We were 14 or 15.
But he didn’t. Instead he just rolled me around, tickled me, whispered things in my ear. I smiled faintly, my tell-tale heart thundering, and played along, never knowing what was next. Turning my head to the side, looking at the dark green carpet instead of meeting his gaze. Staring at the fibers until they went out of focus.
We were friends. I wanted to be more and often got the sense it was mutual. It took me too long to realize he just wanted to play, to pretend, maybe to practice? Only I wasn’t some blow up doll.
I was stupid with longing. So crazy about him that I didn’t care if what was happening was inappropriate. He had no vested interest in me, some stupid girl. But in my book, any interest, however false or feigned, was cause for celebration.
Memory is a funny thing. How two people can have such varied perspectives on the same day. While I’ll never know his, I’m certain it’s vastly different from mine.
But it doesn’t matter because I remember. I am real. My memory makes it real.
And I rise again like a phoenix. You have no power over me.