In 1986 I was a tubby little 14-year old who wanted two things in life: to be pretty and to be with Anthony C. He was two years older, a fact I never realized would bring me such torture from his friends in the years ahead. With a big Roman nose, giant, hazel eyes that framed in long dark eyelashes and curly brown hair, Anthony was an Italian Adonis. A wrestler to boot, his body was lithe and skinny but cut—just the way I like ‘em. My ideal. One look and I was hit by a thunderbolt in my first year of South Jr. High, a very typical schoolgirl crush.
The problem was, I wasn’t very good at hiding it. Everyone knew I was in love with Anthony, and his crowd never stopped torturing me for it. Ant himself was very sweet to me, though clearly not interested. And that was alright; we were kind of friends. But I guess I never gave up hope that one day he’d see how cool I was and want to be my boyfriend. That’s why when his friend Abbie told me after school one day that he was bringing Anthony to the park later that night to “go” with me, I believed him. “Go” meant tongue kiss. I was pretty excited.
So I dolled myself up in Wet n’ Wild, teased my permed hair to the proper height, straightened the cat eyes and off I went. The park was pretty empty that summer night. No ball games, I guess. A few friends straggled here and there and then I saw Abbie and his friend Des. Anthony was nowhere in sight. “He’s coming,” they promised, as the shadows grew longer. I waited but knew in my heart he wasn’t coming. It gets a little fuzzy here, but somehow I wound up walking down what we called the tow path with Abbie and Des. It’s a dirt road that runs elevated next to a brook shrouded in trees and brush. Not completely desolate; houses line the other side of the brook, but it was certainly a place where miscreant behavior could go unnoticed. All along the walk Abbie and Des assured me that Anthony wanted to come, but they didn’t know what happened. Silly, young girl, I didn’t realize what they were up to.
The next thing I knew we’re sitting on the edge of the brook just talking, when the subject of blowjobs comes up and how I should give Abbie one. Now Abbie was hot—all the girls loved him, but a blowjob? Me? I didn’t think so. Yet instead of running away instantly I remember standing there for what seemed like half an hour while each of them explained why I should do it. At one point I remember Des pulling me aside and really trying to talk me into it using logic. I looked over and Abbie was standing there with his arms draped over a tree with a fuck me look on his face. I wasn’t so naïve that I didn’t think about things like that. I’d been masturbating since the time I was 10, so such thoughts weren’t new. I’d even thought about Abbie in the past. He might not have been such a bad substitute for Anthony.
I don’t know what made me finally decide to leave after saying “No” a thousand times. Though I was young and impressionable and desperate to be liked by boys, somewhere inside me was the confidence and the brains to get the fuck out of there—and also be really insulted and hurt by the whole thing. As I walked off toward my house, just outside the park’s gate, they called to me still, begging for me to blow Abbie. “Just one time, please?” I guess I’m lucky they weren’t more aggressive. Anything could have happened down there.
When I got home I sat on my front steps crying. I remember watching my tears hit the concrete and wondering why that happened to me. Why did they have to trick me like that and try to get me to do that. And thank god I had enough sense not to. My brother came outside and asked me what happened. I wished for him to become enraged and go searching for them. I wanted him to beat the shit out of them for doing that to his little sister. But that kind of justice never came. I never told anyone else. I had to sit with the knowledge that I could possibly have gotten raped, that Anthony didn’t love me, and that I was thought of as the kind of girl who had so little self-esteem I’d dish out blowjobs under a bridge in broad daylight.