"I think I'm gay." I said, in the homeward car filled with my family of 4, away from the fancy restaurant we celebrated my 18th birthday. It was dark outside as well as inside the car where we were all too quiet ourselves.
My mom asked again, "What?"
"I think I'm gay." with a finality that was borne from a spirit of confession then declaration.
My sister was quiet beside me. She had curled up to sleep but now was wide awake, listening to every word. I was glad she was.
"Are you sure?" my mom rejoined, a bit of a waver in her voice.
I didn't answer immediately. I stared at the back of my dad's head and wondered if I can stare hard enough to see what he was thinking. Or at the least, make him say something.
"I think so."
Quiet again, and the lights of lampposts whirred inside the car as we headed home. I imagined my mom sighed before she replied.
"You can't be sure now, you're just a kid. It's not an easy life, you know. It's going to complicate yours for sure. Maybe it's just a phase."
"It's just a phase." she repeated, a little softer, as if in suggestion.
"Maybe it is." I didn't want to say anything more, hoping to leave a gap of words in the air where my dad could fill it with his reply, or even his reproach, anything.
"Dad, are you ok?" my sister's hand was on my dad's shoulder. He said he was ok, and not much else.