Nothing means more to Ivy League first-year Meredith Kalumba than family: both her proud Ugandan parents and her online community, The Gourd, a confessions blog she runs for queer teens of color. Meredith isn’t ready to explain her safe space—or her asexuality—to her parents, but running The Gourd is work, and her grades are suffering. When her parents become suspicious about the blog, Meredith scrambles to find a balance before her two communities collide and she loses them both. LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE meets AMERICAN PANDA.
writing this, I know you’ll never read it, but I wish I didn’t have to call you. the phone lines could collapse and I’d never hear your voice again, but at least we’d end with something good. somewhere before the fall. yes, I know, you crossed an ocean for us. yes, I know, one bad conversation could never kill the way hunger or sadness can. so I’ll pick up the phone. I’ll take everything you give me, like I always have. I know I don’t deserve it, but give me tonight.
Black tea may not prevent the inevitable, but it can distract me from the cherry red 58% on the front of my chem midterm.
I sip my tea, burning my tongue again, laptop balanced on my knees. Caffeine either boosts your mood or crashes you into Earth’s core—my head’s too fuzzy to remember—but in times of distress, focusing on absolutes is supposed to help. At least, according to my dad.
So this is what I hold onto: Black tea is earthy. Warm like a hug, summer break, sixty days of Auntie Wilma’s samosas and laughter at family parties until chem and biology take you in their teeth again.