“You’re not like other girls,” he says, “I see something special in you.”
Even though a part of me knew that he probably says that to all women, I like hearing it. No one had ever told me I was special. I fiddle with my phone so as to avoid his gaze; I don’t want him to know how much importance I have attributed to one simple sentence.
He wouldn’t understand what it meant to me.
I am simple girl; plain and easy to ignore. I rarely speak up and interact; I guess one can say that I am shy. I have no talents to speak of. I do reasonably well in school but have no friends to call my own except the neighbor’s daughter who sometimes invites me home. Her name is Ria, she is older than I am so I feel spending time with me is boring for her.
I am not beautiful. I don’t have a radiant smile or any quirky affectations anyone might fall in love with. Before him, no man had ever given me the time of day. As for boys my age, forget about it. They don’t want the mousy wallflower when they can have the buxom overachiever. I am the kind of girl people forget existed the day they graduate from school.
Yet, here before me was a man who was obviously way out of my league telling me I was special.
I had met him online, on a website for women who liked older men. I don’t really like older men; I just figured one might be nicer to me than guys my age.
I had lied about my age, of course, typed it in as 18 when the truth was closer to fifteen.
My parents don’t care enough to activate the parental controls. Besides, I have never before done anything remotely as adventurous as this to even warrant that kind of attention.
Within minutes of being on the website I had posted a cleverly angled picture of my face that hid the blemishes and braces. I never thought I would meet any of these men so I tried to at least be seen as a pretty face. I had heard stories of requests and messages flying in the moment women post pictures of themselves online, no such thing happened with me.
I checked the website every day. No one seemed to be looking in my direction. One day, on the bus ride back from school, I decided I would deactivate my profile as it was clear that no one in the physical realm or virtual wanted me. But as soon as I logged on, I saw his message.
You are a really beautiful girl
I couldn’t believe anyone would say that about me. Least of all him. He was a handsome man; tiny flecks of silver decorating his brown hair and a clearly defined jaw. His profile informed me he was 41. For a moment I considered just logging off. My father is 40. But I threw caution to the wind and responded.
Thank you You look nice too
Soon we were spending hours talking every day. I told him everything about my life, not that there was much to tell. I modified details to make it seem like I was older but I couldn’t keep that up too long. He told me one day that he knew I was younger than 18 and he couldn’t continue talking to me.
I was heartbroken. I sent him hundreds of messages begging and apologizing. Just trying to explain that even though I was younger, I felt an intense connection with him.
He came around.
He told me he would make a huge exception in my case even though he was uncomfortable with it because he felt that connection too. I was thrilled.
Immediately after, he asked if I would meet him.
I’m not an idiot, I have heard and read enough about women being lured by creepy men to their deaths online but obviously he wasn’t going to do that. Still, I had to be careful. After cancelling twice, I was finally ready to see what happened and I believed I had worked through my nerves. I told him I would meet him at a coffee shop. And even though I didn’t want to, I had to let the neighbor’s daughter in on my secret. Not the whole secret; I just told her I was going to meet a boy I had met online. She offered to meet me after at the corner of the coffee shop so we could walk home together and make it seem like we had been out together.
She even helped me get dressed. After a quick look through my closet she concluded I didn’t own anything sexy enough. Of course, I don’t. Just yesterday I had been a child riding around in cycling shorts and calling it fashionable. She let me borrow a top from her closet. It’s pink and has flowers all over it. I wonder what about it is sexy. I don’t ask though, she seems to know more about men than I do. Just before I leave she squeezes some cherry-flavoured lip gloss onto my mouth. It tastes horrible but she insists it makes me look adorable.
I get to the coffee shop ten minutes early. I am shaking inside, a few times I just get up and decide to leave. I think the cashier is looking at me funny. I begin to wonder if this is all just a joke some mean guy from school is playing on me. I decide to wait five minutes and then leave. I keep looking down at my phone.
“Waiting for someone?” I hear, and I look up to see his face smiling at me. I realize I should stand up but I freeze in my place. He laughs jovially and takes a seat before me. He is wearing a blue suit. He looks exactly like his picture. I still haven’t said a word.
“You look adorable,” he says. “Is it the lipgloss?” I wonder. I don’t notice when I start talking. Something about him puts me at ease. He orders me a slice of chocolate cake, I don’t really want it but I am flattered by the attention. I notice that I am smiling. I am almost disappointed when it is time for me to leave.
