Two weeks after she leaves, someone scrawls DYKE across your locker, thick black letters that you see and stare at before the custodians manage to remove them. Ryan and Summer tell you, separately, to forget about it and not let it bother you.

It does bother you, but not the way they think. It bothers you that this is happening now, after it's all over, after she's left town. It bothers you that you can't talk to her about it, because she'd get it, in ways that they can't.

It bothers you they've forgotten how hard it was to tell Summer, to tell your mom, about dating a girl. They've forgotten it was a big deal, that you were living together. They've forgotten that a break-up doesn't mean that you never loved someone. They've forgotten – no, they haven't, because you never told them – that when it all started, you could see yourself spending the rest of life with her.

You are not offended by the message on your locker, only sad that your friends don't understand. They want you to pretend it doesn't exist, that Alex never existed, that it was all just a phase.

That you never loved her.

- end -