We were friends in eighth-grade at the painfully awkward age of fourteen. Well, painful for me.
Look, I’m sorry. I know I’ve said it before since then, but your ears were muffled with contempt and my words slurred with confusion. I knew what I did was wrong but I couldn’t really explain why I did it.
I was so scared. I wasn’t supposed to feel that way about you. I wasn’t supposed to like what we did so much. I couldn’t parade it around as practice, not even in the private confines of my mind. I loved feeling your body against mine, your soft curved body. I loved your mouth, so warm and wet on me, always moving perfectly. I loved how private it was, our touches purely ours, the kisses a secret actually kept.
I liked it until I got scared. I liked it until I realized others might have to know. That if you liked me you might not just settle for cuddling too closely under the covers while we discussed boys.
Did that hurt you? God, I was so ignorant of your emotions, such a bitch. I talked about boys all the time. Why would I kiss you, then flirt with him? I had something to prove. Obtaining a boyfriend was all the rage. Kissing girls was not yet the thing to do.
And now? Now it is okay to kiss girls; if you’re drunk at a party and there’s a crowd to impress. If you’re shot gunning smoke or you’re craving the attention you so rightly deserve. But I don’t desire this. I’ve never wanted a girl like I wanted you. Maybe it was because I hadn’t yet learned the correlation between the term ‘desire’ and heat trickling through my abdomen, hadn’t learned to steer it in more simple directions. All I knew was that I needed to be ashamed.
I didn’t mean to out you. That wasn’t the intention. I was scared and young, not ready for the implications of your poetry, not ready to be held that closely by a person who also revealed her deepest, darkest secrets to me. I was only fourteen.
Even now it sounds like a frivolous plea, the thing I cling to because there is nothing else. I fear I stole something from you that was never mine to have. You unveiled something in me, awakened the woman within when my hips and breasts sprouted and I was unsure why. You answered my questions with caresses and kisses that the puberty books never seemed to cover.
I think I killed the same thing in you. I cradled it and subsequently choked it. Frightened by the monster I had created, frightened by myself when I was with you.
I hope you don’t remember me,