Ch. 8: E (Part 1)

I lost myself years ago. How many years, I’m not sure. I can’t really tell you the last time I felt like I had a ‘home’, a sense of self, or a sense of belonging. Somewhere along the lines, I stopped living for myself and started living for others. I no longer fought against the abusive control that was my parents and allowed my depression to consume me every day, like a hungry wolf feasting on the remains of my former self. The longer I stayed down, submissive to the constant torment, the farther I sunk into the drowning waters that stifled my screams and pulled me down to their depths. There came a point of acceptance when my lungs no longer prompted me to rise above the water and resuscitate my dying soul. I was but a mere black silhouette submerged in the darkest of waters, with no name and no face, relying on my conscience to keep me company amidst the deafening silence. 

 

… Then along came Edward and he changed my life forever.

 

We were magnetic and inseparable from the moment he said he liked my smile. I hadn’t dated in so long, but I taking a chance on him was the best decision I’ve ever made. 

 

Edward was dignified and sophisticated with a wise soul of an old traveler and intelligence far beyond his years. He was everything I wanted and dreamed of, but never thought I deserved. He was the dream young girls fantasize about in their diaries when their hearts know no pain and their imagination knows no boundaries. He was the purest, rarest, most exceptional human I have ever come to realize in all my years on this earth. It was if God had made him just for me.

 

And boy, was Edward sexy.

 

He wasn’t that fake kind of airbrushed muscles bullshit that’s not real and isn’t achieved by anyone other than those who lift weights competitively or go under a scalpel. He was so much better, like an old Hollywood classic gentleman with the all the right features and all the right characteristics. He was beautiful. A natural, effortless, smoldering sexy and the best part was he didn’t even know he was- He had no clue how badly my knees buckled every time I was around him! He had no clue how many times I traced every inch of him with my eyes. No clue how perfectly imperfect he was. No clue how dreamlike and amazing he was. And being with him…. Well that was even more indescribable. It was sensational, but terrifying. Incredible, but daunting. Magnificent in every way, and yet, oh so, intimidating.

 

While most guys don’t dream big enough, Edward was different. His dreams were endless. He was so sure of himself and so confident. His sense of self was always present. And me…? I didn’t even know when I could open my mouth to speak without being screamed at by my parents.

 

His life was the very meaning of the word. His happiness was infectious. And his smile could bring me to my knees, no matter what hell I was raising. I thought I knew how to live, but, in truth, I wasn’t even alive before I met him. 

 

Something about us just clicked. We texted around the clock every single day. From the time we woke up to the time we went to sleep, our phones were sending messages back and forth incessantly…. And I was beaming a smile ear to ear throughout it all.

 

After a month, he finally wore me down into agreeing to go on a date. Usually I wait much longer, but something couldn’t keep me from saying yes to him.

 

FIRST DATE

I had on a grey long sleeve shirt, one of the 46272 pairs of dark wash skinny jeans I own, brown knee high boots, and a navy blue parka cinched at the waist. It was the middle of winter and I had two broken wrists, one in a splint and the other in a cast. I was trying to go for ‘effortless winter cute’… you know, bundled… but still sexy. So I consulted my team of girl friends before leaving the house that night AND even stopped at my best friend’s house so she could approve my outfit selection in person (and calm my nerves).

 

Edward and I agreed on meeting at a movie theater half way between us to go see American Sniper. I showed up 3 minutes early and was a complete nervous wreck. This was my first real date, like, ever. Guys never took me on dates. They never seemed to want to or made an excuse that they weren’t really into ‘that type of thing’. Usually, we hung out and fooled around and then maybe, just maybe, went out to pick up take-out together, so I never had a real “first date” until Edward.

 

My heart was beating out of my chest, just how I imagine a 12-year-old girl’s would at a Justin Bieber concert. With every beat, I thought my heart was getting closer and closer to bursting out of my chest.

 

I got to the theater before he did and was so wrecked with nerves that I was giving myself a panic attack. I could not breathe properly. My hands were shaking, my lips trembled, and my legs felt like jelly as I forced them to walk. I can only imagine I looked like a blonde baby fawn first learning to take her first steps.

 

While at the theater desk buying tickets, I successfully dropped all the contents from my purse and also apparently managed to leave every shred of grace and composure in the car because the next thing I knew, I tripped over the red velvet rope barrier constructing the queue (but made sure I left that part out of the story every time I told it to Edward).

