Can You Find Me? II: Exordium

Disclaimer: Mature Content

I always knew there was something fucked up in my head.

It wasn’t like I was really destined to be this way. Mom and dad were in the picture from birth. Neither of them ever raised a hand to me that was too harsh or spoke a word to me that was too cruel. My mother doted on me for every minor achievement I made growing up and my father was your typical suburban dad, dead-set on making me the king of football or baseball while teaching me life lessons on how to be a man. We had money, we had a nice house, and I never went for longer than a day without something I asked for. Sure, I was a spoiled kid but I wasn’t a spoiled brat. My best friend in high school was even more well-off than I was and anyone would call him a good kid. A good friend, a good guy, a good son, yet his only faults were a short fuse and a tendency to be over-protective. At least his mistakes never hurt anybody; Mine did.

In regards to the “Nature vs. Nurture” argument I have trouble seeing where my nurturing failed me. I mean, maybe my good life was the reason for my problems, but then I remember my best friend and that he doesn’t have the same issues I do. In fact, he doesn’t have any of the same issues that I do. He had his emotional outbursts so that it was no secret what was going on in his head. I was always calm, cool, and collected. My demons rarely came to the surface.

I grew up being everything my parents wanted me to be. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to play baseball and take photography classes, I’m just lucky that I wasn’t stuck doing anything that I hated. I was being cultivated into the perfect little plant for all to see. Once I hit high school my GPA and sportsmanship spoke for themselves. By junior year I was good-looking, I was successful, and I was popular. My future seemed unlimited to everyone else but me. My paraphilia was the demon hidden inside of me, waiting for me to slip back into his clutches at any moment. I started over-stepping my boundaries as a child. Many young children are caught and disciplined for certain behaviors before it can get worse. Sadly, I was never caught and never disciplined. Because of this, what started as simple curiosity morphed into a complete obsession. That obsession took me down an unforgivable road that put some of the most precious people in my life in danger.

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Can You Find Me? I: Summer

Disclaimer: Mature Content

It was the summer after we graduated high school. The summer I’ll never forget.

My friends and I were dead set on having the time of our lives before we parted ways for college. My parents had gotten me a hybrid DSLR as a graduation gift and I planned on using it to capture memories of our summer adventures. Our first couple months of freedom was pretty typical; we went swimming and fishing at the lake, visited the amusement park, hung out downtown, and partied at our friend’s big, two-story lake house. It was my first year without a curfew and I was taking full advantage of it. I also got to celebrate my eight month anniversary with my boyfriend Nick. Most of my favorite moments that summer happened with him by my side. Looking back now, those hot summer days were picture perfect. I thought that my whole summer would just be an array of happy memories and good times. I was wrong.

At the beginning of July we were all sitting on the back porch of our friend Aaron’s house. I had my feet kicked up on the table and was listening to Nick and Aaron talk about cars while I sipped some lemonade. Whenever I listened to those two talk I swore that they were long lost brothers. If they didn’t look so different their vibe could totally fool anyone into believing so. Nick had short, brown hair and freckles painting the skin of his nose and shoulders. It was my favorite thing about him. Aaron, on the other hand, had no freckles to detail his olive skin but was gifted with dark shoulder-length hair that was thick and lustrous enough to rival that of any of the girls we knew. Katy, my best friend, was notoriously jealous of how easily his hair kept itself while she was left struggling with her own blonde locks every morning.

Katy was reclined in the chair beside me and scrolling through her phone, ignoring the impassioned conversation going on between Aaron and Nick. I glanced over at her just as she began to sit up.

“Hey, this looks pretty cool,” she said, offering her phone screen to the table for all of us to see.

“What does?” I asked.

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It Takes A Year: Part Three

[Updated: 4/20/17]

Will left me in the morning with a heavy head and leaky eyes. I knew he had to work, but the fear and distress of the night before had convinced me that the space he left beside me in bed was permanent. I didn’t have the cute text he usually leaves me on my phone when he went to work. I had no indication of hope left to wake up to, only a single fan blowing and the rays of a rising sun. I laid still for a moment, basking in the memories of last night. How he had pushed me away and how our first “I love you” was in the midst of anger and lies. I had never fallen apart so fast before. I’d never let someone’s actions control so much of how I felt. I was so used to apathy and shrugging off someone’s threats because I knew I’d find someone new. But I didn’t want anyone to replace Will, for once I didn’t want someone new.

After I laid in the painful silence for a few minutes I brought up his number and hovered my thumbs over the screen. I started with a simple greeting, one without the embellishments of affection I was used to giving. He replied almost immediately, sounding so monotone and careless even through the little words on the screen. I began to type “I miss you” and stopped, wondering if it was just going to bother him. I backtracked and asked if he was at work first. He said he was. I told him I missed him and he didn’t answer me back right away. “I’ll be home at four” he said, blowing past my sentiment. My heart hurt.

I had to find something to do with my day that didn’t involve sobbing in his room for nine hours. I called up a girlfriend of mine to take me out around noon. I needed to vent, to try and understand where we’d go from here.

She picked me up from the apartment and we planned on going to the mall to get smoothies. She could tell from the heaviness of my stride that something was very wrong.

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