Now I Laugh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is about self strength.

We walked down the dirt path. The water was gray and there was a winter breeze that brought the smell of rain. The air was damp and maple leaves stuck to our shoes .I crossed my arms, hiding my heart because I could have sworn he could see it beating. I bit my lip and watched my feet move aimlessly. I couldn't look at him. I didn't know why I was there. He did. On second thought, I knew. I was just still too much of a little girl to come to grips with it. Somehow it stung. The thought that a guy wanted to have sex with me bit at something inside and made me hurt. We stopped walking and a breeze blew my hair around. A thick strand landed in my mouth. It tasted like tangerines, it tasted like he smelled.
He was a part of me.
I loved him.
But I was so scared.
Did I love him enough to give him me? I stared at my working boots. Covered in reds and oranges. I wasn't ready. But I had told him. And I couldn't back down. And, gathering all of my worries, my insecurities, and my fears...basically my childhood, I pushed my doubts from my mind. I was here because at some point I had wanted to be...I wasn't a quitter. I wasn't going to leave now.
I looked up at him.
His eyes were dark. warm and inviting, He was ready. my Mind reeled as he put his hands on my waist and drew me closer. What am I doing? Of course he's ready, he's a guy! He's been ready since like twelve! But what about me! Doesn't he even care how I feel? Does he care that I'm scared? I began to tremble in his arms and he stopped kissing me. My cheeks burned with humiliation and my insecurities and from the biting cold that seemed to be spilling down my throat and freezing me inside. I covered his mouth with mine again to keep the cold out.
But it was already there and it was too late. I made up my mind. I was ready. If he could be ready, I could be ready too.
I looked up at him.
He pressed his forehead against mine and wrapped my shivering body in his arms and coat. But his warmth seemed trivial now, almost silly. Awkward. Like a kitten's cuteness, something you know will go away so you better enjoy it now. And people do. But for some reason the fact that he was so warm while I shivered struck me as ironic. I shook my head and pressed cheek against his chest. His sweatshirt's zipper cut my cheek. It stung.
"Are you ready for this?" He whispered into my ear. And as I nodded I felt like I'd given up on a piece of me. I was ready. I was going to do this. I was ready. I was. And as I nodded I realized I didn't know what being ready was.
"I told you I am." I pointed out. "And I am going to."
I looked up at him.
I had decided. I was going to give away a part of me. A piece of my soul. Well, I had promised. I can still back out! C'mon, get the hell out of here! What are you DOING? Who are you anyway! My self was turning on my self and I didn't know who I was...and what I was doing...why I was doing it..why I even considered it...I didn't know.
So I did what any other insecure teenage girl would do in the face of pressure. I caved.
I gave myself away in the dirty stall of a boy's bathroom. The only one with a door. Sort of.
I gave a piece of me to a guy who won't remember my name in twenty years and who will probably stop "liking" me in about two months. I gave myself away.
I grabbed my purse up from the bathroom floor and pulled my coat back on.
I zipped it tightly and folded my arms again.
This time it was to hide my heart, because I wasn't sure that it was still beating. I could only hope...
That stupid smile on his face...killed me. He was so pleased. So happy.
He put a lazy arm around my stiff shoulders and squeezed lightly.
"Thanks." He said. He laughed. The sound echoed and rang in my ears. Shrill and nasty. He had taken a piece of me. All he said was thanks. A piece of me.
I gave myself up in the dirty stall of a boy's bathroom. Now there was one more piece of junk on the bathroom floor, one more teenage girl with a broken more.
I was used, I was not loved…barely even liked. I was not who I had ever wanted to be. Anger...white hot anger...licked my insides like fire and I knew it was time to leave.
My blood rushed to my head and my heart beat deafened me and my hands curled into fists. Without knowing why, or how, he fell to the bathroom floor and looked up at me.
He looked at me. Finally looked at me. In my eyes. Past my eyes and into what was left of my soul. He knew. Then he knew. What he had done.
"I’m sorry?" He put his fingers to his jaw, where the sharp imprints of my knuckles were already blossoming green and purple. I wanted to laugh. At least I had gotten that much accomplished. Call it the price he had to pay for the bit of me he took. I turned away from him and let my hands slide into my pockets. I knew now that I didn't need to hide my heart. It was mine and I was capable of protecting it.
I looked away from him. Past him.
I left him on the floor.
In the stall.
Of the boy's bathroom.
Where I lost a piece of myself...and realized that I knew and had known all along. Maybe I didn't lose myself after all.
Not entirely.

Submitted: May 20, 2010

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