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troglodyte Sep 2015
Now I remember: the acrid whiskey in chipped
multi-colored coffee mugs, a knock-off
movie murmuring in the background,
the lot of us surrounded the smudged table
our bleary eyes focusing on our suites.

And now I remember the back room
where the makeshift **** was being passed,
and smoke slipped out of drunken mouths
like souls escaping
and my mouth felt like I had eaten desert sand.
The whiteness of the room was blinding,
and the flickering of the light
could be seen through my closed eyelids.

I remember the dingy couches,
all of them full of life but one seat,
the one beside me,
and He still hasn’t arrived.
The news of His arrival felt like
I had been punched a plethora of times.
The creamy taste of our peanut butter
sandwiches turned to bile.

The door littered one more being,
all heads turned. My hazy vision displayed
a shadowy figure; the lights flickered on
to brighten His face;
fingers slipped around my wrist; and then
I was removed from the boisterous room.

But I remember that my shoeless feet
couldn’t move fast enough to keep up with my friend;
he kept my head straight
while my knees wobbled,
and I stumbled through populated rooms
drinking flat coke to paint the color
back into my clammy face.

I remember voices coming closer,
until every single one of them-
including Him-
filled the room like a overstuffed stomach.
But my friend took my arm and pulled,
and the others gawked and cheered.

Now I remember: they thought we would ****.
Expecting eyes followed us,
but only to be disappointed by conversation
between two friends who shared a secret.
They did not bother asking why I cried
in the cloudy blue hallway-
they didn’t take a second glance.

No, I remember it all so clearly,
because I did not sip from those cracked mugs,
no, I sat under shuddering lights in
the musty back room.
I hadn’t even taken two hits
from the crinkled water bottle
before He walked in.

I remember the fire in His eyes
when our gazes met one anothers.
My whole being was a grenade,
and the sight of Him was
what pulled the invisible pin,
and at any moment I would explode.
I remember the way His lips upturned,
and the way His hands twitched,
as if He was ready to reach -
as if He was ready to touch -
but His hands never fumbled farther
than the small tear by
the pocket of His stained jeans.
I flinched when He turned around.

But I remember feeling as if I needed to apologize,
but I had nothing to apologize for.
But the odious cry from the kitchen stirred my insides,
and I couldn’t help but feel guilty-
I couldn’t help but feel like I was too hard,
but He deserved it all.
I was once a daisy-fresh girl.

Now I remember: my palms were too sweaty,
my mouth was too dry,
and the need for a drink left my throat coarse.
Heavy hands held mine to the kitchen,
and that’s where I saw Him glassy-eyed,
His mouth agape, His gaze dazed.

I remember the limp body leaning,
the way His arms dangled by His side,
as if they were swaying in a nonexistent breeze,
as if one blow and I could knock him over,
he was alive but it was like he was dead,
but I couldn’t find it in me to feel for a pulse,
I couldn’t find it in me to force my numb legs
to walk out of the room.

The last thing I remember was the walk
back to my house.
Unspoken words choked me,
leaving me gagging on frigid air.
My mother’s words resonated around me,
her warnings and concerns nipping my rosy cheeks.
Watch out for boys who touch you with ease.
My heart raced like a hummingbird’s wings
but my anxious hands stayed still
for the first time
since the last time.
troglodyte Sep 2015
The start of sophomore year.

Day one blew by like a summer zephyr.
The excitement of the beings filled the halls,
the smell of the over-sweaty high school kids
burned my nostrils,
and the cheers of friends reuniting
revererabted the cluttered yellow rooms.

Day two inched forward slowly,
testing my patience as I sat eagerly,
my small hands gripping my seat’s edge
until my knuckles turned white,
and my hands grew tired.
That second day was the worst day.

My feet could not move fast enough
as I raced to the front door of my third home.
The coolness of the grass felt nice
against the blistering heat of the sun.
I did not look behind me while I reached,
grasping the metal handle in my hand,
and pushing the door open to go inside.

I hardly sat down on my disheveled bed
before I received a text message.
The boy down the road’s name
flashed across my screen,
and I opened it without hesitation,
without holding my breath,
because this boy was my good friend.

Four words, texted in small font,
the black letters harsh against the white background.
Four words, not directly spoken,
but over my outdated phone.
Four words, those four words that
I should have declined when I first got them.

