Everything happened so fast, and I feel as if I have to tell it because I don’t know how long I’ll be here and I’m the only one who knows my side. Once I’m gone, no will ever know what happened, or at least what I saw happen.
We were inseparable. She was in love with me and I loved her because she loved me. She wanted me everywhere with her, shamelessly, enthusiastically, she wanted to experience every part of life with me right there with her.
We would lay in bed for hours with music or movies playing in the background and she’d hold me, facing me, looking at me and getting to know every curve and freckle, every hair and facial expression, what I looked like when I was asleep, what I looked like when I woke up, what I looked like when I daydreamed. And then she would kiss me again and I’d feel everything all at once: joy, sorrow, anxiety, pleasure, love, and suffering. It was still so overwhelming to love something so much and not know if I truly wanted it or how long the world would let me have it.
It seemed too good to be true, for someone to love me as much as she seemed to. We were young; I was 17 years old and she was 16. Was it a game we were playing, or was it real? Were we really in love? I had never been in love and had someone love me back, so I wasn’t sure. I just wanted the feeling to last forever. The euphoria, the carelessness, the seeming freedom from doubt, but then she hit me with reality. I wasn’t in my glass case anymore, so I couldn’t daydream the way everything went, they just happened as they do.
I want to call you my Girlfriend, she said over the phone. It dropped a boulder on my chest and I couldn’t breathe. We can’t. I don’t think I can. My parents, they own me, they would never let me, it would ruin this, it would ruin everything. I want it to stay here, behind closed doors where we are safe, from other’s eyes, from other’s hate, where we can love freely. We were too young, too vulnerable; they could take her from me, and me from her, and I’d have to go back to the glass case. I couldn’t bear to go back, not after I’ve felt so much. Are you ashamed of me, she asked. Absolutely not. I’m afraid. My life does not belong to me. I have to follow the rules or I’ll be put back, because things don’t work out like I wish them to, so I have to be careful. I’m not saying no, I’m saying not yet. Give me time, this is new and I’m afraid. I only want you, but I don’t know how. I don’t know how to do this, I’m just a child. She was angry. We said our goodbyes for the night and then we hung up.
And here is where the romance ends and the nightmare begins.
The whole night, I felt incredibly guilty. I knew that she loved me and I loved her, but I wasn’t ready to tell people. What if someone told my parents? What if people disowned me? What if all of my friends and family abandoned me? I was so afraid. It wasn’t Ok back then, if anyone found out, I knew that something awful would happen and it would all come to a tragic end. I couldn’t sleep. I loved her and I knew I had hurt her, even though I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t about her, it was about them. I was weak, I had lived in that glass case for so long, I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. My phone rang. It was around 11pm and it was her. I answered and she was drunk. She had gone to a party with her friends, she had so many friends and I admired her for it. She was telling me about the party and she had just come back downstairs from being with a boy. What? Yeah, she said, he took me upstairs and we hooked up, and she described what he did. Why, why would you do that, I asked as I felt everything inside me melt into slush. What difference does it make, she said, you’re not my girlfriend.