“When I came out to my father, he beat me up. Locked me in my bedroom. Told me he wouldn’t let me out until I promised I would be straight. Well, I couldn’t see very well—he’d hit me on one eye—and there was blood dripping down my face. My bedroom was on the second floor, so I suppose he thought I wouldn’t try to escape. But I tied together the sheets on my bed and dragged the bed up to just under the window and tied the end of the sheet to one leg of the bed. I didn’t know whether it would hold me or how long but, you know, I was beyond caring by then. I thought … well I thought if I died it might be a good thing. Best for everyone.”
He didn’t speak for many seconds. Cody leant his head against Luigi’s shoulder.
“Go on,” he said.
“Yeah. Well, just as well my ma has an obsession with quality. The sheets were thick and they held and so did the bed. I abseiled down the wall.”
“You know, where you let yourself down bit by bit, using the wall and the rope or in this case the sheets.”
Luigi turned to look at Cody, who was grinning slyly at him. “Just because I’m a swishy queen doesn’t mean I’m not good at gymnastics.” He grinned back then pulled Cody closer before going on. “It helps to have a rope and a harness, but you can do it with two sheets. Just. They’re not as long as you think. And the first floor is higher than you think, too. I had to drop the last half a metre.”
“Then what did you do?”
“I walked to my grandmother’s. I didn’t know for sure what she would do but she’s always been on my side. She’s always loved me. So I walked there. 10 k’s.”
“How long did that take you?”
“Nearly two hours.”