The way that he looked at me immediately changed how I felt. I wanted whatever it was that he was offering and I wanted it now.
“Friends?” he asks me with a glimmer in his eye.
A broken hearted girl, a boy that I couldn’t get over.
He had always been so confusing so I honestly have no idea what I was agreeing too or if it would even be good for me.
I reach over to take the hand he has outstretched and the world accepts us. Looking at me with those deep brown eyes, I feel at home. My life is coming full circle and I am in love. He finally chose me.
That’s how the first love always feels. Cold, lonely, and confusing… for me anyway.
I am on my sixth love at this point. It usually ends the same. Well, one of two ways, I push them away because they aren’t good enough or I push them away because they are good enough. I call it my “fucked up mental processing system when it comes to dating girls and boys” or otherwise known as, my brain and emotions.
I guess it started when I was 14 with Gary. He was my next door neighbor. I used to tease him about his old man name. He kind of even looked like an old man - shorter than me, blonde hair, and very, very skinny. He was nothing like an old man. Just his name.
That is actually wrong, he was as much like an old man as a fourteen year old can be.
He used to come and knock on my door.
The dates started simple. We would eat a snack and end up watching a movie or t.v. Sometimes we would go outside and ride our bikes. But, Gary liked to stay inside. All the time. He was always asking about my room and what it looked like.
Once while we were out to walk he asked me, “Can you be my girlfriend? Like long term?”
He then took my hand into his and we walked the whole way around the block. My mom was on the patio when we got back.
“Did you two see any bears or anything?”
I laughed at her ridiculous question but Garry just rolled his eyes.
Finally, he’d ask my mom if he could come up the stairs to my bedroom. She sometimes would say yes but the yes slowly faded to a no when she realized what we were doing upstairs for those first three months.
It was weird to me that my mom took so long to catch on. It made me wonder if I was enough or maybe if I deserved what Gary was doing to me. Nobody told him to stop. Maybe he didn’t even know that he had done wrong.
Gary would always ask me to take my clothes off.
And just stand there.
In front of him.
So he could look at me.
And, I would. I complied. He enjoyed himself. This is what he wanted.
I had it warped into my mind that I was his girlfriend, so I had to do what he said. That’s just how it worked. This concept is absurd and I know that now, however, I never wanted to disappoint him or make him sad.
We never touched each other. We were not a normal couple. I didn’t know we weren’t a normal couple. Gary always said his past girlfriends had done this for him.
He had two girlfriends before me. They both got naked for him. He said he didn’t touch himself while he watched them though. He just watched them.
Why was I different?
When Gary first started telling me that his past girlfriends had done it, I felt strange feelings. Why was he telling me about his past? I didn’t tell him of mine - he never asked. I don’t want to know how other girls made him feel inside. And why is it so much different with me? What do I have that the others didn’t? Or.. what did they have that I didn’t?
The first time it happened, Gary was kind. He just wanted to see me, that’s what he said anyway. Get to know what I look like without clothes. I didn’t know that that wasn’t normal. I thought this maybe was how everyone started and how people connected without hands. Some form of intimacy that was foreign to me. All intimacy was foreign to me. But not to Gary.
Eventually Gary did get tired of looking at my barely developed naked body. When he asked me to go on birth control so we could do more, I said yes. My doctor had told me to wait thirty days to make sure my body was reacting to the birth control the proper way, and so that I was comfortable.
Gary broke up with me before I was comfortable.
He never even gave me a chance, honestly. He never gave me the opportunity to develop or even get horny. Obviously none of this made sense to me at such a young age.
It is kind of nice to look back and see how far I’ve come. To hear myself talk about things that were particularly hard for me to talk about in the beginning.
He said that he thought we were working together to get to touch each other. Why did he have to say it like that? My childish mind was confused. Did he not want me anymore? I always did what he said.
We really only dated for two months because the whole third month I barely saw him. He said he was waiting for my birth control to work. I had not figured out what he wanted at this point. And it made me wish my birth control would never work or make me comfortable. I started to lie.
My mom asked me why he stopped coming over. I tried to tell her the truth. That he wanted something I wasn’t ready for. But the words always got lost.
Oh, my mom knew. She literally knew. She never cared - or she thought I was too young to be making these accusations. Which, I never even made! He watched me get naked and touched himself. That is fucked up and creepy. But I never wanted the police to lock him up! All I wanted was to be heard and held. I wanted protection that nobody was giving me.
Everytime I thought about telling him I was ready, I thought about how he talked to me about his past naked girls and how they compared to me. Why did he compare us? What was the purpose? It made me not want to get naked with him anymore.
When we had that conversation, the one where I told him I wasn’t ready, he told me that my best friend was. I decided to destroy my body and lock my doors. I didn’t want anyone to see this - or be around me.
That night was dark for me. I sat in my shower and cried.
I made the water warmer.
The heat felt good against my open flesh and I felt complete.
This is what I deserved for not being ready in time.
I should have just done it.
Why couldn’t I do it?
My mom told me I had to cut this shit out. She called Gary. Told him I was sad. She had no idea I was sad because I wasn’t enough for him. She also didn’t know the damage I did. So when Gary told me to undress so he could see me, I did. I held my body high and let my shoulders outreach. He wasn’t happy. But why not? Didn’t he want me to feel broken? Isn’t that what he wanted?
He wanted me to just be ready? He didn’t care that I lied to him about not being ready. He just cared if I was or was not. He could be who I needed if I was ready?
What did he want from me? How much of me did he even want?
None of it. None of it. Gary wanted none of me. He is a worthless creep that is rude to girls for no reason. He literally only wanted to watch me be naked - nothing even exciting.
He’s holding out his hand again. My world is coming together and he is finally in love with me.
He just said it. He said it, he said that he loved me.
Oh. I can be ready. I can be ready if he loves me.
Gary came back over that night and we watched a movie.
I made sure we had a soft blanket but not too soft in case it got ruined.
That was the last day of the third month. Gary left halfway through the movie.
I wasn’t ever ready.
I put my pants back on and crawl into my bed.
Gary took 6 months to get over. We only even dated for three, barely.
My mind was different - my emotions were different. I felt so much and I felt so little. I did start to see people.
I wanted to be ready in case he ever came back.
It never bothered me to finish a bottle of vodka and make love all night but it always bothered me when they left in the morning. Even if just for school. Why would they want to leave, I had just given them what they had wanted and when they asked for more, I stood up for myself. They didn’t like that.
What they had wanted really put a dent in my mental growth as a human being that believed in worth.
I guess that is how I got here.
Except Gary never really left me. He always showed up when I was feeling bad about something. Even if the two things weren’t related to each other. I always felt like shit. I always felt like I was naked in front of a creepy man. Gary would never be considered a man to me - he’ll be a boy.
The creepy boy that lived down the street.
The creepy boy that took me way too soon and held my hand in ways it’s never been held.
And nobody had violated like me, the way that he had.
Turns out he was offering me heartache and loneliness. Neither of which I knew how to prepare for.