He told me I was pretty. Every day after school he’d be chilling on the block as I walked home. Smoking weed and drinking and not doing much else. But he always made sure to stop whatever he was doing to tell me I was pretty.
He was from the east coast so he stood out to me. In a sea of West Coast thugs, his swagger was different. What he wore, the way he wore it, the way he spoke. All of it different and attractive in its exoticness.
He was cute. And all the girls and women would gush over him. Oh and he was older. Like out of school older. While I was just getting settled into junior high. And he had a car and his own apartment. All the things that seem to sparkle when you’re a young girl.
And speaking of sparkle. He had this chain. A big gold cross with diamonds all over it. And I thought it was the prettiest thing ever. All I wanted was to wear his chain.
So every day after he told me how pretty I was. I’d ask if I could wear his chain. And every day he said no. Then he would turn around and laugh with his boys.
But one day it was different. Just him and one other guy sitting out when I walked by. We went through our routine exchange. Him commenting on how pretty I was. Me asking to wear his chain. But this time the outcome was different. He had a new answer for me.
He didn’t say no and laugh. This time he wanted to know what I’d give him in exchange.
Now I’m just barely a teenager and not knowing how to respond. So I say whatever you want. Because all I see is the chain. And what could a grown man possibly want from a kid like me anyways.
He just smiled at his friend and took the necklace off. Placing it around my neck he tells me I can keep it overnight. That he will get it back after school the following day. Needless to say I’m happy. Darn near giddy because I got the chain on and all my girls are jealous. Not a care in the world or a thought as to what he might expect in return.
So that next day he wasn’t chilling on the corner. He rolls up on me as I’m walking down the street to one of my friend’s houses. Tells me to get in. That he wants me to go with him to his apartment. I start to protest. I’ve never been alone with a boy, let alone a grown man before. But before I can throw out an excuse, he reminds me that he let me wear his chain. And how I promised whatever he wanted in exchange.
I’m nervous but I go. Because I did promise and he did let me wear the chain. I mean it’s still around my neck as we drive towards his apartment.
We get there and we are alone and I’m soo scared. Because I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into or what he’s going to do. And he starts kissing on me and wants to take it up to his room. So I blurt out that I’m a virgin. Which I am and which seems to throw him off slightly. I don’t think he ever considered that possibility based off the way I looked. Only 13 but full grown.
So he says we can just lay there and make out. No sex. And so we do. I mean he does because I don’t know what to do. I let him kiss and touch and rub. Until he’s satisfied that the debt has been adequately repaid.
And that chain, still around my neck, feels like it weighs a ton.