 

My phone lit up with a text from Edward saying he went to the wrong theater, but, naturally, with my extremely low self-esteem, I thought he was standing me up and was too afraid to admit it. My head was telling me, “See, you should have expected this. Guys never want to date you.”

 

But, since he said he was on his way, my heart told my head to shut up. I didn’t want to give up hope just yet. So I waited at a little table by myself with 4 chairs, facing the door so there would be no confusion in mistaking each other. I made sure to check my make up and hair, perk up my boobs, and pray to the dating gods that I do this whole thing right. I mean… dates are scary and this was unchartered territory for me. I didn’t know rules, etiquette, proper behavior, etc. I was entering into a situation completely blind and alone.

 

Eventually, Edward walked in. I pretend I don’t see him and stare down at my phone because my brain could not think. DO I SAY HI? DOES HE SAY HI? IS THE GUY SUPPOSED TO SAY HI FIRST? IS THAT WHAT I DO? I LET HIM LEAD? DO I STAND OR DO I STAY SITTING? If I stand he might think I’m some proper freak. If I sit he might think I’m rude. Should I play it cool? WHAT EVEN IS COOL RIGHT NOW? Do I hug him? Or is that weird? Probably weird, I mean, who hugs a stranger, right? WAIT IS THIS A SITUATION WHERE A HAND SHAKE IS NEEDED!?!?!! WHAT IN GOD’S NAME HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO!?!!??

 

My brain short-circuited to the point that I stayed there frozen. I was completely paralyzed by fear and was pretending to be on my phone. In reality, I was staring at my blank phone screen buying myself a little time and internally yelling, “DO SOMETHING DUMMY!”

 

But I didn’t have to.

 

For some reason, all my nerves just kind of melted away the second I saw him. He walked up to me with his towering height saying, “Hey,” with the most gorgeous smile I have ever seen.

 

I swear in that moment the world stopped spinning. The chaos in my head quieted and I remember thinking, “That’s him,” like the universe was trying to work its magic. It was the strangest feeling, and one I had never felt before, so I shook it off.

 

He seemed a little nervous himself which made me (and the butterflies in my belly) start to relax. As we walked into our designated theater, I led him to my favorite seating- the last row all the way at the back. We took the two seats next to each other in the middle, with him on my right side. Immediately, I regretted that choice. My wrist was in a cast and all I could think was, “Shit, now I can’t hold his hand with this clunky thing on. Please let this be the only thing I fuck up tonight. Please.”

 

Within the first few minutes, I was already stealing glances of him out of the corner of my eye. It was so hard not to stare at someone so breathtaking. My god, I could have stared at him for hours and never gotten bored. I kept trying to use my mind powers like, ‘make him put his arm around me’, but, surprisingly, it wasn’t working. The wifi must have been down.

 

I couldn’t even concentrate on the movie because my heart had picked up pace again and I was nearing a complete cardiac arrest. I was trying to get up my nerve to hold his hand or maybe snuggle into him. I mentally counted to 3 at least 45 times, chickening out every time then telling myself, “Come on, you can do this.” Finally, I did AND IT WAS LIKE TRUMPETS AND A GOD DAMN MARCHING BAND STARTED PLAYING IN MY HEAD. Go, little peeg, go!

 

Being closer to him kept my floodgates of nerves WIDE OPEN. Wider than the legs of the local hussy getting Reece’s peanut butter cups eaten out of her coochie.

 

I thought he was going to kiss me and I was panicking again. WHAT IS PROTOCOL FOR FIRST DATE KISSING!!?!?! WHAT THE FRIG IS IT!?! AND WHERE IS THE MANUAL!?! SOMEONE GET ME THE MANUAL. Oh, lawd Jayzuz, this boy is foiner than a pointed Sharpie. Honey can gettttt it.

 

Okay, okay, girl, focus. FOCUS.

 

I remember thinking, “Aw, he’s trying to make a move!” and then I fucked it up and sabotaged the moment by scrunching my body lower into the seat because I couldn’t handle the cuteness. I had been so neglected throughout my entire life that I had panic attacks in situations that required emotional vulnerability. I’d choke up and ruin the moment by whatever means necessary to avoid dealing with it.

 

Eventually, he did kiss me. And I know that’s what normal people do on dates, but I wasn’t normal and was so conflicted about it. I didn’t want to seem slutty or give him the wrong idea about me, but BOoOoOoy did I want to smooch those lips into next Tuesday of 2057.

