Authors: Kate Sherwood
When your classmates start talking about girls, you go along. It's not like you have a problem with girls - they're intriguing, a whole mysterious world of softness and good smells and secret smiles. But when you're alone, when you think about touching people, being touched… it's not always girls you think about. When you're asleep, and you have the dreams that wake you up, sweating and hard, or sometimes past that, it's
girls you dream about. You know it's weird, and wrong, but you've got bigger things to worry about, so you put it out of your mind. It's not like you can control your dreams, right?
Girls start flirting with you, and it's okay. They expect you to do things, so you do. That's pretty much the theme of your life anyways, doing what other people expect, trying not to stand out, so why should it be different here? You kiss your first girl when you're twelve, behind the portable at school, and it's mostly a dare, for both of you, but… it's okay. You get your hands up a girl's shirt when you're thirteen, and, sure, it's just Annie Daniels, who's let half the school feel her up, but still, you're in the right half.
When your dad leaves, it's a surprise. Not because you thought he was happy with your mom, but just because they've been screaming and fighting for so long, you'd thought that was normal, and couldn't understand why it was suddenly too much for him. But with him gone, your mom pulls into herself even more, and what energy she has left goes to looking after your younger sister. You're left on your own, and the freedom is scary, but exhilarating.
You kiss your first boy on the same night that you get stoned for the
first time. Or maybe boy isn't the right word, because he's quite a bit older, out of high school already, although it's not clear whether he graduated or just left. Still, for a freshman like you, it seems pretty old. You're not sure if it was the weed or something else that makes you so bold, but when he pushes you up against the side of the Carter's garden shed and says that you've been watching him all night, you realize that it's true, you have been watching him. His puka shell necklace is white against his golden neck, and you've been almost hypnotized by the contrast, not just the colors but the texture, rough shells against smooth skin, and when he shoves you again you think he's going to hit you, but then his mouth is on yours, his tongue pushing in, and you're stoned and confused, but you could resist, you could fight it. You don't, and when his thigh comes up between your legs, you're hard. He smirks when he feels it, but then there's a sound, someone walking towards the shed, and he rips himself away from you to return to the party. When you try to go with him, he pushes you back. "Stop staring at me, fag."
You're more careful after that, at least for a while. Your mom gets sick, and that takes a lot of your energy, but it also leaves you needing a release. Pot is good, but when you're stoned your inhibitions are lowered, and it's hard to keep yourself on track, remember who it's okay to fool around with. You lose your virginity to a girl named Sherri, both so stoned it's almost surreal, slow-motion movements that seem to take forever, and you don't come until you look across the room and see Dylan Scott watching you.
You're sitting outside with Dylan later that same night, watching the stars and wishing something would happen to break the heat, and you're not quite as stoned anymore but you still don't even think to object when he takes your hand and puts it in his lap, and a few minutes later when he squirms a bit and undoes his fly, you let him wrap your hand around his
dick like it's no big deal, and a few minutes later when he groans and spurts all over your hand, it's not shocking. It feels familiar, somehow. The next day at school he won't look at you or talk to you, and that feels familiar too.
When your mom gets too sick to take care of you, there's no family, no friends willing to step in, so you and your sister get put into foster care. It's just temporary, they tell you, but when they take you to visit your mom, she really doesn't look too good. You and your sister get put in the same foster home at first, but they get sick of you coming home stoned and giving them attitude; they say they'll keep Krista, but you have to go. The next two places last even less time, and when you get busted for possession your family doesn't have money for a real lawyer and you get sentenced to probation and community service. Your community service is picking up garbage on the roadside; the rich kid you got busted with gets no probation, and his community service is coaching basketball for underprivileged kids.
Your case worker tells you that nobody wants to take in a three-time loser and you're probably heading for a group home. But there's one more chance, one more family that might be willing to let you in. When you walk in the door of the fourth place and see the huge cross on the wall of the foyer, you wonder if you could set some sort of record for quick rejections.
But it turns out they're the good kind of Christians, loving and gentle instead of judgmental, and they have horses. The first time you touch one, an old black Percheron the family keeps mostly as a pet, there's an honestto-God shock that tingles up your arm, and maybe it's just all the religious talk you've been hearing from the family, but you wonder if it might have been a message from above. But a few days later you get almost the same sensation when Soren Rathgard gives you a hand job in his rec room, so if the message is divine in origin, your foster family needs to rethink some of the rules they live by.
When your mom gets better and you get to go home, you're happy,
of course, happy that she's well enough to leave the hospital. But it's hard to leave the horses. The family says to come back whenever you want, and you try to, hitchhiking out a few times a week at least. They let you ride whoever you want, and you do chores in return, whatever needs to be done, and sometimes the mom will come out and give you tips on riding. She loans you a couple books about horses, and you study them the way the family studies their Bible.
One Saturday morning, bright and sunny with the heat already starting to shimmer off the pavement, you're hitching out to the farm and a guy in a big silver Mercedes picks you up, and he says he can give you a ride right to the farm door but he needs to stop somewhere first. You're not stupid, you know that's a bad idea, but the car's already moving, and it doesn't slow down until it's turning off the road onto a rough sort of trail, bumping along for a few hundred feet before it hits a clearing and stops.
