We met when

I was nineteen. 

My best friend and I drove to a nearby city for a concert because we had a car and the means. He was in one of the bands and he noticed me. That’s every girl’s dream, right? A boy in a band who has a handful of groupies and yet, he notices you. But he was a man with a lot of pent up everything – an addictive personality, and not a single clue of what the word “no” meant.

Sometimes I think I wasn’t vocal enough, that I let him live in a lie that may have felt so real to him that he had no idea I felt abused the whole time; that maybe he thought we were in tip-top shape because I couldn’t help but keep my mouth shut. But then I also think that he claimed he loved me, so how could he have not noticed?

The honeymoon phase came and went, and exhaustion towards something I didn’t want set in – but I loved him, so I played a role that kept me around. How could I not? No one would “ever love me the way he did,” from what he believed.

One night, he wanted to have sex and I didn’t want to, and I wasn’t hiding it. I’d grown good at being “tired because of work” when I was really just tired from living. He told me that if we didn’t have sex then we might as well just be friends, or I didn’t love him, or I was boring, and annoying – synonyms. So I took off my pants. I engaged. I kissed. I stroked. I moaned. I did the noises and motions for a man that only wanted me for that, because the sooner he came, the sooner it was over with. If I did that, he wouldn’t go out till 4 a.m., he wouldn’t take a Percocet, he wouldn’t yell at me, he wouldn’t guilt trip me for the next week. 

But, he had trouble getting off that night, which wasn’t uncommon either. Most other nights he’d expect an hour-long hand job because if I didn’t get him off, then I didn’t care about him. 

In a vivid moment, I was on top of him and I wasn’t comfortable anymore. I was dry and burning and being rubbed raw because maybe if he shoved me down harder or faster onto him, that would make him hard again, that would make him cum. I fought back tears as long as I could to avoid the fight, the unavoidable conversation of not doing enough to please him. And then I couldn’t. I jolted straight up and said simply, “It hurts.” He smacked his lips and said, “Just two more minutes,” and put pressure onto my hips. I repeated myself, trying to ignore the discomfort of his hands, his eyes, and the screaming between my legs. 

He harshly moved my body off of his, pushing me onto the mattress next to him, and stared at the ceiling, glossy-eyed, angry. I said I was sorry. He said, “Can you at least get me off?” I slumped, looked at him, now soft, and said, “Okay.” 

Now stroking him, limp and unchanging, I sat there feeling lifeless, criss-cross applesauce, fixed on getting this over with. He eventually looked at me again, did a once over of my body and said, “Stop sitting like that, you don’t look sexy.” So, I fixed my posture. He said, “Spread your legs,” so I did. Then his right hand was inside of me before I could communicate an already communicated no. I yelped and grabbed his wrist, “It hurts, you can’t.” 

“Come on, I’ll be gentle.”

“It hurts, you can’t.”

He dropped his hand and rolled his eyes, so I dropped mine. “What are you doing?” I thought it was done, I thought the moment was over, I thought I could go sit on a cold compress while I pretended to shower. “I’m not done yet,” so I kept going, and when he finally got to the climax of his night, he shoved his fingers back inside of me, and I bit through my lip. 

He had me clean his chest. 

I couldn’t wear underwear or tight-fitted pants for three days. 

We broke up almost two years ago. He recently got a hold of me through a loophole I didn’t catch to let me know that he’s doing so much better, he’s really taking care of himself and he apologizes for, “Whatever he did to me.” 

Whatever he did to me.