His friends weren’t at the apartment when we got there; they had gone for a beer run. He pulled me into the bathroom just inside the entry and told me he had his gift for me and we needed some privacy. I was confused, privacy for a gift? There was not anyone home… He kissed me, hard, like he was taking custody of my soul. I told myself to lean into it; this was “passion” right? This is what passion looked like on television. I wondered if I was really this naïve; that I wouldn’t know if this was passion or not. The door was as close to my back that it could have only fused with my flesh to be closer; it started to hurt and so I said something. The dark stare; then the crazy smile, something was about to happen. You could feel the crackle move in the air.
Be small, be quiet, no sudden moves.
A step backward was all it took for him to force me to the ground, my head dragged down door… like cheese against a grater. The bathroom was small and my long legs really had nowhere to go. In a movement that most men would love to master he had my jeans down and I was bare from the waist down to where my jeans wrapped around my boots. On the floor, in an all-male apartment bathroom and my head was crushed up against the door. Roughly my shirt, which tied in the front, was jerked open and my bra pushed up. On his knees he pulled me to him and I felt the full force of his thrust, as my head crashed into the door. With every movement my back would bend, and my head would slam into the door.
Be small, be quiet, no sudden moves.
I heard the key turn in the lock of the front door not even ten feet from where my head was. All of his friends were home and we were all going to celebrate my birthday. Twisted into the bathroom I began to really feel sick about what that might actually mean.
The dark stare, looked down on me and asked if I wasn’t enjoying my fun little birthday surprise… kinky right? He told me I wasn’t making any noise; it hit me, he wanted his friends to hear me so that he would impress them and I would just be shamed. Pressing his hand down hard on the space between my hips, the hollow of the pelvis he pushed harder and my head slammed into the door and I was in a near back bend. This time I made noise, I cried out in pain. Several more of those and I could hear his friends cheering him on. One of them exclaimed loudly that he might put my head through the damned door! Another yelled
“That’s what the fucking deposit is for!”
They were laughing and I could hear the beer bottles clinking. Not one of them, even the one I was trapped with interpreted my “noises” as pleas to stop, cries of agony from the position the forcefulness of this assault, the complete lack of any foreplay… once more I found I was not ready for this onslaught. Another ten minutes went by, I know because his friends were cheering on his stamina. By this point my head had turned and it was now the side of my head and my neck crushed against the door. He was standing above me, holding my hips to him. There was no gift here, the dark stare felt as though it went through me, and to some other place… there was no love in this act.
He did give me a sort of gift that night. My sixteenth birthday was when I learned how to leave myself, if I focused hard enough I could leave my body. I could be anywhere else I wanted to be. That night I was riding a horse with herd of wild mustangs somewhere in the southwest. I threw my hands out wide and pretended to fly away.
Coming back and watching almost from above, I realized he was about to finish and I was expected to act all excited about it. I didn’t master it that night but I learned how to stay completely out, act the way he wanted and expected, but be somewhere else and feel none of the pain. The bellow he made as he came was like some wild creature; his boys cheering him on again… the look to me and I yelled out, the exact opposite of what my body was saying.
“OH GOD! DON’T STOP”
I was rewarded with a wink, and he unceremoniously dropped my body. I slammed into the floor. He zipped his jeans up and threw a towel at me, pushing me aside and stepping over me to leave, I was encouraged to clean up and come out and celebrate being 16 with the guys! My head and neck were still pounding like when you stand in the waves of the ocean for a while and you can still feel the motion of the waves after you leave the water. I found myself once again in a bathroom, degraded, humiliated; despite the state of the young adult male bathroom I found myself huddled into a corner quietly sobbing again. How could I walk out the mere feet into the living room and face four guys who had just heard “my sweet sixteen” and the loss of any dignity I would ever hold in their eyes again.
Muffling my face into the towel, I just let myself cry. Crying was not a luxury I had much of; it leads to questions… expected answers, and then judgment. There is a bang on the door,
“Damn sugar tits, what’s taking so long? Other people need in, get your boney ass out here.”
