Despite my comments, we all became the best of friends over the next few months. We were at Chris' apartment more than our own, talking about everything from food to architecture to his old life in West Virginia. We all seemed to get along really well.

Still I wondered ... why would he hide it from us? If you couldn't tell your friends, it must be a really awful thing.

Summer came and our leases were coming due and we all talked about renting a house and sharing costs. Chris really liked the idea of us all being housemates at first, but when the idea started to materialize, he started acting funny. By this time, Anne and I just assumed that he was gay, but we really didn't know what that meant. It really didn't seem to affect us, so we basically ignored it.

{ photo }

The day came when we had to make a decisions about where to live and I could sense that this tension between us was not going to go away as long as this secret was buried between us. Anne suggested I talk to him so we could just get it out of the way.

The time had come. Anne feigned the need for some supplies and sent Chris and me off to the shop.

It was dark outside when we got in his car. Chris didn't suspect a thing. I could feel my heart in my throat as I made small talk and watched the taillights of other cars blur by. Eventually I worked up the courage.

"Chris, are you gay?"

I felt as though I was intruding on something extremely private, but if we were going to be friends and housemates, there shouldn't be secrets between us.

"Yes," he said, an edge in his voice. "Does it matter?"

"No." I managed.

When we got back to his apartment, he said "Anne, guess what?"

"What?" She said, playing along.

"I'm gay!"

"I know!" she said, and we all had a good laugh about it.{ continue }