When I was 16, I met this sweet boy, Richie Abbott (not his real name.) He was quiet, and handsome, and two years younger than me so it was safe to flirt and fan his adoration. Richie was a summer kid so when the September came, he returned to wherever he lived while I remained at the shore and grew up.
A handful of years later, our paths crossed again. Rich was big and strong now, still quiet, and handsome, but no longer too young. We were at a small party one night, circling each other as we drank and laughed with friends. One by one people left, and soon I found myself alone with him in an unfamiliar bedroom, where he leaned in for a kiss.
It was our first. And it was weird. Like some kind of time warp. How did we become adults?
But something wasn’t right. Rich was leaning in too hard. He was quieter than usual. He had been drinking too much.
I felt a prickling up my neck,and I quickly glanced out into the livingroom and the kitchen for someone else, but the apartment was eerily empty.
Rich began driving me to the bed, and I felt a panic rise up inside me that I had never felt before. I tried a joke to shift the mood, but he wasn’t budging.
If I didn’t think of something fast, I was about to be… raped.
“Not here, let’s go to my place,” I said, hoping to wake him from the spell he was under.
It worked. Richie stumbled into my car and rode with me to my apartment; climbed the stairs, and got into my bed. Whoever he had been at the party was gone; and now he was only generous and gentle. But I felt dirty. I’d never felt that before either.
Afterward, I slipped on what was once my mother’s nightgown, and stepped out onto the porch where I sat in the night rain until Richie came out to ask what I was doing.
“You’re getting soaked,” he said.
“I want to.” I answered; and that was all I ever said.
More than 25 years have passed since that night, but I can still feel the rain on my skin, and the humiliation in my bones.
Author’s note: Do you ever wonder what makes you write something, all of the sudden, that happened long ago? And then you see this CLICK HERE. And you know. We’re all connected.