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

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.




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This article has 174 comments. Post your own!

Lillie said...
Apr. 8, 2011 at 9:34 am:
Fantastic, you captured the hurt, love and confusion that weaves domestic violence stories.  Well written.
 
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Morganjean said...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm:
Wow. This was very well written. I liked how personal you made it. I felt as though you were telling a first-hand story. Great job.
 
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babygirl96 said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm:

i just really loved this piece. it was very heart touching and it makes me to keep wanting to read more of it if onluy there was more to read=)

keep up the awesome work]=)

 
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Megan.J.B said...
Mar. 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm:
I feel a little cheated when I read this because it is insanely close (as already pointed out) to Dreamland as well as another novel I have read on abuse. They say that people often take a lot from books they read in the means of inspiration, but make sure your stories are different enough. For me, it was just too similar.
 
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LinaTroli said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm:

I agree, when I read that, I though of Dreamland by Sarah Dessen. The part where Rogerson hit Caitlin because she was late, and with another guy, from working on a project, and the part where he said that it was not his fault in those same words were too similar to that novel. Therefore, it lacked originality. Next time, you should check if somebody had already written a story like that.

 

keep up the good work, though!

 
BreeLynne27 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 22, 2011 at 1:25 am :

Before I wrote this article I had been reading up on dating violence and three fiction books on the topic that I found were Things Change, The Breakable Vow, and Breathing Underwater. I found it interesting that all three books contained powerful fight scenes taking place in the boy's car, and those scenes stayed with me for a long time, so I decided to challenge myself to write my own car scene. As for the name Caitlin, I actually took it from Breathing Under... (more »)

 
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Vanendra said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 9:17 am:
Its an excellent work that is really detailed and yet short to read. I loved it
 
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SashaJox said...
Dec. 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm:
This is such a captivating article. It is amazing! You have paid so much attention to detail and when I read it, it felt as though I could feel the pain myself! 
 
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gargar said...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm:
this is really good! check mine out?
 
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BlueBananas said...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 2:44 pm:
Awesomenesssss!
 
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mimirocks124This 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. said...
Nov. 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm:
its gud...altho this is a lot like an excerpt from dreamland by sarah dessen. the main's characters name is caitlin, spelled the same, and her boyfriend abuses her also. its a weird coincidence
 
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writingchickThis 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...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm:
You wrote this just like it could happen in real life, perfectly. Very well done!!
 
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red-head said...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm:
I........... have no words and that is rare. good job.
 
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FunFace said...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm:
i agreed with the person who said you should make it more suspensful (sorry mr/ms. unknown i didnt check ur pen name)  however i think that it was still and amazing story. I love your style and i felt like i was there, watching it happen. 
 
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Reigyn said...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm:

whoa! really intense.

i'm really glad you chose to do a piece like this. I think it's a topic we don't let ourselves talk about or think about and I'm really happy that you chose to right about it.

you did a fantastic job too.

 
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niko_timmy said...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm:
that was really really good. one of my favorites by far
 
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Tiara said...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 9:06 am:
I think youn should have made it more suspensful than him apologizing, like you should have made him seemed even meaner and let her take up for herself
 
J.C.Evans This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm :
If she altered the end of the story it wouldn't be realistic...have you ever seen a battered woman fight back the first time...she's in shock...and truly believes it will neveer happen again...I would know
 
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elmosoreo said...
Oct. 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm:
Wow...powerful piece ^.^ It was amazing..left the end implying that it did infact happen again..I loved this piece... :) Way To Go
 
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Amaria said...
Sept. 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm:
wow!! that was great i felt the emotion you put into this picece...:)
 
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