You think about running, have your hand on the door handle, but then he reaches inside his jacket pocket and pulls out a little baggie, full of off-white powder, and you hope that's all this is about, because the guy's pretty big, and he looks fit and strong, and you're only fifteen and small for your age, and you're pretty sure he could outrun you and damn sure he could outfight you. He snorts some of the powder, and offers it to you, and you mimic his actions. If things are okay, if the guy's friendly, then it seems like the polite thing to do, and if things aren't okay, then it might be best to have a bit of a reality-buffer in place.
Things aren't okay. He gets out of the car to take a piss, he says, but he comes around to your side of the car and opens your door, and you know what's coming, in general terms if not in specifics, and the guy's not that old, you tell yourself, and he's not bad looking, and it really seems like it's going to happen anyway so maybe it would be better if you decided that you want it. You don't want it, not at all, but you don't say no,
He pulls you out of the car, not rough but not gentle, and he turns you around so you're facing away from him, and he pulls you in snug against him and you can feel his dick rubbing up against you. He undoes your pants, and one hand runs up over your chest, holding you in place more than caressing you, while the other works your pants and boxers down. He pushes you forward, so your head and chest are resting on the hood of the car, and your ass is exposed, and it's pretty clear what's about to happen. You've never done that before, never even been touched there before, except for your own explorations.
There's the click of a lid being flicked open, and you're a little relieved, because you've heard that it hurts even worse without lube, and that makes sense. You wonder what it means that the guy had the stuff with him, must have been in the pocket of his jacket because you never saw him fishing for anything in the car. You wonder if that means he planned this, and you wonder what kind of person plans something like that on a sunny, already-hot Saturday morning.
Then his finger is there, cold and hard and bigger than yours, and when you tense up he laughs and pushes in a little harder. Still, he's taking the time to stretch you, at least a little, so that means it's consensual, means this is something you've agreed to, and that makes it okay. Or better, at least. It can't be the other thing.
There's another finger, and you've never done that to yourself, and it hurts. You squirm, but his other hand clamps onto the back of your neck and he leans forward, holding you in place with his weight. Then the fingers are gone, and there's the snick of the lid again, and then there's something bigger pushing at you, and you don't know why you think of it as
, you know damn well what it is. For a second you think it's not going to fit, that this won't happen because it can't, but the guy pushes harder and changes the angle a little, and then you can feel yourself
He just keeps pushing, and you've never done this before but you're sure this can't be right, because people enjoy this, and there's no way you ever could. The pain is intense, and it seems to be radiating out all over your body, your back and your legs and everywhere. Maybe he notices, because when he's in, when he's pushed all the way inside of you, and he's slumped over you with his hips right up against your ass, he nuzzles in to your cheek a little and you can feel his stubble, harder than the stubble of the boys you've touched, and he tells you to relax.
You try to. You don't know exactly what drug you took but you think maybe it was a mistake, because instead of removing you from the scene it seems to be insisting that you stay right there, making you feel everything too much, way too much. If feels like things are maybe getting better, fading from agony to pain, but then he grunts and starts to move, quick little jerks that start it all up again. After a while his strokes get longer, and harder, and the pain changes too, feels more like he's splitting you open instead of stabbing you. You've been trying to be quiet, you're not sure why, but now you can hear yourself, a sort of sobbing grunt each time he thrusts into you. He seems to like it, grabbing your hair and pulling your head up off the hood.
It's not too much longer after that until he's slumping over you, his chest resting on your back, and you want to scream at him to get off, get out, but you stay very still, and finally he does it on his own. You stay frozen for a moment but once he's a couple steps away you scramble to pull your pants up, almost crying out at the pain when you bend over to grab them. The guy's got himself zipped up, and he's heading over to the driver's side. You wonder if he thinks he's a good guy because he offers you a ride back to the highway. You wonder what he would have done if you'd said no in the first place, because he doesn't seem inclined to argue when you say no to the ride.
You kind of want to roll up on the ground and die, but you think
about the guy coming back and finding you, and you start walking, not so much because you're scared but because fuck him, he didn't hurt you that bad. You find a way to walk that doesn't set off the pain quite as much, and you make it back out to the road and realize that you're not really that far from the farm. You guess you should probably be trying to make it home instead, but you think of that big Percheron, the way he barely seems to notice when you hang all of your weight off his strong neck, and you want to go there and bury your face in his mane.
You start walking, and a couple cars pass but you don't even try to flag them down, and then one is pulling over anyway. It's the father of the farm, and he's friendly at first, asking if you got lost, because this isn't the direction you normally come from. You think you would have been okay if you could have made it to the farm; you think by then you could have had yourself under control, and ready to deal with people. But this is early, this is unexpected, and you're not very good at hiding your feelings. You know you need to get better at that, need to work at figuring out ways to keep people from reading your face so easily.
But you haven't got it figured out yet, and it takes about two seconds for the father to realize that there's something wrong, and his voice changes, and he's still nice but he's asking too many questions, and when he asks if you've taken anything, taken drugs, you realize that you have, and from the disappointed look on his face you can tell that he realizes it too. He doesn't get mad, but he says he's told you before that you can't come to the farm if you're on something, and you should go home. You don't want to go home, you want to see the Percheron, to touch him and see if you get that tingle again, see if the family's God is still watching over you. But the father is shaking his head, looking sad, saying that he can't let you go to the farm but he also can't let you wander around out here in this state because you could get hurt, and you almost laugh.