The Meaning of Life (part 5)

12 09 2010

“And there’s the bathroom and the water fountain,” I said as I pointed to the specific locations.  Outside, it was a sunny autumn day as the leaves were starting to fall off the trees and turning into vibrant colours of orange, yellow and red.  We had to walk through the sea of leaves that were covering the whole schoolyard.

“Cool.”  Sean didn’t seem too interested in the school.  There were obviously other things on his mind than knowing where the water fountain was.  So I asked him, “What’s wrong?  Am I boring you?”  He looked up from the ground and towards me and shook his head.

“I’m just thinking about my life before I moved here.”  I had forgotten that he was not from around here, which was exciting to learn; I had always wanted to know what the rest of the world was like.

“Where did you come from?” I questioned.

“Up north, from Canada.  It’s really great there and I miss it a lot.”

I had heard wonderful stories from travelers concerning Canada.  They all said that it was a great place with magnificent scenery and lands, along with very kind people. I had always wanted to move or to travel to Canada and see what it was like there.  Some people said also said that in Canada, gay people were actually tolerated there and that even same-sex marriage was legal.  Most of the people in America don’t believe this and the ones that do say that Canada is eventually going to turn itself into hell one day.  I was always curious at whether gay marriage in Canada was legal but I didn’t want Sean to get the wrong impression of me.  He could tell everyone at school and I could be killed.  But I would never know until I asked him, so I did.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Sean.  Uh, can I ask you something?”  I was making myself sound rushed and uncaring towards him.  He looked at me strangely, as if thinking that I was a moron for ignoring his problems.  But he nodded.

“Umm… is it… is it true that…” My words weren’t coming out of my mouth and I stuttered.  Sean looked expectantly at me to finish my question.

“Yeah, what?”  I glanced quickly around to make sure no one was could hear us.  Just to be sure, I grabbed the sleeve of his jacket and pulled him towards the water fountain.  There, I noticed that he had a puzzled look on his face, which was planned.  I took a deep breath and said, “Is it true that they have…same-sex marriage?”  Sean seemed to be taken aback when he heard the question.

“What are you talking about, Jeremy?” he asked.

“In Canada, is gay marriage legal?”  There, I finally said it.  Again, I turned my head in all directions to make sure no one had heard us.  When I focused on Sean once more, he looked even more confused.

“Yes, but why are you asking me this from out of the blue?”

“Uh… I just wanted to know if the rumours were right.  Is it also true that they let gay people live too?”

Sean continued to stare at me, perplexed, but I could see he was beginning to see what was going on.  He relaxed a bit more and replied, “Yeah, why wouldn’t they be allowed to live?  Is it how life here is too?”

I really didn’t want to explain the whole history of my country so I just gave him the basic storyline; about how George Tree had banned same-sex marriage 70 years ago; religions and how Christianity is the only one allowed for everyone to worship; and how gay people were killed.  He nodded every now and then, and seemed to understand where I was coming from.

At the end of it all, he was amazed.

“I had no idea just how different it is here compared to Canada.  I always thought of America as being a strong, civilized nation.”

To be continued!



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