Generally, I would have considered myself the weird kid in school. I was the one who was convinced I had a pet butterfly that flew with me to school and back and played with me at recess. I was the one collecting rocks and sometimes “interesting” trash to make sculptures while out on the playground. I was the one who sat in the grass and made necklaces and bracelets and headbands from weedy flowers. I was the girl who was alone at recess most of the time. At that age, I had no interest in boys and would rather compete with them than think about liking them or shunning them entirely. Some of the boys in my class picked on me a bit, but I mostly just ignored them and figured they thought I was weird or didn’t like me, and I didn’t really care much.
However, there was one boy who picked on me and bothered me the most, L.
He was the boy in class that would get in trouble all the time. We had a wall with different colored cards for behavior, and every time he’d get in trouble he’d be nearly bawling to go change his card from green to yellow, or sometimes straight to red. He was the one sticking his eyelids up until they stuck and farting on purpose, just generally being gross. I didn’t like being around him at all. Considering the way he treated me, I figured he just didn’t like me, and that was fine with me. The feeling was mutual, and he was generally receiving a large helping of side-eye from me every time he got into trouble.
One day, I was walking on the playground, heading back toward the cafeteria. At my elementary school, the playground has a square building near the cafeteria with a boys’ bathroom and a girls’ bathroom on opposite sides, and that’s all it holds. There are classrooms on either side of the entrance to the cafeteria and the playground beyond.
I was walking by the big entrance to the boys’ bathroom, minding my own business, when suddenly a dark shape came out of the doorway, grabbed my arm hard, and yanked me into the bathroom.
I remember being very confused, as the process of walking had been interrupted so quickly, and suddenly all I saw was the orange ceiling, dirty tiles, and few stalls in the boys’ restroom. Within the next few seconds, I had a wet kiss planted on my lips.
My thoughts went from shock, to panic, to anger. Especially when I figured out it was L from my class.
The details are pretty fuzzy from there. I do remember pushing him away and kicking him squarely in the huevos before hightailing it out of there, calling for a playground supervisor. I know he got in trouble, probably mostly for the pulling-a-girl-into-the-bathroom by force stunt.
I also find it ironic that I wasn’t kissed again (for real this time) until I was 20 years old.
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