It was a lifetime ago.
And yet lately, the scabs have been picked off and the wounds are gaping and unhealed.
He picked me up the next day and drove me to work. We all toiled away at McDonald's for a monstrous $3.10 an hour.
He acted like nothing happened. Like he said, that's what people in love do and I would just get used to it. I'd probably even start to like it, he said.
And where could I turn?
A few years earlier, I had asked my mother about sex. Her response was 'don't ever do it' and I didn't feel like I could ever again broach the subject.
Hell, we often had to listen to her rant about how she didn't really want kids, that she had wanted a career, that this was the life our father wanted, not her.
My brothers? No. They seemed wrapped up in their own lives, as they should have been. My father? Oh hell no . . . no way I could admit to him I was no longer the innocent he needed me to be.
My friends? Would they even believe me? They all thought he was a terrific guy . . . as much as I thought anyway.
I sucked it up . . . just as my brothers and I were to do for any stressful situation. Surely you've heard the old adage 'stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.'
That's how we lived. No crying, no feeling and certainly no talking.
So there I was . . . a family, a boyfriend, friends and coworkers and yet terribly alone.
Thus beginning the journey that has brought me here -- through moving away from home, to new cities, through sports injuries to breast reduction surgery, through deaths and weddings.
Doing it all surrounded by people but ultimately alone.
And here I am, surrounded by people. Facing the biggest battle of my life. Alone.