“I have to go, my parents will be waiting,” I tell him.
“Of course,” he says, “Do you want me to drop you somewhere or did you ask a friend to pick you up?”
I tell him I asked a friend. Just as we part he squeezes my hand and kisses me on the nose, “Will I see you again?” he asks.
I laugh and walk away.
Ria asks many questions on the walk home, and I don’t remember the answers I give her. My only thoughts are of his lips lightly brushing against my nose. So warm and gentle.
I go to bed feeling as special as he claimed I am, I wake up to a flood of messages from him. I realize I have never known happiness like that before.
That week we have two more cups of coffee with each other. Ria takes me shopping for new clothes. I take the savings out of my piggy bank and buy two new shirts, lip gloss and some frilly underwear. The panties are uncomfortable but Ria insists they will make me feel sexy. Just as I have begun to understand the concept of looking sexy, I must now contend with feeling it as well. That night I walk around the room in my frilly underwear and think about him. I don’t feel sexy. I feel I look like a clown in these gaudy colours and itchy fabrics.
The following week he asks if I would like to take a walk with him. I meet him in the park near his house. I am wearing my sexy underwear but I just feel nervous. As we walk along the trees and plants he holds my hand. I feel my palms getting sweaty. The only person who ever holds my hand is my mother when she helps me cross the street.
“You’re going to be a big girl now,” he says.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“Isn’t it your birthday next week?” he says, “What are you going to do?”
I am so surprised that he remembers. I usually just have dinner with my parents on my birthday. They give me some money and an expensive gift.
“I don’t think I will do much,” I tell him.
He stands in front of me and puts his hands on my shoulders, “A special girl like you deserves to have a very special day.” He moves his mouth closer to mine and puts his lips on mine. Ria told me what to do in this situation. Press my mouth onto his, feel his lips and put my tongue in his mouth. But it feels like all I am doing is getting in the way of what he is doing. After a while of being frozen, I give into him, I stop moving my tongue so violently into his mouth and let him take mine.
It doesn’t feel bad. It’s not the best. I don’t fully understand what I am doing but I feel some heat inside my sexy panties. Perhaps that is what feeling sexy is.
I spend the whole week carefully planning out my birthday excuses to get away from my family. I tell them I will be staying back for extra coaching after school and then Ria and I were going to watch a movie. They check with Ria’s parents. She is in on my lies. She is planning to spend that time with her boyfriend. I manage to snake six hours of unaccounted time from my parents. Ria and I will be joining them for my birthday dinner at home at 8 PM. My parents seem happy that I am making an effort to socialize.
He is very happy with all the effort I have made to spend all this time with him. He tells me he has a huge surprise in store for me. Ria tells me to remove all the hair from my body just in case I decide to have sex. I tell her I don’t even understand how that would happen. She explains the male anatomy to me, she says words like urges and penis. I blush a lot during the conversation. I remember the heat between my legs from when he last kissed me. It makes me uncomfortable and sexy. She tells me to borrow her underwear so I can look more grown up. Her bras are bigger than mine. She makes me wear it anyway. It is black and pricks me. The panties have a huge metal ring on one side. I am sure this is unhygienic but she insists it is alright since they are freshly washed.
On my birthday, I am able to pay no attention in school. My geography teacher calls me out for reading from my mathematics textbook during her class. No one from school remembers that it is my birthday but for once, I really seem not to care. I cant wait for the day to be over. When the final bell rings, I sprint towards the main gate. I walk out and look behind my shoulder to make sure no one sees me turn into the alley beside the school. I walk to the location we decided he would pick me up from. He is already there. I see his silver car parked right next to the “STOP” sign.
I look around and get in.
There are so many balloons in the car I can barely see his face. I laugh and emboldened by my joy, I lunge forward and kiss him. He seems to like it. So do I. I feel my sexiness reignite.
He drives us through town, past the park we took our walk in and straight to his building. I must have looked worried about this new development because he says, “Don’t worry, you’ll always be safe with me.”
I believe him.
His home is beautiful. It is perfect, just like him. And in the middle of his dining table there is a huge cake with my face on it. Right next to it is a box. A blue box.
