5.29.2008

How I knew-part II

(Your lovely blogger is still on the beach, soaking up sun, and drinking LOTS of corona. See ya on the 30th!!!)

The end of my eighth grade year, my boyfriend and I were pretty serious. Pretty serious, meaning, we had kissed, we held hands on a regular basis, and we talked on the phone all hours of the night, when we could get away with it.
His parents were divorced. Back then, I had no idea what that felt like, and I tried to empathize.His father was a hard-ass. I don't even remember what he looked like, when I try to recall his face in my mind, but I remember that I had a hard time making direct eye contact with him. I definitely knew what it felt like to have a hard-ass parent, although his father was on a whole.'nother.level (anyone know what that line is from???)
One night, his father caught us on the phone past his allowed time. His father picked up the phone while we were chatting about Mario 3 (LOVE THAT GAME! It still rocks!!!), or some innocent shit like that. I don't remember what his father said, I only remember the harshness in his voice, and the silence that followed. My boyfriend waited until his father hung up, and quietly told me he would call me tomorrow. I hung up, knowing that things probably weren't going to be very jolly in that house for the rest of the night.
About 2 hours later, my phone rang. I picked it up quickly, because as most teenagers do, I just ASSUMED it was for me.

It was.

My boyfriend was crying.

Hysterically.

In a mumble-whisper, he told me that his father had 'gotten out of control'. I had gotten that feeling before about his dad, but we hadn't ever really talked about it bluntly.

I was instantly filled with this rage. I can recall it inside, even to this day.

We hung up quickly, and I spent about 2 seconds weighing my options. There was only one option.

I went in my bathroom, popped the screen out of my window, and climbed out on the roof. It was a 2 story, so I had to jump to the backyard. Lucky me, my brother had left his bike in the backyard.

I rode the 20 blocks or so to his house, on my brother's little bike. When I got there, I tapped on his window, on the side of the house. He opened it just enough for our eyes to meet.His face was swollen, one eye already turning shades of bruised plums. He had welts on his neck and shoulders.

I made him crawl through the window, out onto the grass, so I could touch each spot softly.

That rage ran through me again.

I cried.

I put my lips on each bruise, cut, welt, injury.

We were only 12, for fuck's sake. TWELVE.

He assured me it wasn't that bad, that he wasn't hurting too much, but his eyes defied him.
We sat in the grass, huddled together behind the air conditioning unit, thankful for all the shadows. We didn't know what to do. What could we do?
After an unknown amount of time, we said goodbye. As he crawled back through his window, he reached for my hand. I gripped it, feeling him shudder. When he closed the window and his blinds, I saw the single tear.
I rode home that night, without seeing where I was going. My eyes were full, overflowing, with tears of anger, hate, rage, and sheer sadness. When I reached my street, I fell onto my driveway, and stared up at the stars for what seemed like hours. My mind was racing, and I again had the realization that I MUST STOP THIS KIND OF VIOLENCE.

That is the only time I ever snuck out of my house when I was growing up.

6 comments:

Hiya, I'm Kristie. said...

Oh my, that just breaks my heart. If you don't mind me asking, who was your boyfriend at the time?

Miss ya lady. Lunch and shopping next weekend?!

Misty said...

FINALLY this post. I've been able to read it for days now, but not comment.

Written beautifully.

Raven said...

Thank you for going to him.

It really means the world to "us" to have someone there when we need it.

Chibi said...

I clicked over from your current post. This one made me cry. My heart hurts for both of you. Thank you for being so empathetic (and you WERE) at the tender age of 12. I love you even more now than I did 2 minutes ago. *sniffle*


P.S. MadTV, yes? ;)

Dynamita said...

Wow Danielle, this post gave me goosebumps. It is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

Also, I know this is a bit out of order but, you were 12 in the 8th grade?

TUWABVB said...

I too clicked over from your current post to read this story and am so moved that you showed such a caring side at such a young age. Clearly, you were destined to hel others.