The Troll

Not as twisted as normal. Sorry, BarbieLee!

My name is Douglas but only my parents and my best friend Miles call me that. Everyone else calls me ”the Troll”. In middle school they called me Shaggy because of my hair but then I started to - grow. Now I’m a 6’8” 210 lb high school freshman, well really a sophomore but the start of the school year is still a week away. When I started High School I became the Troll. I’m big. I’m strong. That keeps the bullies away from me and Miles. I’m not quick. That really galls Coach. Oh, I try but I’m not really football material. Miles on the other hand is really quick and could be a good athlete if only he wasn’t such a tiny guy. How things have changed since we met ten years ago. Then we were the same size. Now people laugh when they see us: The troll and this tiny kid. Miles looks really – delicate. He’s stronger than he looks, good swimmer and all that but he’s small and next to me … Well, people laugh.

Swimming was where all my problems started. Miles and I had been going swimming once a week for many years. One day in February when Miles was standing on the edge of the pool in his speedos preparing to dive into the pool I suddenly realized that I LIKED him. He wasn't delicate, he was delicious! There were some openly gay kids in school and I had no problems with that but I hadn’t really thought I was one of them.

This was the beginning of a very stressful spring. I tried to suppress my feelings for Miles. I failed. I finally accepted my feelings but would Miles? Would this be the end of a beautiful friendship? Would he actively be against me? I really should have known the answers but I didn’t. We talked about many things but for some reason as soon as we got close to anything like this the conversation veered away.

As I started to feel my way with Miles with the intention to finally come clean he slowly started to pull away from me. He stopped going swimming with me. We still hung out at school but he more and more seldom came over to my house after school changing what had become a way of life for us. Then I knew that he must have realized what I felt and wanted to put a distance between us. Not a clean break just a slow excruciating distancing. That broke my heart but that was his decision and I couldn’t do anything about it.

Finally he told me he wasn’t going to camp with me this summer. We ALWAYS went to camp together. He and his parents were going somewhere else. He absolutely refused to tell what they were going to do. I saw them leave. While at camp I tried to come up with schemes how to get Miles back. Each more ludicrous than the previous. I even talked with my mother about all this. Sometimes parents can give you good advice!

Miles and his parents got back on a Tuesday. By Thursday morning Miles hadn’t been over yet. This really confirmed it; it was over. Gloomy I sat on our porch feeling the non-existent gray clouds hiding the sun. Should I try something desperate?

A cute girl in a pretty dress walked up to our house. Hey, that’s Miles. He hesitantly came up to me and with nervous smile he started talking in a rush

- Hi Doug! Surprise! Please don’t say anything! Let me explain without you interrupting! I’m sorry I acted so strangely last semester. I’ve always felt like I really was a girl and early spring it all got too much for me. I really had some problems but fortunately my parents caught on and got me some help. I’m sorry. Just couldn’t tell you. I was too scared and confused so I pushed you away instead. With the help of my therapist I decided that I’m going to be who I am, a girl! I spent the summer with my cousins Anne and Mary. They really gave me a crash course in Girl 101. I’m going back to school as Miley. And another thing: I love you. Please, please don’t hate me!

Now I understood why I hadn’t reached my target. I also realized it didn’t matter whether I was gay or not. I loved the PERSON.

A miss is as good as a Miles.

I will never forget that first kiss.

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