Life was ironing out when I met him. I was fourteen, a sophomore in high school (I was one of those lucky kids born in January) and excited about this new chapter in my life. Adjusting to high school was awkward, but I made a couple friends.
Gym class though… ugh.
My parents were fighting a lot because my father was trying to get sober and not having a good go at it. Life was getting uncomfortable which is why when I got to high school, temptation got the best of me.
There were difficult roads I could have traveled to make life easier, but I chose painful roads that made life difficult.
I met a guy who was way too old for me but that’s what I thought I needed – an older boy with a car, who smoked and had a regular job.
A boy who could get me out of my home life of hell.
And he did.
He was a boy who I fell for blindly; the outside cool and handsome, the inside black and miserable.
He scraped me off one level of hell and dropped me in a deeper one.
First it started with my clothes.
Then it was my make up.
After that it was my friends.
Who is he?
Why is he standing so close to you? I saw you touching him.
Why do you smell like sex?
Then it got worse.
I wished for a pair of horse blinders to wear.
We were at a red light in his pick up truck one afternoon and there was a guy on the corner. Waiting for the bus I guess?
I made the mistake of looking to my right and as fast as I saw him, I turned away.
Suddenly, the right side of my face was kissing the passenger side glass.
There was a sharp pain in the left side of my head.
“What are you looking at? Do you wanna fuck that guy? Huh? You think he’s cute?”
I was only looking out the window.
I didn’t mean it.
He got out of the truck and approached the man. “You like my girl, huh?”
The man seemed confused.
Suddenly, the man was on the ground being pummeled.
These idiots on the street, walking around minding their own business. Didn’t they know what would happen if I looked at them? If they looked at me?
After that, I scanned the roads as far as I could see, looking for people so I could look away when we got close.
They didn’t know, but I knew. I knew the danger we would be in if I looked at you and you looked at me.
The beatings depended on his mood.
I did my best to make sure he was always happy.