The Kiss: Cause and Effect

He towered over me at six foot four.

He and his two best friends could often be found in the cafeteria; lugging around two liters of Faygo, screaming at the tops of their lungs, drawing the ire of every adult within a half of a mile radius.

He was obnoxious, crude, had a shitty home life and a bad attitude.

He was the perfect rebellious rebound.

It was a whirlwind relationship of heavy metal and cigarettes. Late nights in the park, followed by weekends of riding around in his best friends pile of crap Jeep. More cigarettes, some alcohol, even worse decisions.

It wasn’t long before I got restless in this relationship as well. It flatlined like a drowning victim, and left me panicky, desperate for a way out.

That way out manifested itself in the form of a cell phone flying at my face faster than I could duck.

I don’t even remember what we were arguing about, but I wore the evidence of that fight on my lower lip for ten days.

And get out I did.

It seemed like a clean break until his best friend started showing interest in me.

Suddenly, he was the most attentive, loving boyfriend that ever graced the hallways of that high school.

Everyone always stands on the outside with an opinion. They group together like an audience waiting for a train wreck.

“Why did she take him back?”

“Didn’t she see the red flags?”

“Once an abuser, always an abuser.”

“Maybe she doesn’t think she deserves better.”

It was none of those reasons.

It was all of those reasons.

He begged me to sleep with him, and I relented.

He wore a condom.

The condom never broke.

It’s nothing to me if you believe that last sentence or not. There’s no deep dark secret lingering over my conscience. I was there, I put the fucking thing on myself, and I still wound up the way I did.

Sixteen and pregnant.

My mom knew before I did.

It probably had something to do with me sleeping almost all day every day.

She never thought it was drugs, she simply confronted me and dropped that sentence like a lead brick.

“You’re pregnant, aren’t you?”

I took the test at a coworkers house in the country with the smell of cow shit wafting in the tiny bathroom. I had one arm over my face, and one hand poised under my crotch trying to simultaneously breathe through my mouth and not piss on my hand at the same time.

One blue line. A blue plus sign.

I stared at my face in the mirror.

Failing high school, a boyfriend that hit me but promised it wouldn’t happen again, whose greatest ambition in life was to sit on his ass and play World of Warcraft.

And I didn’t cry.

I wondered how I was going to tell him. I wondered what I was going to do with my own life, what my family would say.

But I didn’t cry.

A week after my mom confronted me about it, and after a long drawn out discussion about how I should consider abortion, I finally told him.

We sat together. On his bed. He didn’t respond to me.

“Are you deaf? Will you say something?”


“I can do this alone. I don’t need anything from you. I don’t want anything from you.”

I stood up to leave and before I could register what happened, a giant hand snapped around my wrist and yanked me so hard I felt my neck snap backwards.

“Don’t you tell me how to live my life. Who the fuck are you?”

Words jagged, like broken glass. I felt the blood drain from my face.

“I didn’t mean anything by it-”

“Shut up. Just shut the fuck up and let me think.”

But he still had me in a death grip, and he was pulling me onto his bed.

Something feels all wrong. Like standing in a funhouse in front of the mirrors, and the world is upside down; all you have to do is walk away. But you can’t. Your brain is screaming at your legs to move. But they won’t. And this is no dream.

I lean to the side and push up onto my elbow, intending to get off the bed, but he slams the heel of his free hand into my chest and I’m flat on my back staring at the ceiling.

I feel a sob clawing its way up my throat. A sound of utter desperation. I don’t want to give him that satisfaction.

“Don’t you fucking dare.”

I swallow hard. Blink. Swallow. Blink again. Swallow harder.

He sits on me, straddles me. One leg beside my right hip, the other leg wedged between my knees. I stare into his eyes, but I won’t beg for him to get off. Not a chance.

He leans back, and for one millisecond I relax. I think he is regretting his initial thought. That he won’t go through with it.

Then that free hand… It travels down my chest to my waist and clamps on.

I feel each and every individual finger digging into the tender flesh above my hip bone. I feel his thumb gouging me below my belly button. I hear his heavy breaths quicken.

I feel fucking sick.

His other hand releases the grip on my wrist and I barely notice the blood rushing back into my numb fingers.

He trails it over my left breast, pausing to pinch my nipple, taking the fact that it responds to his touch as all the permission he needs.

He’s unbuttoning my pants, then ripping them off my legs. I don’t even lift them up to help- they are dead and lifeless. Moving quicker now, pausing only to free himself from his jeans.

I feel him. Impossibly large, pushing against me. I’m not ready- I’m not ready!

He forces his way in, grunting with the effort.

He uses his right hand to gain more leverage by grasping my other side in the same way as his left hand, and it feels as though his fingers will puncture my skin.

I lie so still I think I’ve died.

I turn my head to the side and stare at the wall.

There is a feather line crack in the plaster, and the words “Fuck This Noise” written in black pen below it.

I hear my heart beating my ears.

I lie so still I hope I’ve died.

He hovers over me, thrusting, his sweat dripping on my face.

I wait.

I feel the bile sitting in the back of my throat, burning.

I hear my breath moving trough my lungs.

I lie so still and wish I could kill him.

He comes inside me and pushes himself off. I feel empty. Worse than empty. I feel gutted.

He leaves the room. Wanders off toward the bathroom.

I sit up slowly and reach for my pants.

Blink. Swallow hard.

I get my legs in, feeling as uncoordinated as a two year old.

I just get them buttoned when he appears in the doorway.

“If I would have known you were just going to lay there, I wouldn’t have fucking bothered.”

Some people need to be beaten before they make a change. Some people need to be broken.

Some people need to be walked on, to be chewed up and spit out. Rode hard and put away wet, as my mom would say.

After that day, I left him. For good.

And I didn’t see him again until our daughter was three months old.