Flashback on Flashback


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To understand where I was,

you have to know where I had been.


2011.

I met a boy. 

As I passed through the sliding glass doors of a stranger's basement, he sat leaned back in all black, beer in hand, and beanie low.  Based off of the words he was initially spewing, he had no shame, though, somehow, by the end of the night, he had won me over with idle small talk on whimsical topics like "spirit animals".

He was your typical “bad boy”- high school dropout, had an alcohol tolerance of a 40-year-old at 17, rolled around town on a skateboard, had a few sacrilegious tattoos that I justified as a “rock-n-roll” statement rather than a hail to Satan...  Like I said, typical “bad boy”.

I know, I know, how original- a high school girl with a thing for bad boys.  To be honest, it wasn’t the façade that hooked me. 

The morning after we had first met, I was hanging around the same group of people as the night prior.  Though he was there, he didn’t pay me or the other people any mind- the whole time he was in the corner drawing.  I thought it was so odd that this guy, who seemed so ‘metal’, was concentrated on carefully drawing each line of the lion he was sketching out in front of him. 

I was intrigued, and it was seeing this that hooked me.

It wasn’t too long before he and I became inseparable.  Once he let his guard down, he was the most giving and thoughtful person I had ever met. 

On our first double date, for some God unknown reason, we ended up wandering around a Walmart.  Walking by the baby section, I pointed out a small stuffed giraffe in all pastel that melted my heart.  Giraffes and pastel yellow were a few of my favorite things.

As we went to leave the store, he ran off to the bathroom (or something to that effect) momentarily, and when he came back, he was standing with the little pastel giraffe outstretched to me. 

I still have it to this day. 

Maybe it doesn't seem like much, but I had never been with someone who really made me feel like they listened, cared, and wanted the world for me, and everything he seemed to do made me feel as if he were all of those things.  As googley-eyed and cliché as it sounds, he really made me feel special.

Sure,  over the months we had our moments.  A few fights here and there or him being, what to me seemed, a little controlling.  Ultimately though, he always came back to that same great guy I had fallen for.  I felt completely safe with him.

And then he slapped me.

We had both been drinking, and he was mad about a certain guy who, in his mind, had tried to come onto me while we were out.  

After he slapped me, I remember having a bit of a breakdown. I had never been hit by anyone in my life.  Even so, by the morning, it was a haze.  Sure, I remembered what happened- how sharp it felt and how it came without warning or warrant- but we had both been drinking, and it wasn’t anything too crazy.   It wasn't as if he had punched me, strangled me, or left me looking reminiscent of Rihanna after the Chris Brown scandal... 

What he had done, though, was open a door that never quite shut again. 

By the way, his name was 'Eric'.

RTPEmily Pickerd