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I remember you dropping me off at elementary school in your little spitfire. D and I were so small you would buckle us together in the passenger seat. You got us strudels from a corner store and milk boxes for lunch. The kids at school were afraid of you, but I wasn't. I didn't think that you should be mean to my older sister, but I loved you anyways. You were my second dad. I remember you helped me make a diarama for grade two. We made it in a shoebox. Mine was better drawn than the rest of the kids. You were so good at drawing. I wanted you to teach me. You got me drawing books. You got mad when I left stuff around the house but you would take me to the park. You were so funny. You would make dinner when mom wouldn't. You once fought a moving guy over some boxes that you didn't return after we moved. You guys rolled down the front steps fighting. He left and didn't come back.
You taught me to dive off the diving board. I trusted you, I held your hand and sat in your lap. Something happened though. What was it? What changed? You decided you didn't like my mom anymore. She was mean, she was crazy, you told me when I was 12 that she wouldn't sleep with you anymore. You said you couldnt live like that. I asked why you stayed with her, and you said because she'd kill herself if you left and you knew it.
I hated her because she was tuned out. She stopped caring for me, for anyone. She didn't want to spend time with me. You wanted to spend time with me. You told me that I was beautiful, and you would stare at me for longer and longer. I would ask you 'what' and you wouldn't tell me.
You got drunk and told me you loved me. Love love. I wasn't sure what you meant, I hoped you didn't mean what it sounded like. You wanted me to sit on your lap. You grabbed my knee, my thigh. When guys grab me like that now, I feel cheap. I feel like I'm a piece of meat. Time went on and my mother become more and more out of touch. I was losing her but I still had you. But you were different, a different person who wanted different things from me. I clung to you. You were strong. You could protect me from the world that was rapidly falling apart around me. You said that we had a special connection and that only we understood each other. I said this was true and felt it. The love between us was real and believing that makes me squirm because it became so twisted. Once you started groping, once you started forcing your tongue into my mouth when you were drunk, I couldn't put the brakes on. I needed you. I couldn't lose you. You were the only real friend and parent I had. I felt that if I lost you I would lose everything. I thought this was just a little sacrifice. You convinced me that we were soul-mates. I was 13 and no one wanted me around except for you. I was desperate. You helped ease the loneliness and the pain of watching my mother lose her mind. All I had to do was sit with you, let you love me the way you wanted, show you how to find porn sites on the internet.
You were a shitty friend, but I loved you so much. Plus I had no choice. At that point, I had made new friends at school and they would never understand our relationship. It was secret, and it was all the family I trusted.
Other boys found me attractive too, after a time. Pushed up against a trailer, my first boyfriend shoved his hands into my panties and rubbed until I was sore. I was embarrassed to say I didn't feel anything. I never felt anything. I wasn't sure that everything was right down there. I said it felt good.
I met my highschool sweetheart and I wanted him to meet you. You met him and you said he seemed nerdy. I loved him, and he bought me flowers and chocolates. But he wanted sex a lot. And I stopped saying no. Sex hurt every time. But he liked it so I was OK with that.
I would turn on Matthew Good 'Beautiful Midnight', as loud as I could on the stereo. I would cry as hard and quietly as I could, hoping no one could hear. I was just barely keeping control of my own life.