I was pressured into being his girlfriend by friends. These were people I surrounded myself with to avoid drowning in loneliness. I was fourteen years old, in eighth grade, and didn’t quite fit with everyone else. I dressed like a twelve year old in cutesy t-shirts and wore plastic framed glasses the size of dinner plates. To survive, I adopted their thoughts and actions. I eventually copied their attire, the way they wore their hair so I too could be a carbon copy. Uniqueness isn’t valued or looked kindly upon in adolescence.
He was chubby with bulging eyes and sandy hair. He was a terrible kisser. Slobbery and clumsy, his tongue only knowing how to swirl mine in circles. His fingers were long, spindly and grew pointy at the tips. I found them repulsive, and yet I stayed, not wanting to rock any boats. My friends had done me favor after all.
He was nice enough although his urging for me to exchange my giant frames for contact lenses left a bitter taste in my mouth. I overlooked not being attracted to him and the fact that he told my best friend that I had a hairy pussy.
So he had told people.
It would happen on the bus that shuttled us to and from the county pool back to school. We were on the swim team. After practice, his hand would make its way into my sweat pants. Our eyes never met during this. I was always staring out the window, holding my breath, and he would stare straight ahead while those ugly fingers would tear through my vagina like a kid would tear open a birthday present. The feeling of pressure combined with sharp, shooting pain would rip through me like being struck by lightning. My inner thighs would clench and I’d tell myself to relax, but my body was hell bent on protection.
I told him it hurt and asked him to stop. To escape, I’d sometimes sit elsewhere, tossing my backpack on the seat next to me to keep him from plopping down. He’d always find a way back, inching his way into my pants again.
His friend sat across from me on one of the days I managed to sit alone, grinning lecherously and said “I know why you don’t want him to sit next to you.” I turned away from him, my face stinging hot with embarrassment. I felt trapped. I wanted to take it all back. I didn’t know how to stop it. A perverse part of me didn’t want to hurt his feelings, didn’t want him in trouble. So I yelled and screamed on the inside, expressionless on the outside. If I kept myself glued together everything would be ok.