Home > Unfortunate

Author: Nicole Dykes







Oh, what the hell is that? No. Please stop.

I don’t think I can open my eyes. But my phone won’t stop ringing, so I have no choice. Who the fuck even calls at this time of night?

Unfortunately, I know who’s calling. I also know Paul won’t stop calling until I answer him.

Damn agents.

I grab my phone and barely croak, “Hello?”

“You have anything you want to tell me?” His voice is clipped and his tone stern, but that’s pretty typical for him, so I’m not terribly nervous about that.

“Um . . .” I search my brain for what he could be pissed about. “I have no idea.”

“How about you put me on speaker and look at Twitter?”

“You told me never to go on Twitter. You handle that.” What the hell is going on? He handles all my social media. I barely even know my logins. I mean, they’re saved on my phone, but I don’t make my own posts. He does all that. It’s carefully orchestrated.

I humor him and look at my phone through blurry, hungover eyes. I shouldn’t have drunk so much last night, but it wasn’t a good night. Telling my . . . Jesus, I don’t even know what Christopher was to me. He wasn’t a boyfriend. Not really. I couldn’t come out for him.

I couldn’t tell the world their precious child actor from one of America’s most wholesome television shows was gay. The world would have a collective heart attack. Probably.

I mean, I don’t know anymore.

What I do know is I’m twenty-five and have been given a chance most child stars don’t get. I’m a full-fledged movie star now—cast as a heterosexual action hero with a hot girl hanging on my arm at the end of every movie when the credits roll. It’s all cliché as fuck.

The room starts to spin when I log onto Twitter and see my name trending. When I click on it, the first thing that pops up is a picture of Christopher and me by a pool, sans shirts, and his lips on mine. We’re in a heated embrace.

I know exactly where this picture was taken.

It was a private photo I asked him to delete when he took it. I know the rules. There can’t be any physical proof.

Was it fair for me to ask that of him? No. But I was upfront about it from the moment we met. My mind goes over last night. Him coming over. The same fight we’ve had so many times.

Me ending it.

Because he deserves so much better than a boyfriend who's stuck in the closet.

He was furious with me—screeching and dramatic—but I didn’t blame him. He wasted two years with me. But then he calmed down, and we talked more about it. And we drank. A lot.

I had to go to the bathroom at one point in the evening. When I came back into the room, he sauntered over to me, kissed my cheek, and told me I’d never be able to forget him. That I’d regret letting him go.

At the time, I thought he was being dramatic again. Trying to make me understand what I’d miss, but now . . .


“Yeah. You see it then, I’m guessing?”

I nod, even though he can’t see me. That photo—the private one Christopher took on his phone and promised me he deleted—is everywhere. It’s gone viral on Twitter, Facebook, Insta. Everywhere.

“I didn’t share that photo.”

“It’s from your account.” It is. I can see it was posted on my Instagram page last night. Right around the time I was drinking heavily with Christopher.

“I didn’t post it.”

“It really doesn’t matter now, does it?” His tone is firm, and I flinch.

This is my worst fear come true, and of course, my own agent doesn’t even have my back. This is exactly what I expected and why I kept it a secret for so long.

Not to mention my aggressively religious parents. Parents I haven’t had much to do with since I turned eighteen and took control of my own career. Though, I do still send them a check every month.

Can’t seem to cut them off completely.

I’m surprised when Paul’s voice softens over the phone. “Elijah? Are you gay?”

I sit straight up in the bed, the expensive sheets pooling around my waist. I shouldn’t be surprised by his question, but it’s one I’ve dreaded for so long. “Yes,” I answer honestly, admitting I’m gay for the first time in my pathetic life.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

His question takes me aback for a second time. “I . . . umm . . .” I don’t have an answer for that, though it seems pretty damn obvious. And it’s clear he’s furious with me, as expected.

He sighs softly, and I swear I can practically see him pinching the bridge of his nose, trying to be patient. “If I’d known, we could’ve hatched a plan for your coming out.”

Fear and anger rip through me, and I find myself shaking my head. “I didn’t want to come out. This is all a mistake.”

“Well . . .” He pauses for a brief moment. “You’re out now, Elijah.”

This isn’t what I want. I’ve been notoriously quiet throughout my career about my personal life. As far as I’m concerned, none of it is anyone else’s business. I just want to work. I want to be known for my acting abilities and nothing else. But in the world of social media, nothing matters less than my acting abilities.

Hell, I’ve stumbled onto so many articles about me, from what socialite I’m dating to the size of my package—which, for the record, only a couple of people know for certain.

Christopher being one of them.

My heart aches, thinking about him. We might not have been in love, but I trusted him. I never thought he’d betray me this way.

“Elijah?” Oh right. Paul. “The photo is pretty telling . . .”

I think about that night. I was happy and free. Enjoying my time with Christopher. It’s not explicit at all, but there’s no explaining it away either. It’s a very hearty lip-lock in that photo. “I didn’t post it. It was an”—I think about the title for Christopher and huff—“ex-boyfriend person.” Yeah, that works.

“A disgruntled one, I assume?”

“Yes,” I answer, my chest tight and my stomach clenching.

“Okay, listen to me. First and foremost, I’m sorry this happened to you.”

He’s sorry? That shocks me. I thought I’d get my ass handed to me. “You are?”

“Of course I am. No one should be forced to come out. That should have been done on your terms, not anyone else’s. I know I came in hot. But now that I know you didn’t post that picture without running it by me first and were instead betrayed by someone you trusted”—he pauses for a long few seconds—“that’s just fucked up.”

I smile sadly, rubbing my chest absently with my hand. “I did trust him, but I knew he was angry with me. I never should have left my phone with him.”

“Well, there’s not much we can do about it now. The internet is forever.”

“So you want me to do an interview? Officially come out?” The idea makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t want to.

Why the hell should I have to do that anyway? It’s not fucking fair.

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