Chapter 20:  Dilemma

The week passed by quickly.  Olivia was on top of the world.  The basketball team had won both games, she and her mother were getting along well since Serena had started AA meetings, and she and Alex couldn’t have been happier.  Little did Olivia know that one small proposal could send her life spiraling into unknown territory and cause her to make drastic decisions.


That Thursday, Olivia was at her locker when Andy Eckerson came up to her.  “Hey…long time no see, Liv!”


Olivia smiled.  “Hey, Andy.  What’s up?”


“Oh…not much.  You know homecoming’s coming up and all…”  He looked down momentarily before continuing.  “And I just wanted to know if you had a date yet.  That’s all.”


Olivia felt the blood drain from her face.  Andy noticed and joked, “Whoa, Liv.  Don’t look so excited.”


Olivia shook her head.  “Sorry.  I just need time to think about it.”


He nodded.  “Well, when you make up your mind, you know where to find me,” he said, walking off with a wave of his hand.


Olivia walked to class in a daze.  Sitting at her desk, she thought about the unexpected turn her life had just taken.  She asked herself why she didn’t tell Andy she had a date already, a girlfriend even.  She then realized she hadn’t really thought about how he or other students at school would react when they saw that her “date” was a girl, and not just any girl—Alexandra Cabot.  Thinking for the first time about the fact that bringing Alex to the homecoming dance could be potentially disastrous for both herself and Alex, Olivia struggled between conflicting thoughts of her loyalty and responsibility to Alex and her fear of coming out.


By the end of the day, Olivia had made her decision.  Going up to Andy’s locker before practice, she said, “I’ll go with you.”


Andy smiled down at her.  “Good.  Hey, I gotta go though.  I’ll talk to you later, ok?”


Olivia plastered a smile on her face and nodded.  She had no clue how she was going to break the news to Alex.  For the time being, she just decided to push it to the back of her mind and forget about it.  She would tell Alex when the right moment came up.




After dropping Alex off that evening, Olivia just lay in her bed, staring up at the ceiling.  She analyzed her relationship with Alex over and over again, trying to find a way to justify her decision.  She wanted to be with Alex, she had never felt as happy as she did with her, but she was absolutely terrified of what could happen to her—to them—if the wrong people knew they were a couple.  Then she wondered what her mother would say, what Alex’s parents would say.  What if her mother kicked her out of the house when she discovered she was a lesbian?  Her mother was all she had.  Sure, there was Alex, but she couldn’t move in with her girlfriend.  There was also Elliot, but she doubted that his parents would just let her move in permanently.  Even if they did, she would never place such a huge burden on them.  And what about Alex’s parents?  What would John and Madeline Cabot do to her if they found out their only daughter was a lesbian?  Alex could be disowned; she could lose all her inheritance, her trust fund.  Where would she go?  Would some of her other family members be more accepting?  What if they wouldn’t?  She was only 15 and Olivia was only 16.  They’d have no place to go.  On the other hand, their parents could be totally understanding, but she couldn’t count on it.  At the most it was just wishful thinking.


In the end, it all boiled down to whether or not Olivia thought they were strong enough and capable enough to bear the brunt of the absolute worst that could happen.  She definitely didn’t want to let Alex go unless she absolutely had to, so she decided that complete discretion was their best bet at staying a couple from then on.  Going over their public displays of affection, she realized that they had taken too many risks as it was.  She couldn’t be sure that no one from their school had seen them and she surely didn’t want to take anymore chances—for her sake and Alex’s.


Why can’t my life be fucking easier? she asked herself in disgust.  Why can’t the world be more understanding?  Why does it matter who I date as long as I’m in love and I’m happy?  Love knows no gender.


Tears started streaming down her face.  As she lay there, familiar lyrics from t.A.T.u.’s “Stars” started scrolling through her head.


How did we ever get this far?

It shouldn’t have to be this hard

Now for the first time in my life

I’m flying


Are we in love?  Do we deserve

To bear the shame of this whole world?

And like the night we camouflage