When I was 16, I met this sweet boy, Richie (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 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. Richie was now big and strong, still quiet, even more handsome, but no longer “too young.” We were at a small gathering one night, circling each other as we drank and laughed with friends. A few of us were talking in the bedroom. One by one people left, and soon I found myself alone, with Richie, as 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, let alone peers?)
But there was something else. Something not right. A prickling went up my neck. Richie was leaning in too hard. He was too quiet. He had been drinking too much.
I glanced out into the livingroom and the kitchen and saw that it was suddenly emptied.
My breath caught as Richie began driving me toward the bed. 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.
Afterward, I slipped on what was once my mother’s nightgown (the one she wore in the hospital at my birth), and stepped out onto the porch where I sat in the rain until it soaked me through.
Richie came out to see what was wrong. I didn’t say a thing. Until now.
25 years have passed since that night, and 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.