 

After we started making out, my brain started to malfunction again. Because I was only used to relationships with scumbag guys and, as a result, had zero self-confidence, I convinced myself his motives for taking me on a date were purely sex based. My mind could not even BEGIN to consider that he was genuinely interested in me for my personality. So, I pressured myself to give him what my idiot brain told me he wanted.

 

I wasn’t ready for sex, but made the mental compromise with myself that a blowjob was a fair trade. I think I was just so shocked that someone actually wanted to take me on a real date in public that my heart, in its own fucked up way, was trying to say, “Thank you for asking me out.”

 

At the time, my self worth was so low that I felt like I was annoying by making guys drive to meet me, pick me up, pay for me, etc. So I always catered to them instead. I valued myself so little that I felt it made sense to engage in a sexual act even though I wasn’t ready to simply because that was all I had to offer.

 

I willed myself to stop kissing him long enough to instruct him to lie on the cold, hard theater floor. With a mixed look of confusion and excitement, he did exactly that, which I thought was so incredibly sexy. His readiness and sexual openness was an immediate turn on.

 

Once he was lying down on the laminate flooring, I awkwardly kneeled with each leg beside his body, clinging on to every ounce of grace I could muster.

 

Even to this day, I can’t explain the attraction I felt towards him. There was just… something about him that made my whole body feel like it was on fire.

 

I helped him peel his shirt off over his head and ball it into a pillow-like puff so he would have something other than miscellaneous sticky soda stains to rest his head on. And from there, it was game over. He looked so incredible with clothes on, but seeing him with a shirt off made me instantly wet.

 

My god, he looked good.

 

Fuck.

 

I swallowed hard and told myself to keep it together. I figured he was probably so used to turning girls on this much and would laugh if he had any idea how nervous I was I was.

 

Seriously though.

 

Like, fuck.

 

And that chest hair… Ugh. Oh, honey, don’t get Mama started.

 

I tried to remind myself that he didn’t actually like me and was only there for playtime, which wasn’t much of a challenge. After being sexually abused as a child and taken advantage of by every guy I ever let into my heart, I learned to give guys what they wanted without considering my own needs. At the time, it was easier to believe my only value was as a cum dumpster with a battered heart to serve as my partner’s punching bag.

 

My heart was saying, “No, don’t do this. Go slow. You don’t have to do this until you’re ready. You can wait. You like him. You really like him. And if he likes you too, then he won’t have a problem waiting. Don’t mess it up. Don’t rush things. Give him the benefit of doubt. He doesn’t seem like the rest of them; he seems different. You’re better than this and more than this. ”

 

But my head was saying, “Get a grip. Let’s review history, shall we? Guys never care about your feelings. Your job is to give. Their job is to take. They take what they want from you and leave when they’re satisfied. You’re only worth what you can do in bed. He doesn’t want you. Guys never do. They only want something to shove their dick in. And tonight, that’s going to be you.”

 

Ultimately, my head won. It had a point and a very long history to back it up. I refocused and steadied myself on my injured hands and wrists before slowly leaning down to kiss him. As I did, my hair slowly escaped the bundle I twirled it into. With each kiss, loose strands fell onto his face. As I shifted my weight to brush them away, I felt the warmth of his large hand graze my cheeks, pushing the strands back behind my ear before I could even reach them. It was the smallest gesture of kindness, but made me smile bigger than you could possibly imagine. I should have known then how sweet he was, but my thoughts got the best of me and pushed me to keep going.

 

At that moment, I thought I heard him say, “Give me head”. Instantly, I snapped out of my love struck daze like, “Yup, this seems more normal… Okay, big boy. Come on… Let’s get this over with.”

 

I pulled away from his lips and slid down his body to undo his pants. For some reason, I looked up at him and was met with eyes of slight nerves, but a willingness to continue. As my cast-covered arm fumbled to undo his pants, his hips rose, allowing me easier access to pull them down farther.

 

Once I had moved his boxers down low enough and saw his dick, I remember thinking, “HOLY HELL. Where exactly is that supposed to fit? Is this kid on CRACK!?!! Does he not see how small I am!? Fuck. Okay. Okay, girl. Breathe. It’ll be okay. Just go slow. Two broken wrists… we don’t need a broken jaw too…”

 

But my mouth was already watering and my cheeks were burning hot. The blood was rushing to my head and all I wanted was him.

 

What in the fek was happening to me?

 

I wrapped my dainty little hand around his cock and licked upwards from its base to the tip. From there, I swirled my tongue in little circles before it took on a mind of its own.

