Sometimes it’s the boy next door. Sometimes it’s someone else. The relationships we have when we are too young to know better can set the stage for who and how we love the rest of our lives. Time can blur the focus of the memory, or sharpen it with perspective. Please join me in welcoming Kelly from the blog Queen of Evil as we look back on what was, and what might have been. ~ TSH
My first “relationship” was a doozy. The kind you might want to be able to tell your mother about, but you can’t. Or you don’t. I couldn’t. My mother wasn’t the kind to handle it well – it was always easier to keep it to myself. The guy was older than me. We started talking when I was 13 and continued for three years. Initially he told me he was 18, but I always suspected he was much older than that. I honestly don’t know. I’m not sure how much of what I did know was true. I know that he was a very bad guy, involved in some very bad stuff. And that I was lucky to get out relatively unscathed.
I was a mystery he couldn’t solve. I was quiet, shy, and liked books over people. I was even a little sheltered. By all indications, I should have been eager to please, easily manipulated, easy to control. I was just the opposite. I realize now that things he did were constant tests. Trying to get me to break. Testing me to see my reactions. He could never figure me out no matter how hard he tried.
Every day freshman year, as soon as my feet hit the bottom of the steps into the cafeteria, the pay phone would ring. I pretty much spent every lunch period on the phone with him. He always knew exactly when I arrived. He could tell me every detail of what I had done that particular day, which should have freaked me out. But it didn’t.
His calls were unpredictable, by design. One day he would be sweet, then next cold. He would mention our future and then tell me he wouldn’t call me again. He would mention other girls. I guess he was trying to see how I would respond – I never cared. I still had a conversation, I even let him dictate the tone. Initially, he spoke with an English accent. I assume he thought it was charming. It probably was. When I started asking him questions about where he was from and where he had lived, he didn’t have answers. He finally admitted he did it just for fun. I was the first one to figure it out. He didn’t like that. He stepped up the game.
He had the other girlfriends call me. Sometimes they would be friendly and sweet, and other times they would be psycho crazy, threatening to beat me up. I never had a problem talking to them. If they were nice, we’d talk about mundane stuff. About him, about school, about music. If they were being crazy, I’d tell them that they could have him, I wasn’t keeping them apart. Hell, I rarely even saw the guy. He kept coming back to ME, not the other way around. I never chased him. That really pissed them off. But no one ever actually tried to attack me.
We only saw each other about a dozen times over a three year period. He was my first. I think he liked the idea that I was a virgin and he was taking that from me. I was fourteen. It was uneventful. It was just my body, it wasn’t my mind.
He told me several times over those three years that no one left him. No one broke up with him. HE decided when it was over. HE made the decision when things were done.
He was always trying to get me high. Sometimes it was pot, sometimes it was other things. I always refused. It pissed him off that he couldn’t make me. That’s honestly why I started smoking. He was fine with me getting high, but he was adamant that I not smoke cigarettes. So, me being me, I picked up that nasty little habit really fast. For spite. And there was nothing he could do about it. Except watch.
Once, he picked up my best friend and me and took us back to the house. He left her downstairs and took me upstairs to his bedroom. Again, uneventful. To be honest, it was kind of a disappointment. He was a lights off kind of guy. He left me to get dressed and went downstairs. He was gone for a while. I got curious. I snuck down and found that he had backed my friend into a corner in the dark living room, and was putting his hands on her. Coercing her. That shit was NOT cool. He could do whatever he wanted with me, but he would not paw at my friend like that. I made a noise so he knew I was in the stairwell. He sort of walked/tugged her toward the stairwell, and I totally lost it. I told him that if he EVER laid a hand on my friend again I would fuck him up. We fought, verbally, all the way back up the stairs.
That was the only time he ever laid a hand on me in violence. He shoved me and I went backwards down the stairs. It didn’t even register because I was so fucking furious at him. I tucked and rolled and then jumped up and charged back up the stairs at him, screaming. I got a few good licks in too. I know I got him once on the chin hard enough so snap his jaw shut with a clack.
What I learned that night was that, in his way, he now respected me. And he was also a little scared of me. Somehow the balance of power had shifted and I had the control. I don’t think he ever understood how he let that happen.
When I turned sixteen, my best friend threw me a surprise Sweet 16 party. He found out about it and showed up, uninvited. It was awkward and uncomfortable and everyone was terrified of him. I was just embarrassed. He spent most of the party out back, making out with one of the party guests behind the tool shed, and I spent it on the front porch, chain smoking and waiting for my crush to show up. So I could tell him to leave, ASAP. Which I did. Mainly because I didn’t want the drama. But that was the night I decided I was done.
I looked him straight in the eye, and I told him I was done. I didn’t want to see him anymore, or speak to him anymore, ever again. And then I ripped the chain off his neck that he had taken from me a couple of years earlier and always wore, like a trophy. I tucked it into my pocket, told him to back the fuck off, and walked away. I wasn’t scared, but I was ready for something to happen. I didn’t figure he’d let me walk away unscathed. But he did. Or so I thought.
For the next three years, he continued his random phone calls to friends, and following anyone I dated. He would have the other girlfriends call any guy that showed interest in me, and have them talk shit about me and threaten them if they didn’t leave me alone. It worked on some. One was actually run off the road a few times. And he continued to have me watched. I would find cigarette butts in the bushes at the edge of the yard, near the fence. Every now and then someone would mention that they had heard from him.
Then, one day, it stopped. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead. I am a little unnerved at the thought that someone will read this and know who I am talking about. That he might find out. I realize that luck was definitely on my side. It really is nothing short of a miracle that he didn’t hurt me, very badly. I am lucky that I walked away.
Sometimes I will have a dream and he will be in it. I don’t like it when that happens. Dreams have power. Words have power, too. I haven’t spoken his name in 25 years.
I am lucky that I walked away.
Kelly is a wife and mom and somewhat responsible adult. She lives in Tennessee, has a troubling affection for glam metal and uses sarcasm liberally. You can find her tales of adventure and intrigue as The Queen of Evil on Facebook , on the blog she often forgets she has , and on Twitter were she never tweets because she still can’t get past her passive aggressive feelings about it