When I was 14, I thought I found the man of my dreams. He was older, of course. Five years older. Let’s call him “Smokes”. See, Smokes was that tall dark and handsome guy that would make all your friends jealous. He played rugby and basketball, and he worked out so ohhhh man, was he smoking hot!! Smokes and I knew each other from when we were young(er), he was best friends with my best friend’s older brother. I moved away from that neighbourhood.
After 7 years of not seeing each other, we reconnected instantly running into each other randomly at some mall. The age gap was weird at first, but we just worked. I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend back then so I kept him a secret, telling only my closest friends about him. Smokes was such a good boyfriend. He was affectionate and sweet, I knew he loved me. He told me all the time. He would tell me how beautiful I was, how smart and different I was from girls he’s dated. He always got me nice gifts, expensive perfumes, money for lunch, and makeup. I was spoiled, and I wasn’t complaining.
See, we didn’t come from a good neighbourhood, we didn’t grow up in a picture perfect family. No. Especially not Smokes. He was 19 when I started dating him, I had just started high school. I was not completely ignorant but dating him made me aware of a whole other world. He was in and out of trouble in those 7 years I wasn’t with him. He picked up habits like hustling to make money. Listen, when I moved away, my parents got stricter, but my values also started to change. I went to church, a youth group, I had good friends that knew nothing of this world or that I even had a foot in it.
Smokes was 19, has dated other girls, has been through the mill, he knows what he wants. Me? I’m 14, I cried when I found out my closest friend lost her virginity. I thought she had just sold her soul. Smokes wanted more from the relationship, I wasn’t ready. One night we went to a party, as we often did. Popular guy, I guess…
I only ever started drinking when I went out with him, but of course I played it cool. We’ve been dating for maybe 8 months at this point and have been to countless little get togethers, because apparently there’s nothing better to do than get drunk once you’re legal. The night just began and people were rolling in, I had a red cup in hand taking little sips of this beer that tasted like piss. Ew.
One girl came up to me and asked if Smokes was with me. She was so clearly intoxicated. Could barely even hold herself up. I said yeah, as I looked up at him from across the room talking to some guy that looked familiar. Smokes and I weren’t always together at parties, which was fine. This is when I learned to be more confident and outgoing, I was reaaally shy growing up. Quiet as a mouse. The party dragged on and honestly I was so bored, I wasn’t any good at beer pong, I hated beer, alcohol tasted like acid. I remember that because that night I just didn’t want to drink. Smoke noticed that so when he saw me sitting alone, he handed me a red cup casually and tipped his drink to touch my cup (cheers).
It was then that the girl from earlier just strutted straight towards me and spit in my face. She started yelling, a lot of it I couldn’t make out and honestly just can’t even remember. What I remembered was her hand slapping me across the face.
I don’t take shit from anyone. I am the youngest one there, but I took martial arts for years and I had quite a temper so you could imagine how things went down after… let’s just say my foot somehow got wedged between her neck and her jawline. Smokes carried me off her some time after that. We sat and I drank maybe a few sips of that thing he gave me. He was drunk and tired so I was going to tuck him into bed, I was still mad from that girl spitting in my face. I remember walking up the stairs, and the rest was a blur. Completely erased from my memory as if I blacked out, but I didn’t really drink. I wasn’t even tipsy before that.
I just woke up the next day, extremely thirsty, confused, and frustrated. Smokes had dropped me home, it was a Sunday. I spent the afternoon in church with my mom. and went straight to bed until the next morning. As I slept, I had dreams about what happened during that time I couldn’t remember. I put Smokes on the bed, kissed a little. He started to undress me, I pushed away… then it was all black again. The next memory that came up was of that girl. She came rushing in, she shoved clothes in my hands. My clothes? And she put me in the next room, I was alone. I think I went to sleep after that.
I woke up, went to school. It was first period, I had science as home room. I was in grade 10 now, with my future best friends sitting on either side of me. I wasn’t feeling good so I went to the washroom. As I wiped, I realized I got my period. The blood was light in colour and not heavy. I wasn’t bleeding the next day.
I’ve denied it for years, but I think all along I knew what happened. I just never wanted to think it, never wanted to say it out loud, but looking back…. I understand everything now.