I Kissed the Boy Who Hit Me This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 19, 2009
I really didn't see it coming. His hand, angry and rough and quick as lightning, connected with my jaw as he smacked me across the face. Hard. My neck snapped to the side, my chin pointed downward, and that's where I stayed for at least a full minute. I was afraid to move, afraid to breathe.

Oh, my God. I'm dreaming. Please tell me this isn't real.

Hot tears clung to my lashes, but I refused to let myself cry. I focused on the burning sensation in my cheek, too afraid to shift in my seat. My face was on fire.

I swallowed hard, watching the scenery as it passed: the green grass and the yellow sun, the black blurring of mailboxes and rooftops. Except for the steady hum of the air conditioner, there was dead silence.

I tried to focus on anything, anything but the boy next to me, breathing heavily. Anything except the car speeding up as he stepped on the accelerator, driving more recklessly with every dip and curve in the road.

See the sidewalks, a steady stream of white concrete against the jet black road. See the treetops, so severely contrasting the painted cerulean sky. See the fire hydrant, bright like the stars that shine above the lake at night. See–

“This isn't my fault, Caitlin,” he said quietly. I peeked at him out of the corner of my eye. His hands were gripping the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles turning white.

“What?” I was surprised to find that my voice was soft and steady, though my hands were shaking and twisting in my lap.

“You left me waiting there for an hour. What was I supposed to think?”

“It was an honest mistake,” I whispered, so quietly that I could barely hear myself. “I lost track of time.”

He glanced at me, his jaw clenched so hard I thought he might shatter his teeth. “Yeah, sure.”

I hesitated, not knowing what he wanted me to do. I opened my mouth, and I watched his hands, and I made sure they didn't come anywhere near me. “I'm telling the truth,” I said finally, quietly. “I was doing exactly what I told you I'd be doing … working on my story for the paper.”

“Of course you were.”

“Why don't you trust me?”

“Who was that guy you were with?”

I sighed, knowing I could never win. My cheek hurt so much, worse than when I fell of my bike and skinned my elbows and knees. It hurt worse than the time I cut my hand on a fence and needed six stitches, or the time I fell on a flower pot and sliced my knee open. It hurt because he made me hurt. It hurt because he wanted me to hurt.

“I … I just–”

“Spit it out, Caitlin!”

I fell back against the seat, feeling more defeated than I'd ever felt in my life. It was like reaching the top step just to find more stairs. It would have been easier to think, I'm sure, if my face didn't have a heartbeat.

“Why are you being so mean to me?” It just slipped out, and Aaron looked bewildered. He didn't answer right away, or even as we pulled into my neighborhood. By the time he'd parked in my driveway, we were both completely silent.

“I'm sorry, Cait,” he said. “That was really stupid; I don't know what came over me.”

I let my eyes meet his for the first time that afternoon. “I don't either.”

He shut the car off and twisted in his seat to face me. His hand slid over my forehead, and down through my hair, and finally settled around my neck. He pulled me toward him, gently, and kissed the cheek that still ached. Now it ached with yearning.

It's strange, I suppose, how someone can treat you so wrong and you can still want him so much. I wanted to feel his lips on me again, brushing away the hurt and the pain. I wanted his touch. The school parking lot suddenly felt a million years away.

“That will never happen again,” he assured me, kissing me softly. “I swear I will never do that again.”

And I believed him.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 181 comments. Post your own now!

AndThenThereWasPaint.. said...
Jan. 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm
This is truly a great peice. Please keep writing I want to see more of your work!
Dassa said...
Dec. 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm
OMG!! i love this. its so superb and its so foolish at how girls could forgive the men who have hurt them so deeply
Wordfisher said...
Dec. 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm
This was amazing!!!i loved it!
HiddenAngelInTheDark said...
Dec. 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm
It's so sad tht this happens everyday many are blinded by love to see someone true colors
Soni-kay said...
Dec. 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm
Wow did  this really happen it was really good
softcitty replied...
Mar. 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm
did it really happen to you if it did im sorry and i like it you should make more
TherearemanyAnnasbutIamtheORIGINALANNA said...
Dec. 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm

This is amazing!:) keep writing, you're great at it. Good job!:)


jazziea said...
Nov. 3, 2011 at 9:53 am
awesome i love it
KaitlynKaotic said...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 10:14 am

That reminds me of what happened to me...except I sat there and it progressively got worse.

I love your writing,. Your voice really shone through. It was wonderfully phrased; everything flowed.

Emiri said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 6:31 am
I love the way you slowly introduced teh setting while keeping the story intact through that one little backbone (aka, the SMACK!) It's not very often that I really want to finish a piece, and it's very rare that I want to go back and read more of your stuff. I'm a very picky person. I love your way of writing. I hope the rest of your pieces are this good.
Emiri replied...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 6:32 am
An the title was really good. An eye-catcher. I believe that good titles are abotu thirty five percent of teh actual work. Good job!
cheeeeeer6 said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 10:28 am
ist s really emotional piece. feel bad for her
RyanTyler said...
Oct. 4, 2011 at 10:11 am

Wow really powerful and so true to how abusive relationships work


Trixie.B.Rose said...
Oct. 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm
I really love how you kept it short, but there is so much meaning behind each word that it seems longer.
burgerman said...
Oct. 1, 2011 at 8:32 am
I love the language used here. Check out my work while you keep this up!
zadiekatie23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm
This is great! I thought Aaron was a jerk because he hit her, and I wouldn't have believed him at the end, but I liked it a lot. Thanks!
introducingshelby said...
Sept. 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm
I like this... but it reminds me (A LOT) of Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.. The plot, the character's name and everything.
CowBell This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm
I was thinking the same thing... but its still good.
introducingshelby replied...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Yeah! For sure, it's nicely written!
WritingJuliaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm
I really like this because it tells a whole story in what would be a few minutes or less.  Awesome!!!
Site Feedback