The Joe Effect

I don’t know if you know this, but guys can be assholes. 

Let me tell you about the first time a trusted a guy.

I had just turned 15. At the time, I was in California. I was talking to a guy online who was 3 years older than me. I knew him and we had hung out, but I was away from him for a couple months. He was sweet, we talked all the time, and we shared similar interests. As time went on, feelings became more and more powerful. And before we knew it, I was in his town.

I got settled in to where I was staying in town, and then he was on his way over. We were all over each other. But looking back, he was more touchy than I was. We would make flirty touches of the hand and intense looks, and he’d always pull me onto his lap when he sat.


It was dark now, and he said, ” Let’s go up the hill, there is a great view of the town up there.” And so we go. As I’m gasping my way up this steep hill, he veers to the right and sits at a picnic table. I pause. There is absolutely no view. There is a table, dirt, and tall enough pine trees that the only option for a “view” was to look straight up to the starry sky.

“This is it? ” I asked incredulously. There’s no way. A pit in my stomach opened up.

I knew I had made a mistake that night.

“Yep,” he said, stretching his arms over the table.

I didn’t know if I wanted to give in and sit, or sprint back down the hill to the safety of where my mom was. But not to be a chicken, I sat. And he pulled me onto his lap. Somehow, we ended up playing truth or dare. Stupid. I picked truth, but he dared me to kiss him. My mind raced. I studied him. The sad part was, in the end, I just gave in for no other reason than to get my first kiss over with. Really romantic, right? And even worse, the minute our lips touched, I kept saying in my mind that kissing is not that great whatsoever. That night, I numbly walked down the hill with my arm through his, and the smile he wore sickened me. I knew I had made a mistake that night. Heck, even the 2 months we talked online made me feel stupid.

My first kiss, it felt like, was taken from me.

The next night, I was in a situation. Joey planned a night photo shoot. You know, the pictures that can capture an image of the stars? When he told me his plans, I was torn between staying with mom…or going with him and risking something else. I ended up going just so I could get out of the house and see the stars and the pictures that were to be taken. And so we sat on his cold-as-heck metal truck tailgate. He kept rubbing his hands on my thighs, and I grew more nervous. I was shaking. Sure it was cold, but I knew I was freaking out on the inside. I didn’t want him to touch me at all that night. But I was 15 and didn’t know what to do. I was stuck. I felt trapped.

But nothing happened that night. Not even a kiss.

Over the next couple of days, we convinced my mom to allow him to take me flying somewhere. Joey was a young pilot. So the day came when we went up into the air and headed to the coast. Things were good and sweet. We went for lunch and hung out on the beach. More cringey PDA. Somehow, instead of going bowling in the town, we started to wander back to the airport. Mistake. 

The boy was going to try to take advantage of me, in a plane, an hour flight away from home.


We arrived at the airport 2 hours earlier than we had said to my parents.

He pulled me onto his lap again, in the pilot seat. I knew he wanted to get somewhere with me. So, I fiddled with his iPad, nervously rambling about nothing, spent minutes going through his music, and wouldn’t look at him.

The boy was going to try to take advantage of me, in a plane, an hour flight away from home.

And he did try. I gave in and kissed him, hoping that kissing could get better. It was then, when I was finally able to relax into a kiss, he decided he wanted more. Before I knew what had happened, I was laying on the passenger seat and half on the plane door. His hand grasped my breast and he giggled as he kissed my neck. I made the biggest eye roll in my life and pushed him away. But he thought I was inviting him to take off my shirt, I guess?

Some people may say…

“What are you doing?! No. ”   I said. He dropped his hands and leaned back into his pilot seat. He was smiling though. The whole flight back, he was smiling and giddy, like he actually got somewhere. I couldn’t look at him, so I looked out my window and the flight buttons. I didn’t smile or speak to him, either. He never asked how I was doing, didn’t stop showing happiness.

I thought I could trust him. He got my parents to trust him. I thought he wouldn’t rush me, touch me, like that. All of this, and I became disgusted.

Some people may say that it was romantic. Some may say that I should’ve known a guy would try to get a feel.

Some may say that an 18 year old guy should’ve known not to do that and says he’s an asshole.

But I also should’ve listened to my gut and stopped whatever was happening from the night of the first kiss.

Just… my first-something-boy experience was bad. I wish it had never happened.
Can any of you relate?…

~Rosie

(P.S. I left the next day after the flight happened. I left the town and only texted him a goodbye when I was about 100 miles away. )

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