First I would start by saying that I do not know why this particular memory popped into my head. This is from a very long time ago. I’m going to date myself by sharing a few things in this story. This incident happened when I was about 12. I was still in junior high school. One of my classmates was having a party at their house. It was somewhere in the projects. I can’t remember who or where exactly, but this all took place in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. Back then all you needed for a party were colored lightbulbs, preferably red, some music and some wine. Yes wine at 12. Shit gets real fast in the hood.

 I remember being in the living room where the party was happening. It was very dark so you couldn’t make out the faces of everyone there, but you could distinguish male from female. We were a bunch of horny adolescents. There was slow music playing and your mission as a guy was to find a girl to slow dance with you. Mind you I had no idea what the fuck I was doing, but I had to play it off like I was an old pro. I remember there being a small group of girls sitting on the sofa. Daring rejection, I reached out to one of them who seemed to have a really nice body. To my surprise she eagerly accepted my invitation. I remember her holding me so tight. I remember being lost in the smell of her body. My body reacted in ways that I had never really experienced. We stayed locked together for at least three songs. At one point I felt her fingers digging into me wanting more. She let out a breathy moan that turned me on to a point where I was about to explode. I kissed her and she went with it. I’m thinking to myself, I am the fucking man. Mind you I’m only 12. I had no idea what the fuck I was doing really but it seemed so natural. As the music ended, we separated. I couldn’t think of anything else but how to take this experience to the next level.

As the party ended, we both went out into the hallway which was brightly lit. It was the first chance I got to see her face.  She was a few shades darker than me and she had this huge birthmark on her face. It looked as if she had been in a fire. I remember saying to myself holy shit but trying not to show a reaction. I knew this girl from school. I had seen her being teased relentlessly about her looks. I know what you’re thinking, looks aren’t everything, but at 12 they are every fucking thing. I was disappointed but she was so taken by the fact that some boy had found her attractive I didn’t have the heart to show it.  She was heading home and I felt the least I could do was walk her home. So I did. 

We got to her house a little brother answered the door. He asked, Who is this? Almost as if I wasn’t there. She replied, this is my friend. Mind your business! To which his reaction was, ooooh Cheryl got a boyfriend! Cheryl got a boyfriend! He yelled this at the top of his voice running down the hall in the house as we came in behind him. I was thinking to myself,  I have a little brothers and I know they are stupid so that really didn’t bother me. But what happened next is why am telling you the story. Her mother and another sister were in the kitchen. I could hear her mother saying What? What? incredulously. The three of them stood in the doorway of the kitchen staring at me in disbelief. They were literally in shameless shock that some guy liked her. Her mother insisted that I come in so she could get a good look at me. Everyone was aghast staring at me. The girl was totally embarrassed. Her mother was completely blunt. She said that she never thought that her baby would ever find a man. Mind you, I’m only 12. This was blowing my mind beyond blown. They were looking at me as if I had come from another planet. I got asked a few questions about myself my age and things. I navigated it politely and excused myself to leave. Cheryl walked me to the door and apologized for her family. She said that I was the first guy that had ever shown her any interest. She also said something that I never forgot. She said it’s OK, I know I’m ugly, but thank you for the best night of my life, gave me a hug and closed the door.  

I think I may have seen her one other time at school after this. She was too shy to speak and I didn’t pursue. It was crazy awkward and I was unprepared. 

There was a lot to learn from this experience. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about sexuality. I learned a lot about maturity. I also learned that girls were way more mature than we were at that age. I believe that it was the first time that I had seen someone tell a brutally uncomfortable truth about themselves up close. I can do nothing but respect her bravery.

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