Exclusive Excerpt from Not Gonna Lie
by S.M. James
“The only thing worse than outing yourself to the entire world is when your mom does it for you.
I stare at the picture. A sour, metallic taste rises in my throat as I blink too fast at my laptop screen, trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
Her blog has always focused on the two of us, and as one of the most renowned “Mommy bloggers” out there, it’s clearly worked for her. Even if some of her posts upset me, even if my need for privacy is completely ignored, I’ve always been able to move on from the hurt.
But this time, she’s gone too far.
My hand shakes as I pick up my cell phone to call Jack, but after two rings it cuts off. Shit. Did he hang up? Did his cell run out of battery? Is he on his way over here now, coming to kick my ass?
I drop my cell, burying my hand into my hair as tears prick at the backs of my eyes. My neck is growing hot, and the grip on my hair tightens as I struggle to keep the raw surge of emotion in. Because I knew this would happen. I knew she’d react exactly like this if she ever found out.
It could be worse, I reason with myself. But I don’t know how. How can it get worse than having a photo shared of you wrapped around the deeply closeted guy you’re hooking up with? We’re both asleep, but it’s not like it matters. I’m clinging to him like a damn barnacle, mouth stupidly open as usual, and his leg is hooked over mine. Thank Christ we’re not naked, though we’re only two items of clothing away from it. Every fat roll is on display.
But still. It could be worse.
Mom is as predictable as ever. Her post is all about supporting your kids, no matter what, and how proud she is that I’m gay. She’s already rebranded her blog and announced her membership with PFLAG, and it literally looks like a rainbow threw up all over her site.
The thing is, I don’t know that I’m gay. Or bi. Or pan. I don’t know what I am.
But I know Jack is gay. And I know Jack is gonna burrow even further into the closet once he sees this.
“Shit …” I breathe, heart speeding up again. Jack and I aren’t much of anything to each other, but I’d promised to keep his secret. And since going dark online a year ago, I’d been able to do just that.”
“I snatch up my cell and try him again. This time it only rings once before disconnecting. He’s definitely hanging up on me. That doesn’t bode well, because I know what happened to the last guy who kissed him. And yeah, maybe Jack felt bad about acting like a gay-hating dirtbag, but I’m willing to put money down that he’s gonna jump right back to old habits.
What would he tell people? That he was asleep in my bed and I snuck in? Took advantage of him? Will he beat the absolute shit out of me too?
I sigh, setting my phone down again. Screw it. Whether Jack’s seen it or not, I gotta go on the offensive. Not just for him, for me. It’s not okay that she posted this. She knows how hard I’ve worked to scrub myself off the internet. She knows how serious I was about keeping my life private after everything from the first sixteen years of it was shared with the world.
I slap my desk as I push up and head for the door. Just as I get there, my phone dings with a text, and I launch for it.
But it’s not Jack.
It’s fucking Gram.”