“Wanna know what I think about when I first meet someone?” “Sure.” “What it’s like to fuck them.”

The flowers on my dress wilted. They knew what “fuck” meant; I didn’t.

What followed was one of the most honest and open friendships I’ve ever had. A role reversal friendship based on pure trust. I, the 12-year-old adult, guiding a 30 something year old through marriage, his first-born, infidelity, and etcetera.

I trusted him enough to share my pubescence with him and was open about hearing, “No, that’s too much — guys won’t like it. Shave.”

He trusted me enough to tell me about a girl he met at the car wash and how great she made him feel. I was in the front passenger seat as he recounted the details about what went on the night before in the back seat.

I trusted him enough to practice my first kiss on him. “I can tell you want to. Go ahead.” He didn’t let me practice long. He pulled my face away with a “Ohhhhh…….you!”

He trusted me enough to tell me about getting raped as a young boy — a baby even. He didn’t remember it. His mother told him the details and he told me.

I trusted him enough to wait for him for three hours when he said he’d pick me up. He eventually did.

He trusted me enough to tell me about the horrible fight with his wife that made him late. So, so late.

These were brief moments throughout a four-year period of being the one who listened to him, who consoled him, who offered advice. Then the time came for us to get back into our rightful positions.

My first boyfriend was a wimp and so was my second. “You choose these softies, you know that right? You need to be IN CONTROL.” I listened to him then but didn’t have an opinion. Today, I agree. It was clear the second one was sticking around and he told me I was too good for him; he was a loser. I left the house without expression or words, but walked long and far in tears. I hopped on a bus and went away. I don’t remember when I came home, but when I did he was outside waiting, looking like he hadn’t blinked or moved since I left.

No family member has ever been that interested in seeing me return and he was an in-law.

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