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said simply, like that was it.
Zach was the out one who said he was bi, and he even didn’t mind the term gay, but he wasn’t acting very gay at all. He liked one guy, and his shoes and car were always clean. But those last things probably didn’t even count.
I was gayer than him at the moment, which was really unsettling.
“Just thought you’d be over girls by now,” I commented. How long did it take? Did I set him back by stealing Ryan away?
“Bi isn’t gay,” he said, which sounded like a weak argument to me because he was the one who used the terms interchangeably for himself.
“Yeah, but—” I started to argue because it was rare that I got to be right in an argument with Zach. Damn, I rarely got to be right in argument with anyone. There was Alicia, but that was more she just didn’t care and went along with me instead of arguing, which wasn’t the same.
“Look, I still like girls,” Zach interrupted. Yeah, he was making that clear, with his hitting on every girl, and making out with them in front of my locker. It was a little too clear.
“Me too.” I felt the need to say that even though no one had asked. “We don’t need to talk about this anyway—”
“You started it,” he fired back. He would throw that in my face. “And you were asking questions earlier.”
“That was before.” Did I have to know things right away? Couldn’t I just enjoy this for a while?
“Before your beard?” he asked with snide amusement.
I played dumb. “No, I think technically that had already started.”
“Oh,” Zach said in mock understanding. “So you’re going to dig in your heels and ignore the problem until it goes away?”
Like he could talk! Zach always made a big show of protesting whenever he got dragged into a serious conversation and generally did everything he could to avoid them.
He was the one who loved avoiding stuff, but the second I tried to do the same, he called me on it. That totally wasn’t fair.
I pointed this out. “Like you’re one to talk. How long are you gonna be bi?” He liked guys and girls right now. Eventually, the girls would fade away. That was how it worked. The longer he tried to stay bi, the longer he was avoiding the truth.
“I like guys and girls and don’t feel the need to choose and I’m not just saying that.” He sounded annoyed.
He was totally just saying that.
“Okay, but it’s a half way point,” I argued.
Zach rolled his eyes. “Not literally.”
He said it wasn’t either/or. I kinda had a hard time remembering that. It had always seemed like either/or to me. Not both. And that wasn’t right, you couldn’t really have both, could you? For a little while when you figured things out, sure. But not forever. That was greedy or something.
“But like—” I tried to say some of my thoughts.
“No, it may be different for you but that’s how it is for me,” Zach talked over me. “I’m bi. I’ve always been bi. I am not interested in switching my cell phone provider. Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, totally, completely bi.”
I snorted, but he wasn’t done yet.
“Will that change in the distant future?” he asked and then answered his own question. “Well, keeping in mind that sexuality is fluid and I may learn more about myself as I get older,” he looked at me wryly, “No, probably not.” But he couldn’t really- “I really don’t think so,” he said earnestly. “Maybe sometimes I’ll be more into girls, maybe sometimes I’ll be more into guys, but I like both and will continue to like both. I say that with as much certainty as I can.”
He stared at me. I stared back. He stared back.
I coughed and remarked, “What? Do you want an Oscar for that speech or something?”
He shoved me and left.
Jeez, and I thought I was handling this whole thing bad.
Maybe all Zach’s flirting with girls made sense. What if he was just getting it out of his system? Or trying really hard to appear straight before he gave up and went gay? He just hadn’t quite got there yet.
Okay, I know that goes against everything Zach just said but he’s confused. I didn’t blame him.
This whole thing was really confusing.
I was confused, Zach was confused, and Cara had seemed really confused about me and Ryan. Maybe some of it was denial or just that rumors abounded surrounding my love life and that made things unclear, but mostly? Mostly it seemed like she didn’t even want to think about the idea of me with another guy.
Cara Lewis shouldn’t be the standard I base anything on. But. It kinda seemed like a lot of people thought like her.
Zach was pretty adamant about being able to like both, but did it really matter? If I was bi, I could date guys and girls. Except, would any of the girls want me? Or would I be able to be bi but I’d have to hide it from girls? Would guys care too? What was so good about having a label if no one wanted you once you had it?
I looked a lot of information up when I found out Ryan was gay and that I’d accidentally outed him. I guess I could go look at that research again. But… just the thought kinda made me sick. Which was weird because it was all really supportive stuff about how figuring out sexual orientation was a process, and it was okay to experiment, and that it took time and whatever.
Reading that once was way different than trying to apply it to yourself. It had all sounded good but now I thought it was wishful thinking. Maybe in some ideal world anyone could be anything they wanted and you could go back and forth and try things out.
Here, though? This was a modest Midwest community. You got a label and it stuck to you. That’s just how it worked.
I’m currently playing around with the thing at the end where I say this has been more on Mondays, where I post deleted scenes every other Monday.