That Summer/ My 16th Birthday
We gradually stopped talking but he was always coming to see me at work, and began to wait for me outside my classes. I thought it meant he wanted to get together again and I refused to.
But, stupid me, I started talking to him again, more and more until, at the end of that year, I agreed to go out with him over summer break.
He didn’t have his license but there were these people, part of his probation, or maybe it was his therapy, that they drove around with him and talked with him and stuff. That was the majority of how I saw him that summer. They’d bring him over and we’d hang out and watch movies and stuff.
He began to pressure me for sex, and I turned him down every time. I’d tell him next time, or faked feeling sick or just told him I wasn’t ready. He began to make me feel bad, insulting me and asking why I was so close minded. I wasn’t close minded, I just wanted to wait for marriage to have sex.
I’d seen what it did to Jenna when she’d had her first time with a guy she’d thought loved her. He sweet talked her and used her. A week after she’d given it up, he began ignoring her and gotten back together with his girlfriend. I didn’t want that for myself.
My mom had to work on my 16th birthday. She left me a card and promised she’d take me out for dinner that night and said we’d get a cake over the weekend when my brothers and Jenna were over. I wanted to spend the day by myself and told Caleb, which got him mad. He hung up on me, calling me a bitch and said he didn’t give a fuck what I did anymore. I assumed it was him breaking up and spent the whole night before my birthday in tears.
A knock came at the door around 10 a.m. on my birthday. I wasn’t expecting any friends over and knew both mom and dad were working. I just let the person keep knocking until they left. Then I heard the knocking coming from my window. I lifted the curtain to see that it were Caleb. He told me to let him come in, so of course I did.
He said he’d talked to his parents and they’d brought him over until after my mom got home. He assumed she’d be able to take him home. We sat and watched a movie, then 2 until he asked if I wanted to walk to the corner store. So we headed there and came back with a few snacks. What I didn’t know what that he also bought a pack of condoms.
I went to go use the bathroom and when I came back, he was laying on the couch, naked under a blanket. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was about to give me a good birthday memory. I told him to stop kidding around and get dressed. He pulled me down beside him and started forcing himself on me.
I kicked him off and told him get dressed and leave or I’m calling the cops.
“I’ll end this complaining right now,” He said.
He got up, still naked, and grabbed a pair of kitchen sheers and walked back towards me.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
He grabbed my hair and pulled me up, pointing the sheers at me.
“Any more complaints?” He asked.
I started crying and telling him I wasn’t ready, and couldn’t we try this again when I was? He shoved me to the ground and started running the sheers across his wrists. He told me that unless I wanted him to kill himself, I’d let him have sex with me.
That’s pretty much it. He raped me, but I wont go into details about that portion of my birthday. I remember crying the whole time and even tensed my body. He ended up giving me bruises on my legs and pulled my muscles from forcing my legs opened. I hit him a few times and he hit back. So I screamed, until he covered my mouth.
He did, at least, wear a condom, so I didn’t have to worry about getting pregnant. When he was done he just got dressed and left, leaving the door to our apartment open the whole way. I had to wrap myself in a blanket to close it, and a neighbor saw me. I’m sure they’d heard me yelling but yet they did nothing. My friends and I had learned from an insane experiment at the mall a few years ago, that people reacted more to someone yelling “Fire”, rather than one yelling “Rape”.
He came back and acted like nothing happened. He kept hanging on me, while I was trying to get him off. He talked with my mom about what we did that day while I barely talked.
When I later confronted him, he laughed and told me that I was crazy. He said he was still a virgin but I persisted and said he’d raped me. He got irate and told me I must have fucked someone else because he would never have sex with someone like me.
A week later he broke up with me, telling me I wasn’t mature enough to have a relationship. He advised me to get a cat, since that’s all I would ever be was a Crazy Cat Lady.
This was the year my depression really took off. By that point, I felt like I was in love with Caleb, despite all the things he’d done to me over the summer and the names he called me. When I saw him the first morning, he told me he didn’t want to be friends anymore, let alone ever get back together. He ignored me for 2 months.