 

It had probably been over a year since I had been with anyone. Maybe even longer. Naturally, I was extremely self-conscious that my skills would be rusty and I wouldn’t be able to finish the job. Not to mention, trying to hold something so delicate with a rough cast AND somehow manage to be sexy was no easy challenge.

 

A pit formed in my stomach when I realized I didn’t hear any degrading comments or feel his hand on the back of my head to violently face fuck me. There was no violence at all, which was the only form of sexual pleasure I knew to expect in my life. To me, the absence of violence meant I wasn’t doing a good job.

 

Great… I knew I would fuck this up.

 

The second I really started to lose faith, he came in my mouth. There was no warning and no nothing except the best tasting cum I have ever had. It was like warm spurt after warm spurt and all I could think was, “MMM…Holy fuck, he cums hard”.

 

I made sure to lick up every drop of cum because wasting was no option. When I was finished cleaning him up, his face looked surprised at how much I enjoyed playing with him. But why the fuck wouldn’t I? If there was a purple drank equivalent for his cum, this was it.

 

After we had redressed and made our way back into our seats, I felt so much more relaxed. Like, okay, now I can breathe. It felt like when you’re in a school play and you just keep anxiously anticipating your role. The moment after it passes, you’re relieved. This was similar.

 

I got the naughty part out of the way, and that’s all he wanted. So I made sure that when we sat back in our seats I was sitting on HIS right this time, so I could at least hold his hand.

 

Much to my surprise, he still wanted to kiss me, even after knowing his cum was just in my mouth. And let me tell you, it was such a turn on. I loved how sexually adventurous and trusting he was. It made me like him even more.

 

With every positive thought came about 50 negative ones and I was wondering why he hadn’t left yet. This was a new concept… The guy got head and didn’t leave? Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but I was not used to it whatsoever.

 

Did he want something else? Did he want to go again? So fast??? Did I not get all the cum out the first time? I was confused to say the least and figured he was staying out of pity or to try to be a gentleman. Or maybe he couldn’t find his keys?

 

Then all my thoughts stopped again and I realized something.

 

His hands were sweaty; so sweaty, actually. Was he nervous?

 

He reached in his coat pocket, fumbled for a minute, and then pulled out a handful of something small. He started to say, “Do you want some Starbursts?,” as he proceeded to drop them all over the theater floor. I tried my best to help clean them up and spare him from any embarrassment. Plus, it was the cutest thing I had ever seen.

 

He told me his brother just had a party so he snagged a bunch of the party candy. I’m not sure why or how, but my whole heart smiled listening to him speak. And it smiled even bigger when he was preopening pink starbursts for me in efforts to help out my crippled little hands. I remember feeling surprised that he cared enough to take care of me; yet another first with a man.

 

Meanwhile, in the soul-crushing place that was my mind, I told myself to snap out of it because he was probably high and only brought starbursts to help a dry mouth or something dumb. Needless to say, I was conjuring up every excuse to doubt him. I just couldn’t fathom someone like him actually liking someone like me. I was so far out of my league that I was out on Neptune, camping with some Aliens.

 

When the movie was over, we got up to leave and I made sure not to hold his hand again. I knew my place. I knew better than to overstep. I knew this was just a onetime thing for him. It had to be. He went to Northeastern, 3+ hours away in Boston and I was going to remain in Wilton. I wasn’t anything special to him, just a girl from a hookup app. I knew better than to reach for that hand because I knew if I did, I would have the hardest time letting go.

 

I felt awkward walking out together. He was actually being nice and trying to talk to me. Like, okay, pal. You don’t have to do this… I get it. I’m used to this. You can save the nice guy act.

 

I was so taken back by his behavior that I think I stayed quiet for most of the time, figuring he was just trying to kill time. Nonetheless, I kept walking.

 

Once we got outside and headed to our cars, we realized they just so happened to be parked next to each other. For him, it didn’t seem to be a big deal. But for me, someone who doesn’t exactly know proper public dating protocol, it was a reason for the panic attacks to resume in full force.

 

What do I do? I said bye, gave a polite hug and wave, but he didn’t want to end the night there.

 

Again, this left me confused as fuck and uncomfortable. I didn’t know the rules or even the game we were playing. I didn’t know how to start a date and definitely didn’t know how to end one.

