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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

It was a crazy night. My first best friend Kim, and my old best friend at the time, Shannon, and I all went to our first big Guavaween (a Halloween, pirate-themed Mardi Gras celebration) in Ybor together. We dressed up as cops, thanks to my handcuff obsession, and homemade our outfits that year. It was the first time I really showed skin and oh dear did I learn the desire of my body. 
We were not dumb girls, we got our drinks directly from our bartender and never put them down and I’ll add that by 22 years old (2006) I had already built a tolerance to drinking and I knew myself drinking, yet I became PLASTERED out of nowhere. I honestly do not remember much, which clearly tells me drugs were involved, but my friends were literally carrying me and holding me up when they could, around this two story nightclub. 
The worst part was the end of the night, luckily I was walking on my own by then, but my car keys (me always the driver) were missing. Later on this would all prove to be NOT a coincidence, but the club told me I could not search for my keys until after they closed.
Oddly enough, I was told I had to come by myself into the club to look for my keys. As suspicious as this was, looking back at everything now, we girls obliged and I went in with one of the (large) bouncers. I remember him trying to grab on my skort, on my butt, as we walked into the club with his arm around me. I kept wiggling away, but I was more concerned about my keys. Unfortunately, we looked up and down stairs of the place and my keys were no where to be found. 
I ended up calling my parents and my dad drove to Ybor with the spare set of keys. I was sober from being drugged by then. I remember sitting by my car, on the ground, between other cars, as we girls waited on my dad. I also remember as I felt better and better and I knew I have never felt quite like that before... 
PART || 
I don’t recall who I gave my number to at the club, but later on, someone found my missing keys - it seemed like a miracle. I had a lot of cute keychains and the person described my butterflies and more to a tee. Shannon and I went to a mall in Brandon the Tampa area to meet up with the guy to get my keys. He had specific instructions, of even where in the mall to wait for him - more red flags coming, if I were me now. The meeting place was open, yes, too open. 
Shannon and I went and sat at a random bench in a crowded mall. We waited for what seemed like forever. We contacted the number, etc. but nothing. It was the strangest thing, all I can assume from this is the person from the club, who must have at least seen my keys, wanted to see me there out in public? Anything could have happened, again, but at least it was public. 
I can’t believe it, but from the time I ordered my drink, it all had to have been a plan. I got lucky. This time, anyway. I wish I had paid more attention here and learned how much my body was going to mean to so many guys... it’s TWISTED - my health inside and my body outside, used for this, were my themes in life; however, I refuse to let that continue. 
I feel physically ill lately, but I’m pushing myself more than ever to get out of bed. That simple task makes me feel more alive compared to spending all day in pain in bed, if I can help it. Once I reach my goal weight, anyone can ogle, but I’m playing smarter. I will be in tune with the signs when someone is trying to use me. We must look out for ourselves, we must love ourselves, and it’s always good to have others who have our backs - even if it does not last with all of those people. 
I’m starting to believe some people are only meant to be temporary in our life and for a reason. And maybe some situations are just a lesson. 

Submitted: October 22, 2021

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