Richard and I wrote an insane number of letters back and forth. Big, fat ones, about three times a week, nothing but ImissyouIloveyouImissyouIloveyou and once in a while, maybe a bit of what we were actually doing other than missingyoulovingyou. I couldn’t wait to get home after school every day and check the mail, my fingers fumbling with excitement as I tore open his letters.
He wrote romantic poetry, called me, “Darling” and “Sweetheart.” I was over the moon, feeling loved and special for the first time in my life. Getting my fix every day or two kept me topped up and blissfully happy.
Of course, my parents weren’t too impressed with any of this, especially because of the age difference — a man five years older is a lot when a girl is just 15 — and the fact that this whole thing was obviously becoming pretty hot and heavy, not that I gave a rat’s ass what they thought.
In fact, it may have been part of the appeal.
And when Richard managed to come and see me for a few days a couple of months later, I was thrilled. Especially when I knew just how much it was driving my parents over the edge.
In December, I met Charlie.
Like Richard, he, too, was 20 and he was also my friend, Glen’s, cousin.
Charlie was great fun to be with. Lots of laughs, easygoing and kind. Kristie, a girl I met at school, rather liked Glen so the four of us hung out a lot in the basement at his house, playing records and drinking beer.
I was especially grateful for somewhere to go and have a good time, and just hang out with my friends. What a change from being stuck at home putting up with the icy cold loneliness, the blistering rages, my father’s drunken rampages, and my mother’s soul-destroying insults.
Charlie and I began taking long drives in the evening, just roaming through the city or occasionally a little way into the country, listening to music in his little…