I began cutting. Not just because of him, but other things as well. My mom began dating a guy I hated, who thought he had me all figured out. I’d later look to him as my step-dad, just before he’d passed away. My dad had married another woman without telling any of his kids and they were expecting a baby. Gabe was pressuring me to date him, even though he knew I didn’t like him that way. My friends and I were growing apart, them knowing what they wanted out of life, me not knowing. I began to wear more black and became more introverted than ever. It began to seem like Kaylee was the only one who really got me. I started distancing myself from everyone, spending lunchtime in the library and refusing to talk in class, even when called on. Classmates made fun of me, some even dumped trash on me during a movie we watched one day under the supervision of a substitute teacher. My teachers knew something was up but no one voiced any concern, as they are trained to do in such circumstances. Maybe I just hid it better than I thought I did.
All of Caleb’s friends had graduated so he really only had the people I’d introduced him to. Some friends, like Jenna, Gabe, Melanie and Kaylee refused to look at him, let alone talk to him. Others like Ritchie and Ray, talked to him more than me. Our friends began to take sides. He told Ritchie, Ray and others that he’d had sex with a girl here at school. He later told me it was a lie, but he said it because he didn’t want anyone knowing we’d had sex.
He put up a good front, and I really believed that he was over me, while I was so depressed. I began to hate him. But one day, during a pep rally, he asked me if he could sit with us. I was a bit surprised but said okay. He ignored me the whole time, talking to Kaylee instead, giving her notes he’d written. I got so mad with her, I didn’t know what was going on but I found myself so jealous because I used to be the only one he wrote notes to.
Halfway through the pep rally, Caleb got up and walked out of the gym, closely followed by 2 teachers. I asked Kaylee what that was all about but all she said was that he’d talk to me on his own time, and not to go after him.
Caleb ended up getting suspended that day. I guess he’d threatened the teachers who’d followed him. I never learned the whole story of that suspension, or most of them for that matter.
We gradually began talking more and it wasn’t long before he’d asked me to take him back and I’d agreed. We took it slow because I was afraid of what he’d done to me was going to happen again. I tried my best to make sure we weren’t alone together. That didn’t work too well since my mom was always with her new boyfriend and my friends thought I was stupid for getting back together. And that was just because they thought he’d seemed shady. They would have killed me if they knew what he did to me.
The abuse wasn’t physical, not then. It was emotional, mental and if he felt like it, sexual. Although the majority of the sexual was after high school, with the exception of that first time.
He called me names, ugly, slut, bitch, whore. He got very possessive of me, asking why I was talking to this guy friend or that, why this person looked at me this way. He would tell me to call off of work to hang out with him. I joined Stage Crew for the play, he joined with me, “To make sure you don’t fuck anyone else, because things like that happen in Stage Crew”. He even tried to join Choir with me, which thankfully didn’t happen. That was the only escape I had. He had a different lunchtime, but somehow always came to mine. He waited outside my classes for me and walked with me. When I asked him to lay off a bit because he was getting so possessive, he told me not to flatter myself. He said it was for my own protection.
I can’t say enough how stupid I was when it came to him. I gave him chance after chance and it only got worse. I have no one to blame but myself.
Oh, I did later ask him what those notes had been during the pep rally.He explained it like this, although I have no clue what was true and what was a lie. He, his dad and step-mom had gone to Jamaica over spring break. He snuck out to go to the bar and had the chance to have sex with a set of twins. They got a hotel room and started going at it, but he backed out and went back to his own room because he’d realized that he loved me and couldn’t think of another girl like that. I was in awe of how sweet that was. That’s all I wanted, was a guy to think of me that way, and it completely overrode all the bad things he’d done to me.
We became virtually inseparable after that revelation. At the end of that year, he graduated and we stayed together over summer break. I don’t remember much, except that he got his licence and a car, so he would be able to see me.
These were the sixth and seventh chapters of a true story, by Bree Houseman, on figment.com.
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