The setting sun was on my face and the air was heavy with burnt wood and laughter. It was late fall as I sat nuzzled against a boy on a picnic bench next to a bonfire. A boy just a few years older than I was, and that I’d grown to trust.
Somehow in the two years following that day in the basement I’d managed to find just enough glue to put my pieces back together. There were cracks of course, and some of the pieces didn’t fit quite flush but I was starting to resemble a human being again; or so I thought.
I was restless.
Filled with this unquenchable need to stuff the once quiet me down. I hid colors under my hair in the back, I’d pierced my nose, and I’d met this boy who my father hated. It didn’t matter what anyone said to the contrary. I knew that he would never hurt me.
My parents didn’t know what to do with me, but my father was always there like a sentry and steadfast. There to protect me, never wavering not even for a second. Even as I sit here right now in this car thinking about it, I can hear his voice. Especially on quiet nights like this I hear his voice crisscrossing over every synapsis in my brain,
Rapid firing like electric shocks
Rippling through my memories
Racing over my words
As I retell stories to anyone that will listen
Any chance that presents itself
My father once…
He always used to say…
Matt was the boy.
I really should have known better, but I thought he meant it when he said he loved me. There was a sense of safety I had when he would hold my hand or hug me. The only way I can explain it was it was a feeling of peace. So, when he asked me to go for a walk while everyone sat around the fire, I knew exactly what it meant, and I was ready.
The circle of pine trees and the fire pit faded with the setting sun on our backs. Immediately I was lost and lightheaded in the weightlessness that took over as he pushed me against a pine to kiss me. With his full weight on me, he fumbled to get his right hand between my legs while his free hand worked on unbuttoning my jeans.
My head resting against the bark as his lips covered mine, and our tongues danced behind our lips.
His warm panting against my skin
The scent of sap and pine cones so strong
I looked up to the sky as he tried to take me and imagined tiptoeing through the stars.
A cool breeze waltzing between the tress
Tussling my hair across my forehead
He held my chin and brushed the hair off
Using his foot to open my legs
He spun me around
Pressed my cheek against the grain
Soft kisses down the back of my neck
Pressed himself against the soft middle of my ass
Shadows dashing and ducking
His kisses and tongue slinking over my ear
My body stopped participating and I went somewhere else.
That’s when he asked me what was wrong, and I could only answer by shaking my head. Without another word he pulled up his pants and stood back.
I turned around and looked at him,
“No, I want to. I do. Please Matt.”
He put his hands in his pockets and walked back to the fire pit. Following him, I could feel the everyone looking at me. Everything they thought was wrong. I knew they were sure we’d had sex and I was terrified of what they would be talking about.
That night after everyone left he took me for something to eat.
Once we were done he drove his parents van out to a back road and parked next to a pond. Crickets and frogs singing in the darkness, with reflections from the night sky on the ripples of water.
We hopped in the back seat
The windows were cracked just slightly
Letting cool air in
The silence was intoxicating as he lifted my shirt over my head
Kicking my white Keds off
Pressing my bare chest against his jean jacket
He promised he’d take good care of me
Told me how beautiful I was
While he fumbled with a condom and reached for the radio
Cassette tape crackling
Def Leppard came on
Unzipping his pants
Shimmying out of my jeans
Finding a warm snug spot on his lap
The van rocked and we both let go
He told me he loved me, and when we stopped I was finally able to tell him that I loved him too. That’s where the boy meets girl fantasy ends. A coldness filled the car as he moved away from me to zip up his jeans and hop in the front seat.
I started to get dressed in the silence.
As I was putting my jeans back on and slipping my feet back into my shoes, he started the car. The next twenty minutes he said nothing to me until we pulled in my driveway. Then with a kiss on my cheek, and a pat on my leg he said,
“That was really fun and you’re a really sweet girl, but on Monday when we’re at school, we don’t know each other. “