 

He stepped in closer to me, pressing me up against my car. The alarms in my head started ringing. My mental monologue was screaming, “Slow down! Slow! Slowww! I can’t think. My brain is mush. I don’t know what this is. You want to kiss me? IN PUBLIC? Where people can see you? And see me? Kissing? You want to kiss me with my messy make out hair and smudged makeup? Seriously? With my broken wrists?”

 

My mind couldn’t comprehend any of it.

 

Suddenly, I didn’t want to be under a street spotlight, kissing in the middle of a parking lot anymore. ….Maybe I was all talk after all.

 

I tried to hint that I’d rather make out in the car, so I could slink back to the comfort of darkness and reclaim my confidence. However, my attempts only came out as a coy and giggly, “Let’s get in the car.” I never properly explained myself, but to be fair, I don’t know that I even understood my own thoughts at the time. I was having a severe panic attack and couldn’t function. I was choking on words all because a guy I had just performed oral sex on wanted to make out with me. I KNOW, it sounds nuts.

 

I was so abused and neglected my whole life that at some point down the line, I brainwashed myself into believing that I actually liked the abuse so it would take the sting out of having to accept and cope with the fact that I was so unloved.

 

Receiving affection made me feel emotionally, psychologically, and physically uncomfortable. I remember being annoyed and upset, too. Like, can he stop? Can he just not do this and be a dick to me instead? I don’t like this game. How dare he be nice to me! What is his problem? Why is he acting so weird?

 

It felt like a sick game someone was playing on me. A game where the uber hot popular guy goes for the quiet dorky unnoticeable girl… Happy at first, until she realizes she’s the butt of a joke.

 

In my excessively warped mind, it was simple. Guys who liked me were mean to me. Edward was nice to me. Thus, Edward did not like me and my feelings were hurt because I liked him.

 

I wish I could have explained myself better then and every other moment it happened in our relationship, but I didn’t know how. We came from different worlds. I wasn’t some super hot confident blonde that he thought. No. My heart and soul had been brutally maimed far too many times over the years for that to be the case. What was left was a broken and shy little girl who had never experienced real love before.

 

The second we stepped out of that theater and into the light, it was like my mask came off. I was no longer the sexy brazen girl that gave him his first public blow job on the floor of a movie theater. Instead, I transformed into the timid little thing that was awkward to be around nice boys. The one who sought out abuse because it was her comfort zone.

 

The way his beautiful eyes would fixate on me with such an intense, yet playful, stare made me feel so vulnerable. It felt like his eyes pierced through me and could see my soul for all it was worth. Like I was standing completely naked in front of him, raw in every sense of the word, without a single corner of the earth to hide in. I was defenseless around him and I didn’t know how to handle it.

 

But exposing my soul wasn’t something I was ready to do with anyone, especially him. I couldn’t let him see me for who I really was. No one ever liked me for that. They only liked me when I was following orders and being submissive.

 

Hell, I didn’t even let me see myself. I was no longer a free spirit. My existence was rooted in the belief that I was an awful, ugly human inside and out. I thought if he saw the real me that he would never like me, and would definitely not love me. No one had ever loved me, at least not properly. So, why would he?

 

Rather than just being honest and asking him to slow down, the words that came out of my mouth were, “no” and “nuh uh”. Yet, he still kept trying to kiss me, showing off his hopeless romantic side. And I, melting at the heart, struggled to express myself because my mind was racing faster than I could keep up with.

 

I had this weird feeling to stay with him. These pings kept coming into my head that he would mean something significant to me. I couldn’t really tear myself from him. As much as I tried to, I wanted to stay- That night, and every night that followed.

 

I was creeping myself out so hardcore. I barely knew this guy. My head was saying, “Get the hell out now”, but my heart was saying, “Stay. You’ll relax soon.”

 

But I didn’t.

 

My panic attack led me to follow my head.

 

We said goodbye and both drove back to our own homes. I remember pulling out at the theater’s traffic light thinking I blew it and that he was never going to text me again. I comforted myself by saying it was for the best because he could never love someone like me. I wasn’t worthy.

 

The whole ride home, I tried to put him out of my mind and focus on the roads. As I pulled in the driveway, I was shocked to see a text from him already. No guy has ever texted me the same day after seeing me. I was both smitten and nervous, but I opened it.

 

He said he had a great time with me and wanted to hang out again.

 

I read it again.

 

And then I read it again and three times more.

 

Really? He had fun with me? But I was so frigid and wouldn’t kiss him.

 

I told myself he just wanted to fool around again. That was the only logical explanation I could think of because the basic fact that he liked me after that was impossible.

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