#WhyIDidntReport

He was a good Christian boy who played in a popular local Christian band.

He was 17.

I was barely 15.

I was a fat girl until I dropped 80 pounds my Freshman year. My Sophomore year, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who noticed me now that I was thin.

People actually spoke to me. Boys liked me. All the pretty girls waved at me. It was paradise.

I was a somewhat sheltered kid; but despite the opportunities for experimentation, I remained conservative about what I chose to do with my body. I liked kissing boys behind the Taco Bell we went to during lunch, but nothing more. I wanted to wait until I had a boyfriend I could trust before going further.

I started going to local music shows. I had been different my entire life so the punk rock scene was a perfect fit. I loved everything about the unbridled energy found at the different venues in town. For the first time, I felt like I belonged.

I liked the boys who played in these bands. Some were high school students; some were dropouts who worked for an eccentric millionaire. Some were straightedge; some partied all day and night. Some played black metal for the devil; some played rock n’ roll for Jesus.

The bassist for one of the Christian bands asked me out on a date.

I said yes.

It would be my very first date.

In my mind, I was going on my first date with a good Christian boy who grew up in a good Christian home with good Christian values and he played in a good Christian band for worship services at his good Christian church.

He wasn’t handsome but he seemed sweet. I thought he would be safe.

I was 15. He was 17.

He came to pick me up from my house. He was the kind of boy who was so clean-cut and polite that my overbearing mother took one look at him and gave an audible sigh of relief.

She waved me out the door cheerily and didn’t bother to give me a curfew. He was a good Christian boy from a good Christian home. She knew he had good Christian values and I would be safe on this very first date.

We went to IHOP. We sat in the non-smoking section. A small booth by the corner window.

He ordered one appetizer then handed the server our menus. I wondered if he had decided to go somewhere else for the actual dinner. He’s acting different.

I’m too young to know that he’s got a certain goal.

He looks at me as we talk. He has a polite smile, but his eyes don’t focus on my voice; they shift and slide as he checks the time.

The food comes out, but my stomach has grown heavy and I can only take one bite. He never took a drink of his Sprite.

He asks for the check at exactly 7:49.

As we walk to the car I wonder why he’s so strange tonight. There’s a feeling of dread growing inside. It turns to panic when he starts the car and says, “Lets go for a drive“.

I don’t understand. I’m tongue tied. This wasn’t what I had in mind.

I was 15. He was 17.

He was a good Christian boy and it was my very first date.

“Can you take me home?”

“In a minute.”

“Please take me home. I don’t want to do this.”

“Touch it or you walk home.”

On a street by Olsen Park he stopped when I started to cry.

When he dropped me off at home, my mother was already in bed. She had left the porch light on for me. I was on a date with a good Christian boy and she believed I would be just fine.

Everything changed for me that night.

I was still a virgin but only because I had started to cry.

I didn’t understand. I froze like ice. I told him no, he rolled his eyes. He pushed my hand to the side. It was clear the decision wasn’t mine.

I was still a virgin but only because I had started to cry.

The darkness in me started to grow that night. I became angry at life. Built up walls but couldn’t tell anyone why.

Don’t fucking touch me. Touch me and there will be a fight. Fuck with me and you won’t go home tonight. People around me soon learned my bark had bite.

I was still a virgin but only because I had started to cry.

A guitarist for another Christian band asked me how the date went. I told him that on a street by Olsen Park he stopped only because I had started to cry. I think I wanted someone to tell me that it wasn’t a good Christian thing to do.

But the guitarist only shrugged his shoulders and said “he’s young.”

I was 15. He was 17. He was a good Christian boy from a good Christian home with good Christian values and he played in a good Christian band at a good Christian church. And on a street by Olsen Park, he only stopped when I started to cry.

I no longer felt like I belonged.

I began to feel exiled from God.

Exiled from God. Pello ex Deo.

The guitarist must have said something to to the good Christian boy because he sent me a message over AIM a few weeks later. It was the first time I had heard from him since that night.

“Did I upset you that night?”

“Yes. I told you no.”

“I stopped, though.”

“Only when I started to cry. I wanted to go home. I didn’t know what you were doing. You wouldn’t take me home.”

“I think I’ve learned from this. I’m sorry, Sarah. I’m going to use this as a lesson from God and be a better person. Thank you for telling me this.”

I stared at his words on the computer screen and felt the growing darkness inside me. I remember wondering how he could grow even closer to God from what he did to me, while I fell further away by the day.

I found myself exiled from God.

Pello ex Deo.

I went on to date another boy who played in a band. He was good to me and I was thankful to have him as my first. We had two years together and I often wonder if I would have been better to him if I had not gone on that date with the good Christian boy.

We loved each other but I was dying inside and back then I couldn’t explain why.

Four years after that night I was waiting tables at Denny’s when the good Christian boy sat in my section. He spoke to me like everything was normal. Like he never planted the darkness I have inside.

He left me a tip of $1.25.

He never took a drink of his Sprite.

I drank myself into oblivion that night.

15 years later, I look at his Facebook page. He married a beautiful blonde good Christian girl from a good Christian family. He took over the family business and he has two small children that he is raising in a good Christian home. They look happy and they look like the respectable good Christian family they are.

One of his children has a developmental disorder, and I see from one of his public posts that my birthday is the disorder’s awareness day. What the fuck is this life?

I feel so fucking far from God.

I am exiled from God.

Pello ex Deo.

It occurs to me that even to this day, I don’t ever let men pay for me on dates. We go half-and-half and I meet them in my own car. And I don’t have to tell you why.

I didn’t report because I was 15 years old and going on my first date. He was a good Christian boy and I thought I would be fine. It took me years to unscramble what he did to me that night.

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