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I was panicking.

 

I re-read the text message sent from Josh three days ago. “Positive. Sorry. You’d better go too.”

 

I was in trouble, in more ways than one. And I had no idea at all how I was doing to deal with this. So, I dealt with it the same way I deal with all major issues that I have no idea how to deal with.

 

I ignored and procrastinated.

 

Despite my astoundingly poor success rate at this life strategy, it seemed remarkably enticing.

 

So, that’s what I had been doing.

 

I mean, it wasn’t HIV. Or even Syphilis or Gonorrhea or some other STD, thank god. And it probably, almost certainly, wasn’t going to be a big deal to me. Fatality rates for Covid 19 for 15 year old boys were remarkably low.

 

But then I saw a graph on Reddit, and read the article it linked to. And I got scared. I really didn’t want to be responsible for getting Grandma sick. Or worse. And for the last day I’d had a headache. And the thermometer in my mouth told me I had a fever.

 

So I knew I had to tell Mom.

 

The problem was, I wasn’t allowed to see Josh. And hadn’t been allowed for weeks and weeks. Ever since Mom caught us hugging just a wee bit too long when he was leaving, and smiling at each other while looking into each others’ eyes.

 

I mean, it turned out she was right, in a way. But for the wrong reasons. Josh wasn’t, in the end, a ‘good influence on me.’ But not for the reasons she thought. There was no danger at all of him turning me gay. The unspoken concern Mom had. I was already gay long before I hooked up with Josh. But when I found out after the fact what kind of person he was, I decided that was enough of that.

 

But it was too late. We’d already been with each other. In the biblical sense.

 

I mean, Mom didn’t have to know that, but she’d end up knowing I was with Josh. Almost for sure. And then she’d suspect why. No doubt about it. And she’d be, well, she’d be Mom. Not only because of her suspicions about me, but with her going on about ‘social distancing’ for the last week or so. Aside from being a homophobe, she was also a germophobe.

 

I went downstairs. Sweating profusely. And not just from my fever.

 

I found her in her office.

 

Mom, I’m not feeling well…”

 

She looked up over her computer monitor at me.

 

Her expression was thunderous.

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I know it's fiction, but it certainly shows how 'bad attitude' plays havoc with every aspect of our lives, and possibly deaths. Feeling the need to hide things, particularly from our loved ones and/or family (evil grin), doesn't help anyone, but it's a reality some have to deal with.

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