It’s the first day of school, junior year in high school. I awkwardly shuffle into my first hour English class and take a desk close to the door. I lock eyes with him from across the room. He’s subtle, curled brown hair and hazel eyes I could’ve stared into forever. He cocks his head and smirks. I move my seat over to him and in that moment my world changed. We talked, we laughed. We had 3 classes together and the same lunch. Within the first week of classes starting we are an item. Inseparable and the hot topic in our group of friends. He waits for me outside of classes, I write his initials on my notebook. Late night’s texting and gooey posts to Facebook follow. We celebrate a month together as the leaves begin to change color. I fall in love with his hands and how they fit with mine. How they hold me close and brush stray hairs away from my face as he goes to kiss me gently. I fall in love with those hazel eyes that shine and sparkle like Christmas lights. He writes my initials on his notebook...

It’s been two months, one week, four days and eleven hours since I locked eyes with him in my English class. We are partners in life and partners working on a PowerPoint presentation for our AP Psychology class. We’ve been working on this project for four days, alternating whose house we work on it at. Today it’s his house. His mom isn’t home, his dad had to work late and his sister stayed after school for a club. This is wrong. My parents said no being at his house unless his parents were home. He assures me its fine.

We go to his room to work; but he shuts the door. Maybe he didn’t want the cat to come in...?

He turns on music, a song from our favorite band blares on the radio as he ushers me to sit on the bed next to the computer. I kick off my shoes and sit, waiting for him to load up the PowerPoint. He sits next to me instead.

He clumsily goes in for a kiss and eases me into the pillows. Anxiety. This is wrong.

I shift away but he cups my face in his hand and crashes his lips into mine again, there’s more force behind it. This is wrong.

The hands I fell in love with are exploring my skin in ways I’m unsure of. They’ve ignored the NO TRESPASSING signs posted all over the temple that is my body and ducked under the velvet ropes denying him access to the lucrative back room. This is wrong.

The eyes I fell in love with have glazed over and are staring at parts of me never before exposed, not even in a scandalous text or private Skype call. His eyes are looking everywhere but my face where I can feel the blood pooling in my cheeks in a flustered blush, and tears are burning in the corners of my eyes. This is wrong.

His subtle demeanor is overtaken with what he will later describe as “passion” when he rips the pants I’m wearing down to my knees. It’s overtaken with aggression that he will later describe as “flattering” as he forces himself on top of me. He’s overtaken with a dominance and control that he will later describe as “love.” This is wrong.

My voice cracks as I break my silence with a quiet “no”

But he says “YES” and sets my temple on fire in an act of deprivation and disrespect.

Moments feel like hours. Laying limp, face turned into the pillows to muffle the quiet sobs escaping me.

He hears the front door open, his sister is home. He leaps off of me and barks at me to go to the bathroom and “fix myself”

I silently wobble down the hall, aching and burning in a way I can’t quite describe. My makeup is smeared and my face is flushed.
My bra is still unhooked under my shirt. A small trickle of blood is running down my leg.

I use his sister’s hairbrush to fix the damage done. I wipe off the remnants of my mascara and turn on the sink

and I cry.

I fix my clothes. I button my pants and grab my backpack.

And I leave. Without a word.

I stand in his driveway while my dad makes the six minute drive from our house to his to pick me up.

The car ride home is silent. He asks if I’m okay, did we get into an argument over something stupid— did he not notice my new earrings. “Boys will be Boys,” he says dismissively without hearing a response.

Boys will be boys.

That night my phone erupts with unread texts and missed calls. Friends are wondering what is going on. I turn my phone off.

I go to school the next morning, too defeated to bother with makeup. Loose pants today, my body is aching. I walk to the table and each head snaps and looks in my direction. Smiles and smirks on each face. I realize.

They know.

He jumps up and comes to my side, apologizing for telling everyone without me but “it was just such a big deal!”

I cry. I slap him and go to the nurse. I’m too sick to be at school today.

My mom picks me up before the first bell even rings. My phone is still erupting but now in waves of angry texts from mutual friends. He is silent.

I am not.

I tell everyone what REALLY happened. Not the romanticized version of events he spun t them. I tell them about how his pillow is stained with my eyeliner and his sheets are stained with my blood. I tell them about how I can remember the song that was playing but all I could hear was my heartbeat pounding in my eardrums. I tell them about the quiet ride home.

Some say, “Boys will be boys”. Others are speechless.

I lost a lot of friends that day. I lost a part of myself that I will never get back. And I became another statistic.

All because “boys will be boys.”