As innocent as the message was,
it left me feeling both like I was weightless
and that the whole world was crushing me.
The simultaneous bittersweetness settled
in the pit of my empty stomach.
Nervous hands responded but anxious feet
managed to move without thought.
I think I ran there.

The scent of dog wasn’t hard to perceive
when the door flew open, and there He was.
I had to look up to meet His gaze,
His dark eyes were soft, His skin fair.
His black hair curled around His face
and His dark scruff stayed neatly in place.
This was His last friendly smile to me.

The honey in His voice left me senseless.
It was sweet and kind, like His stiff gestures,
His large hands were tense, always fidgeting.
His eyes weren’t focused on the television
while we sat on the corduroy couch,
but the hem of my denim dress
that fell just above my legging-clad legs.
This left me overwrought with both curiosity
and fear.

The gentle air from His lips touched my neck,
and where I should have flinched, I froze.
The air grew warmer, nearer, but I grew colder,
more frightened than agog.
Then His hand touched my leg gently, as if that would
hush the feeling in my gut.

Those hands were quick, like callused demons,
Trailing up my thigh in what felt like a second
and a year, all at once.
His hand stopped abruptly mid stroke,
looking at me with those once soft eyes,
but they weren’t gentle anymore,
they held longing, no, hunger.
Hunger I have never seen before,
like He was ready to consume my whole being.
And I hardly got my breath back before those hands
continued to slide up,
leaving a trail of goosebumps behind Him.

Another pause - deep breath.
As He questioned me, I questioned myself.
What if I touched you there, He inquired.
I wondered how long I would have to hold my breath
before I would pass out.
He waited for a response, but none came out.
I opened my mouth to speak, but only to taste the stale air
before I closed it again.
I closed it, not because I was a coward,
but because if I would have spoken,
I would have vomited all over Him.
Oh god, I wish I would have opened my mouth.

Fast forward to November.
troglodyte Sep 2015
My aged mother has warned me about things -
things every mother tell their blossoming daughters.
Do not lie, she always says,
her eyes hard, her lips thin,
her forehead wrinkled from her furrowed brow,
a look I will never forget-
a look that says “I know theses things for a reason.”

I never listened closely to her words
until I met Him.
I find out everything, she threatens.
Growing up, she never let me
stay at my friend’s who had older brothers.
It was foreign to me, to grow up that way,
so I grew to resent those rules.
So I picked up the habit of lying.

I wish I would’ve held onto her words.
It became an everyday thing,
to lie about where I was going.
Her parent’s are coming to get me,
I would say before I would walk
to the house that ruined me.
It wasn’t her house.

After all these years of my mother’s
warnings and words,
I found out what she meant.
That day, on His couch, I understood.
Although she never truly said it,
I knew she was right.

I grasped at those words,
I remember my trembling hands
itching at them -
they are fire in my throat,
I could not breathe until I freed myself,
but being free took too long,
that I thought if I would spend another minute,
another second - I would pass out.
Growing paler, the flame that kissed my mouth
shot from my lips,
and there laid the heavy words
my mother never said.

Something inside me in killing me,
it feels like an abundance of knives are stabbing me,
while something in gnawing, devouring my insides.
How cold were those unfamiliar hands,
I could not feel them on my body. I could not

feel. All those distractions were for a reason.
I wanted to feel loved.
I found love in the darkest places. The darkest

was His house. It was broad daylight.
He promised to never hurt, to never make it uncomfortable.
I was uncomfortable before I arrived.
The couch was lifeless, but His hands were not, no-
His hands were alive against my ailing skin.
I was not alive. I think

I had died. My whole body felt lamented.
His hands tore at expensive fabric,
His hands clutched at juvenile underwear.
Nothing in between these white walls
had color except the red
of my wrists after he grabbed me.

I didn’t find love there.
I did not find love anywhere.
I found a child forced to grow,
to learn her mistakes. She had to

leave the last years of childhood,
to a man who did not want her,
but her growing body.
She had to pick herself back up.
She still sees Him everyday. He

smiles. He’s not a man. He smiles.
And I will never forget him.
And I will never forget him.
And I will never forget him,
and he hasn’t forgotten me.

— The End —