When I was 17 I began to erase myself. I was a spineless coward for not calling her my Girlfriend and I deserved the punishment she gave me. I decided that my own decisions led to pain, so it was better that I let her mold me into what she wanted. I didn’t know what made me happy, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or act. They didn’t teach me, I grew up in a glass case. I shaved my arms and it made her mad. Be who you are. So I let them grow out and she told me to shave them again. So I did.
She listened to emo music and I hated it. But I listened. I learned all the songs and went to concerts with her and pretended. I watched her be the life of the party everywhere. Everyone was her friend. Everyone loved her. It was better to be like her than to be myself. Nobody liked me.
Hold my hand, she’d say. And I would. Let go, someone’s looking, she’d say. And I would. Those boys like you, she’d say, stay away from them. And I would. I’m going to drink with the boys, she’d say, stay home. And I would. Wear some make up, she’d say. And I would. You look too slutty, she’d say, take it off. And I would.
Why do you hang out with those boys all the time? She asked. They’re my friends. They’re not your friends, she said, boys only like you because they want to Fuck you. So I avoided the boys and I lost my friends.
Why don’t you tell your friends and family about us, she said, you’re ashamed. That’s not it, no, my family is different, I said. They can’t know here, things won’t be ok if they do. She didn’t believe me. I felt guilty. So I told them. I gathered every ounce of strength inside me and I told them.
And everything was taken from me. Promise us you will never tell your sisters. “Ok” I said as I sobbed into my pillow, the Spongebob pillow she gave me that still smelled like her. They took my car and my phone and sent me to a priest. I wasn’t allowed in a room alone without them there to watch me, to make sure I didn’t try to talk to her, to see her.
The last time I talked to her, I told her I had told them. Why would you do that? she asked. I was confused. Wasn’t this what you wanted. They made us all meet: me, her, her parents and my parents. You can never see or speak to each other again they said. And she stormed off to her her room and I was left alone with a pair of miserable parents. That night my father came in my room and sobbed at the foot of my bed.
God bless the priest they sent me to. He told them that they were overreacting. I was a good kid, they should trust my decisions, is what he told them. (He died a few years back, and I cried when I heard). So they decided to let us see each other again, after a week of no contact. I was overjoyed to see her again.
What did you do that night they took us apart? I sobbed myself to sleep in that Spongebob pillow you gave me, what did you do?
She answered, I got drunk with my friends that night and ended up making out with Bobby. I thought I was never going to see you again.