I went back to Bad Boy’s place after the New Year’s Eve party and we enjoyed spending what was left of the night together.
Empty house. Wake up in his parents’ bed to glorious sunshine through white curtains. I’m still a little giddy from the night before. No one knows where I am or how to find me, and the feeling of dropping off the face of the earth is a freedom so foreign as to be thrilling.
I had to share it with someone so I called my friend, Buddy. Buddy was… unimpressed. It seems that Buddy had been patiently waiting for me to go out with him and, when I’d told him that Small Town and I had split, he figured it was his turn. I don’t know whether he was more pissed off at Bad Boy for jumping the queue or at me for letting him.
Bad Boy was about a year younger than me and still in high school. He was an artist (with some talent I think) and interested in music though not musical. We liked a lot of the same bands, but always different songs.
I think it was about a month and a half before we slept together. I don’t remember when he started pressuring me for sex, or what he said; I didn’t like it but it became ‘normal’. I went on the pill for him.
He didn’t give compliments. Feeling insecure and seeking reassurance, I once asked him if he thought I was pretty. He responded by asking if I thought he was good looking, and I said yes, not knowing where this was leading. He said that good looking people tend to be attracted to each other, and therefore if I thought he was good looking, I must be too. This convoluted logic didn’t make me feel any better about myself.
He had an aversion to body hair and I didn’t shave my legs so he nagged me about it. I finally told him that I’d shave my legs if he shaved his first. And then he did. I felt honor-bound to follow through on my end of the bargain.
In early July, we went out of town to go to a bush party he’d heard about. I ran into Racquet, whom I had known (and had a crush on) in high school. Bad Boy had, somehow, pissed off some people he didn’t even know. (He had a knack for this. On another occasion, he managed to piss off some strangers at a donut shop.) Ordinarily I would have kept my yap shut but I had a bit of a buzz going, so I came to his (verbal) defence and got a beer poured over my head for my trouble. We high-tailed it back to the vehicle with a bunch of people following us; he got his door closed but someone was holding mine open and I got booted in the head. Somehow we got my door closed and fucked off out of there.
Soon after this party gone wrong, Bad Boy had the clever idea that I should get in touch with Racquet to see if I could find out who it was that had hassled him and kicked me. Bad Boy and I ‘took a break’, in part because he wanted me to do this silly detective work with some distance between us: he thought that Racquet might be friends with the people we were trying to identify and would be more forthcoming if Bad Boy and I weren’t dating.
So, I started hanging out with Racquet. There was probably some flirting. The thrill of the chase was tempered with some residual loyalty to Bad Boy.
A sunny summer day and a pleasantly cool basement room, surprisingly well-lit. I’m wearing a little summer dress. He wants to give me a massage, I lay face-down on his bed. I used to want him, but I don’t need him now. I’m in a powerful place. We kiss.
And that was about it, really. It never went anywhere.
(Racquet tracked me down many years later, which involved a long-distance call to my grandmother, and eventually confessed that he thought of me as “the one that got away”.)