I stood over the sink and stared at my scarlet face in the mirror. My normal bisque, Scot-Irish coloring was mimicking shades of the double decker buses I had seen in pictures of London. Staring back I found my blue eyes, nearly clear looking against the disgrace cherry color. I straightened the tangle of my long auburn hair, on the back of my head as best I could; I splashed water on my face and adjusted my clothing appropriately. The instruction that I would not show my abs, and button my shirt an extra button had already been ordered. He wanted his boys to know I was a great lay but not want me. The first time I heard him say it, I was shocked; looking back I shouldn’t have been, all men say it
“You’re mine, and if I can’t I fucking have you, they sure as fucking hell won’t. No one will.”
The only way out of this with any sort of dignity was to laugh it off and pretend I was performing on stage, that’s what he wants anyway right? This sweet sixteen, bitter in my mouth with the stale beer, was not at all about me. No, this was his production. After all, isn’t all the world a stage, and us little people merely players? A boisterous and overly enthusiastic round of applause and bows greeted me when I emerged from the diminutive bathroom. Biting my tongue until it bled I hoped that I was not blushing, despite the heat I could feel rising. As any good performer, I executed a deep well practiced ballet curtsy and smiled as genuinely and broadly as I could manage.
Stumbling out of the kitchen with at least his third beer, he staggered straight for me. Grabbing my ass he roughly pulled me to him, triggering a cacophony of more jeers, hoots, and cat calls.
“Sugar bush, I love you so much. You’re great fun.”
If my sense of smell was not failing me, he had some hard liquor and copious amounts of marijuana whilst I composed myself in the bathroom. Pressing his lips to mine once more, came the kiss the one that felt as though he was pulling life from my very core, rancid in taste, co-mingling with his pot and Camels, the rum, and the beer it was all I could to do not to pull away. In my mind I told myself that if the great Vivien Leigh could loathe the infamous breath of Clark Gable and still pull off a convincing Scarlett, then I could deal with the bad breath of someone I felt carried a piece of my soul. His hands were groping, grasping, pulling and squeezing places I felt should be more special than this particular moment. It seemed to go on forever, I liked kissing but this was more than that; this was a declaration not just to me, but to any witness… at this point he truly believed he owned me. This was possession, the stake of the flag and the mark of his territory. My epiphany rang out in my mind and was deafening.
Where had the soft doe brown eyes and gentle lips gone? The soft touch to my face, and hair; who was this new person? The boy that I fallen for, who was so completely consuming, was kind and thoughtful; he was generous and calm. He had openly discussed his feelings for me for months before we really started dating. The mother of a mutual friend told me that he would frequently come to her crying and lamenting that I seemed indifferent. She told him to be patient, that I had been badly hurt when things ended with the elusive first real boyfriend. Knowing that the break up had really wounded me; the boy I now loved was kind and listened.
Together we would walk the woods around my house and tell each other our hurts, and our triumphs; over time we each discovered that scars crisscrossed both our hearts. A bond followed that built a deep trust with this person who seemed to have such an easy soul.
We each struggled to understand the darker parts of ourselves and with that I could open up to those velvet eyes and I felt safe. The physical part of the relationship just flowed and seemed in the moment and it was special. It all came so naturally, like the turn of seasons this deepening of my connection to what I felt was his inner spirit was as normal and almost as expected and ordinary as a walk to the mailbox. I still look back and struggle to remember if it was really a haircut that changed everything or if it was something else. Had I done something to flip the switch? When did Dr. Jekyll, morph into Mr. Hyde? Surely he was just lost in the damaged corners of the mind and needed someone to help him find the path again. After all he had stood with me, wiped my tears, wrapped his strong arms around me and made me feel secure. How selfish is it to not be there in return?
The culmination of my sweet sixteen birthday was watching a group of guys pass out, as I dipped my toes into the pool and felt the first cracks appear in my mind and leak any innocence into the cool waters. I prayed like hell he woke up to get me home in time for curfew. There was no way I wanted to rouse the monster.