When we first met I thought you were too good to be true. It wasn't much of a surprise when I turned out to be right.
Flirtatious sentences accompanied by smiles. Casual kisses and warm hugs. The taste of wine mixed with vodka and berries on our tongues. Intoxication. Singing loudly and collapsing with laughter. Running here and there. Waiting for the next fit of giggles or another accidental touch, excitement rushing through our blood.
He pulled me away to talk to me, warn me, trying to be a good friend for both parties. I tried to comprehend what he was saying but my brain didn't want to work that way. My sensible replies turned into slurred nonsense. Suddenly we were back where we were before but fear had taken over from excitement.
We went to the car for a cigarette. I sat in the back. You leant over and spread your smoke into my mouth. It was relieving but not for long. He left and it was just me and you.
I tried to talk to you through the haze, I tried to make sense of things and explain that I wasn't really that kind of person, that yes I liked you but I am tired of being hurt and taken for granted. Instead of replying you just pulled me back and kissed me again and again and again, interrupting every so often with some suggestion or plead.
The car door opened.
'We're going for a walk.'
Before I could say anything it slammed again and your lips were pressing against mine. I didn't like where this was going.
You brought me into the house, onto her bed.
You locked both the doors. I was trapped, there was no way out now. You came back in, shut the door and launched at me. You wasted no time at all in getting to the point. I was helpless.
Time dragged by. I craved affection, the feeling of being wanted for who, not what I am. I felt dizzy. I was being pulled and pushed around as if I weren't human and I didn't like it. I needed a drink but you wouldn't let me up to get one. You kept saying you'd get it for me but you couldn't tear yourself away. You didn't want me to go incase I didn't come back but you didn't want to leave me either.
I heard someone trying the front door. I begged you to get off, to let them in, to let me get dressed. You wouldn't listen. You told me I had to promise you I would stay there, that I wouldn't move if you let them in. I refused.
The window shook as her fist expressed her emotions.
'If you don't open this fucking door in ten seconds I'm smashing it!'
I sat, my body turned slightly away from you. It felt like butterflies had been set loose in my mind and they were flitting about, chasing each other. One thought contradicted another, everything was going round and round.
You took my hand with one of yours. I wanted to cuddle up to you and pretend I had wanted this, I wanted it to end okay. Every time she wasn't looking you tried to kiss me. I was nervous. I felt guilty. I tried to be cold towards you to support her.
She made tea, she cleaned. She complained that we were smashed and she was sober. I asked her if she wanted more tea and I tried to make it for her. She said it was surprisingly alright, but it was a funny colour. She said she was going to bed. He said to me 'I just need to go lie down for ten minutes, I'll be back for you in a bit'. I got a funny feeling in my stomach.
I didn't like that. I went to the bathroom. I got a glass of water. I went and sat on the couch, listening intently for any indication of what was happening behind the closed door. I heard voices but I couldn't make out what you were saying.
Then I heard her. I wondered if I was just too drunk and imagining things. No. I wasn't.
My insides crumbled.
I sat there, shivering. I wanted to be sick. It was sick. He was sick, she was sick, I was sick!
I thought maybe if I closed the door it would make things better, but I couldn't move. Maybe if I moved to the other end of the couch....but something froze me there. It felt as if this was my punishment. I had to sit and listen to them. I could have sat there all night and let myself melt away.
I opened my phone. I wanted to talk to someone but I didn't know who. Who I could trust for support, or who would be awake right now. I scrolled through my contacts, all 300 of them. I started again and stopped in the C's. Number 58. I sent a text, not really expecting a reply but it came. She told me to get out of there.
I crept outside in my pyjamas, trying not to shake, bringing her blanket with me for protection. My bare feet sunk into the damp grass and I found myself falling down. I lay there, curled up in a ball. I felt so insecure, so scared, so sick.
You read about these kind of things happening to people. Well not quite this but maybe similar stories. I felt like I belonged in between pages about teens drinking too much, or being abused. Safe in the hands of some wide-eyed reader. But no, this story was real.
Number 58 managed to get someone to come and pick me up. It was good to know I had some true friends out there. I wished I was with her, that I could cry in her arms and be protected from everyone else, but it wasn't that easy.
I didn't know the address, I didn't know where I was. I walked around for ages. I walked down people's drives without realising. Lights came on as I walked past houses. I was terrified that someone would come out and find me stumbling about their garden in my pyjamas.
Gravel hurt my feet. I tried to stick to the grass but even that felt harsh that night.
Eventually I was picked up. My eyes started watering as I got in the car. I felt like such a mess. I forced my tears back. It was a weird journey. I had no idea where I was going for a while.
When I finally got to safety, I had to tell my story. I huddled in the blanket I had taken, hiding my face. I lay there thinking for hours and hours that night, or trying to. My thoughts wouldn't make any sense, my mind was a whirlpool.
As it began to get light, I began to get paranoid. I was checking my phone every ten or twenty minutes, watching time tick by. I was scared for the day ahead.
I decided to go with a strong image. I applied make-up. A touch of laughter on my lips, bravery on my cheeks. My eyes were water proof. I could deal with whatever was coming, I could tell the story in a carefree manner and pretend like it wasn't what it really was, that I didn't feel how I really felt.
It wasn't until I got home later that day and stepped into the shower that everything started to come out. My make-up washed off and left me with tears, rolling off under the water. The night flashed over me like strips of lightning, taking it in turns to highlight up different parts of the memory. I scrubbed at my skin, trying to wash off the experience but it wouldn't go. I looked down and watched my tears go down the drain. If only I could go down too.