As Whitney Wright gets ready for her high school graduation in her bedroom, she reflects on her last year:
‘My Name is Whitney, and if you told me a year ago that I would meet the love of my life, I wouldn’t have believed you. You see, throughout this last year of high school, love was the furthest thing from my mind, because I was just trying to survive. The whole year had been hell for me and it was all because of one person: Sabina Rouge. She bullied me constantly, beat me up, took my lunch money and made fun of me for being a lesbian. With graduation coming up, I was looking forward to getting out of high school and never seeing her again. But then something amazing happened right before the graduation ceremony. Something I never expected in a million years. I was about to find out that Sabina had a surprise for me and it was a surprise that would change…everything.’
As she puts her graduation gown on, Whitney looks at herself in the mirror. Suddenly, she hears a knock at her door. Whitney leaves her room to go see who it is.
Whitney is shocked to find Sabina at her door. What the hell is Sabina doing here?, Whitney says, scared and wary. She just needs to talk to Whitney, please, she just needs one minute, it’s really important, she knows that Whitney doesn’t owe her anything, but she’s just asking for one minute and then she’ll leave her alone forever, Sabina pleads. Whitney narrows her eyes suspiciously at the girl, thinking it over. Fine, one minute, Whitney says grudgingly and motions for Sabina to come into the living room.
They sit down on the couch. So…she actually wanted to apologize to Whitney for…everything, Sabina says slowly. Ok sure, Whitney begins, incredulous. Why should she care about an apology after everything Sabina has put her through?, Whitney asks. She also wanted to explain why she did what she did, Sabina says hesitantly. ‘I’m listening,’ Whitney says coldly, her arms crossed over her chest. ‘Ok so…I’m gay,’ Sabina says, exhaling loudly. Whitney’s jaw drops. She knows that it’s no excuse and it doesn’t change what she did, but Sabina was so scared to admit that she was gay, and that fear turned to anger, Sabina says. She saw Whitney, and saw how strong Whitney is, and how she never apologized for being gay, Sabina continues. Whitney had the strength to accept who she is and that made Sabina jealous, so she turned her anger on Whitney when the whole time…she was really developing feelings for Whitney, Sabina continues. At this, Whitney’s eyes go wide and her demeanor towards Sabina softens a bit. She uncrosses her arms.
It’s taken a lot of work and sleepless nights, but now Sabina has finally accepted that she is gay and needed to come here today to tell Whitney how she felt. Since now they’re both 18 and graduating, she realizes this is her last chance, since she knows that Whitney is going to leave this town and go on to do amazing things, Sabina continues. And they’ll probably never see each other again, Sabina finishes, looking down. After a long silent moment between them as Sabina struggles to meet Whitney’s eyes, Whitney speaks. She understands how hard that was to say, and no, that doesn’t change anything that Sabina did, but Whitney still appreciates her honesty and her courage coming here today, Whitney says kindly.
The tension broken a bit, Sabina looks at her and smiles tentatively. ‘You know, I would have said yes,’ Whitney says. ‘Would have said yes to what?’ Sabina asks, puzzled. ‘I would have said yes if you had just asked me out – before you started being so cruel to me,’ Whitney says. Now it’s Sabina’s turn for her eyes to go wide. Is Whitney serious or is she just getting back at her for all the crap she’s put her through?, Sabina asks cautiously. No, she’s totally serious, Whitney says softly, seeing Sabina for the first time as a completely new person: a shy, insecure, imperfect girl who is just looking for love. ‘Well if you want, maybe we could go get something to eat after the grad ceremony—just as friends of course,’ Sabina suggests tentatively. Whitney considers this for a moment. Sure, that sounds nice, and Sabina can pick her up here after they both change after the ceremony, Whitney says. Sabina’s face lights up. ‘But you’re paying. It’s the least you could do after all the lunch money you’ve taken from me,’ Whitney adds with a bittersweet tone. ‘Deal,’ Sabina smiles back, a note of regret in her voice.
Later, after their meal, Whitney and Sabina come into Whitney’s room, laughing and chatting. She is only realizing now that she never really knew Sabina at all, Whitney muses. Yeah, nobody really knows her, she never lets anyone in because she’s afraid that they’ll find out her secret, Sabina says. ‘So I put on this mask so nobody can see the real me. Except for tonight. This is the first time, maybe ever, that I’ve shown someone the real me,’ Sabina says. Well, she had an amazing time getting to know the REAL Sabina, Whitney says. She likes the real her a lot better. Sabina wishes she could go back and time and undo it all, because if Whitney was serious that she would have said yes to a date, she sees now just how much she missed out… even if it was just as friends, she can’t imagine how any other date can ever be as good as that, Sabina adds sweetly. Whitney says that maybe they can’t turn back time, but they can still start fresh. She inches closer to Sabina on the bed and Whitney puts her hand on Sabina’s leg. Whitney smiles, stroking Sabina’s cheek with her other hand. Sabina’s eyes go wide, and she stares into Whitney’s eyes like a deer in headlights. Whitney takes Sabina’s face in her hands and brings her in for a kiss. Sabina hesitates. She’s nervous. She doesn’t know what to do, Sabina confesses sheepishly. ‘Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out together,’ Whitney says sweetly. She softly kisses Sabina’s pouty lips.
It’s safe to say that Sabina’s secret really DID change everything.