Trigger Warning * Violence * Language
Sometime around noon, I woke up and Misty was gone. She probably had to use the bathroom. It was one thing for her to stay the night if we weren’t going to be around for long, but quite another when it meant she had to use our bucket.
No one else was home, so I washed up with a rag and a cup of cold water, changed my clothes, and grabbed the phone. I almost washed away the phone number, which would have been really bad since I promised I’d call back.
I dialed and asked for Nate.
“Who’s this?” a woman answered. “And anyway, they can’t talk right now. They’re grounded.” She hung up on me.
Just moments later, the phone rang and it was Nate. “Sorry about that. That was my step-mom, Mary. She’s a bitch.”
“Yeah, mine too. My mom, I mean,” I said. “So…I called. I kept my promise.”
He laughed. “Do you always keep your promises?”
Nate and I talked through the rest of the day. Tim refused to get on the phone, saying he just didn’t know what to talk about since he didn’t know me. That wasn’t a problem for Nate. He seemed to have more experience than Tim when it came to talking to girls.
By evening, I told him I had a boyfriend. Nothing serious, but still, I didn’t think cheating on him was very nice.
“Yeah, but does he treat you right? I mean, what does he do for you?” Nate asked. I could tell he was concerned.
I felt a little like I was betraying Sean, actually. After crushing on him for so long and finally getting to go with him, and even after staying at his house, it felt wrong to talk about him. But I guess it was already wrong to be talking to another guy anyway.
“Well, you know. He’s like, average, I guess.”
I remembered when I thought he hung the moon.
“ He does try to push me to do more than I want to.”
“What’s ‘more than you want to’ and how does he try?” Nate asked, emphasizing every other word.
I shrugged, even though he couldn’t see me.
“You can tell me,” he coaxed, filling in the silence.
“Well, I mean, I just kiss. I don’t want to do more than that. But he tries to talk me into more.”
“You should break up with him, then. It doesn’t sound like he really cares for you.”
Nate was right. If Sean really cared about me, he wouldn’t keep trying to put his hands on me when I asked him not to. I decided right then that I would definitely break up with him.
“Ok, I’ll do it. I’ll break up with him.”
“I do,” I said, smiling to myself.
“Hang up now. Call him and do it. And then call me back, ok?”
Empowered by his encouragement, that’s just what I did. I called Nate immediately afterwards, my heart racing in my chest, excited and hurt, all at the same time.
“What’d he say? You did do it, right?”
“Well, he called me a bitch, but yeah, I did it.”
“See? Was I right or was I right? He’s no good for someone like you. I bet you feel better now, don’t you?”
“Thank you,” I said, feeling like I’d known Nate for longer than just a day. It was like I’d known him all my life.
After we hung up for the night, he dedicated another song to me: Love Bites. Yes it does, I laughed, but maybe this time it won’t.
About Angela Giles Klocke – I’m a Colorado-based speaker, writer, advocate, and princess! I am also a survivor of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and more. I would love to speak to your group, school, or organization. Catch my TEDx Colorado Springs Talk on abuse, violence, and talking about uncomfortable topics, coming soon. Contact me!