“Open it,” he says.
There is a dress inside. A purple frock. My first grown up dress.
“Put it on,” he says.
I am so touched, I begin to cry. I don’t even notice he is helping me change my clothes. He takes me to a mirror and opens my hair. I can barely recognize the girl looking back at me from it; she is almost beautiful.
I thank him. He hugs me. We sit on his grown-up balcony and drink wine. I have never had wine before, it tastes bad and does something funny to my brain. We kiss a lot. He keeps inching closer until I am sitting in his lap.
He pours me more wine. I drink more wine. I sink into his shoulder. Suddenly, I realize I am flying. Except I’m not, he is merely carrying me in his arms. I feel so safe.
He takes me to his bedroom. His sheets are purple too. I think, “I go perfectly in his room.”
He puts me down on his bed. He closes the door and walks towards me. I feel that heat coming back between my legs. He looks into my eyes. I melt.
I jump on his bed. My head is spinning.
He puts a blindfold around my eyes, I don’t know what he doing.
“Lie down,” he says. I obey even though I know I shouldn’t.
“What are you doing?” I ask. He slaps me. I scream. I try to jump off his bed, he holds me down.
“Be quiet or I will hurt you,” he says. I panic. I fight him. He slaps me again. And then again.
“Just be quiet princess,” he says, “I am going to show you how a man loves a woman.”
I am scared but his peaceful tone seems to calm me. He is still the same guy, I tell myself. He is just doing that sex thing Ria was talking about. Funny she didn’t mention the slapping though. He cuffs my hands behind my back and I feel his weight on top of me. He kisses me. I hate it but my body doesn’t.
I kiss him back.
He begins to rip my pretty new dress off me. He digs his teeth into me. Into my neck and then my shoulder. It hurts, I want to stop him but the words are stuck in my throat.He pulls the dress off me. My head feels heavy.
“Look at you dressed like a slut under all your layers of pretend innocence,” he says. The only word I hear is slut. No one has ever called me that before. He bites me more, all over my body. I cannot pretend I want this anymore. I begin to cry and plead with him to let me go.
“You want this,” he tells me, “You chased me down and begged me to keep you. I am doing you a favour now.”
I tell him I am not ready that even the kissing was a step too far for me. He rips off the sexy panties Ria lent to me. He puts his hand against my pussy.
“Look how warm you are down here… And how well-shaven..” he says, “You expect me to believe you didn’t come here looking for this.. You’re a filthy little whore.”
He bites me on my labia. I scream again. He bites harder. I try to get off the bed but I cant even move. He puts his finger inside me. It hurts a little but as he begins to move it around in circles it begins to feel good. I can feel my body betraying me. He laughs. His magical fingers still working me.
Giant explosions start to go off in my head; I can feel my body convulsing. I realize, this is probably what an orgasm is supposed to be. An explosion of my sexiness.
He slaps me again. I barely feel it.
He puts his face against mine and holds my throat. I feel something warm and cylindrical rubbing against my vagina. He puts one hand on mouth and in one inconsiderate thrusting motion, enters me. I scream into his hand and try to push him off me. It hurts so much.
He doesn’t stop even for a second. Tears flow from my eyes onto his perfect purple sheets. I realize he isn’t even using a condom. I try to throw him off again. He pulls my hair.
“You’re my special girl, aren’t you?” he says and keeps fucking me.
He never calls or messages me again after that evening. The last I saw him he was driving me home, grinning all over his face and stroking my cheek to comfort me.
“See you soon,” he says as I get out of his car.
“Thank you,” I hear myself say even though I am pretty sure I have just been violated.
I tell myself I will never contact him again.
But within five hours I find myself reaching for my phone to tell him that I love him. He never responds.
Every day, I call him at regular intervals and send him hundreds of messages. He blocks my number. I ache for him. He continues to ignore me. I find myself wandering around the coffee shop where we first met. I go around to his building just willing myself to walk up the stairs and knock on his door. I take walks in his park everyday just hoping to run into him once.
Today, I see him.
Sitting alone on a bench in a gray suit.
I begin to walk towards him.
As I get close I notice the pretty looking young girl sitting beside him on the bench.
I hide behind a tree.
I can hear them talk.
“You’re not like other girls,” he says to her, “I see something special in you.”