Monday, May 31, 2010

Walking Away

I met my first real boyfriend during the summer of my seventeenth year. Three weeks later I walked down the street with him, away from my childhood home, away from everything familiar and safe, into an unfamiliar world of new experiences, freedoms, and fears. We spent that first night sleeping on the living room floor of Jerry's friend, making love for the first time. Sometime during the night we were awakened by flashing blue and red lights circling the walls along with our thoughts of being caught. Jerry was on probation and I was just seventeen. I did not relish the idea of a Police ride home and the possibility of spending time in the Juvenile Detention Hall. The friend's house was in an undesirable area of downtown and the nighttime scare freaked us all out. The friend sent us on our way with empty stomachs and a warning to Jerry that went unheeded. We walked out of Toledo, down country back roads in the humid, June heat. Jerry tried to convince me to go swimming in a water tower in a field. I never swim where I can't touch bottom, let alone climb up a fifty foot ladder to skinny dip in broad daylight in water over my head. Jerry was exposing me to things I never thought about doing. Just up the road from the water tower was a farmhouse with a tent in the side yard. He boldly walked up and asked if we could sleep in the tent for the night. At least I thought he asked. I didn't really see anyone open the door. The sun was still up when we laid down, but the sun stays up late in the summer. We made love over and over that long night away from home.

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