You thought your birthday gift was funny. What you really gave him was permission to pressure me.
You were there that night.
The night of the Very Bad Thing.
It was his birthday.
He had a few friends over to stay the night at his mom’s.
It was a trailer, like yours, but smaller. Crowded.
He had two siblings, I think. A younger brother and sister. Their bedroom was so crowded.
The whole place just had stack and piles everywhere. You had to climb and step over things, turn sideways to get around the columns of stuff.
His mom and stepdad had the bedroom with the only bathroom in the place.
I had to go in there in the middle of the night, feet from where they were sleeping and snoring, to pee.
Maggie didn’t spend the night.
You brought her for the little party with homemade pizza and cake. I helped make them.
You gave him a stuffed Elephant. His nickname was Ellie. Because he had a big penis.
I think he gave the nickname to himself. You used to laugh about that, about Ellie.
And how I was scared of it.
I was scared.
I was scared of him.
You also gave him a bottle of lotion and a box of tissues.
It was a huge joke.
He needed those things. Because I didn’t put out.
You laughed. Maggie laughed. He laughed.
It was so funny.
He used that against me. That night.
See, he’d say. They feel sorry for me. Because you don’t put out.
He used to tell me I “gave” him blue balls.
Because I liked making out.
but that’s all I liked.
I was 14.
We would make out, and he would get turned on.
I would turn him on.
It was mean of me to do that to him and then not want to “take care” of him.
See, he’d say.
You’re supposed to.
I shouldn’t need tissues and lotion.
Your gift to him was sympathy.
Here. Because your girlfriend doesn’t put out.
WE WERE 14!
You fucking bitch.
Ha, ha. You all laughed.
Poor Jason has to take care of himself.
Ha, ha. Shay’s scared of his dick.
What was I supposed to do?!
I WAS 14!!
Did you think a 14-year-old should be giving handjobs?
I WAS 14!
I hated you, then.
I always had.
You were the “cool” mom. But to me, you were cruel.
You were Maggie’s best friend.
But we needed moms.
I needed a mom.
A mom who says it’s OK to make out, if that’s what your body wants to do. And it’s OK to not want to do things your body isn’t ready for.
Your 14-year-old body. Your 14-year-old mind.
When we were 12, Maggie and I got called to the principal’s office about a letter. It had the word ‘slut’ in it. I wrote it.
I told my mom I didn’t. That I didn’t know what it meant.
Maggie told you the same thing.
You were pissed, I think.
You talked to my mom.
You were both concerned about us using that language. About us being mean.
Two years later, you were mocking me with a box of tissues and a bottle of lotion.
See, he said.
I was 14.
Shay Castle is journalist, blogger and sexual-assault survivor. She chronicles her life and ongoing recovery at This Is Why I Cheat.
This article was originally published at This Is Why I Cheat. Reprinted with permission from the author.