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.

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MarinaNicole said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm
This story would be really good as a full-length novel. I've read some stories with the same theme and the voice and vocabulary you use blows them out of the water. Anyway...it was really good. Nice job.
qtalli03 said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 8:25 am
This story was really amazing! The title sounded so interesting, it drew me in. The little details were just incredible. I really feel like I could feel Caitlin's emotions. I like the ending because people can make there own assumptions on what will happen. You should continue on, I am curious to what you could come up with.
RLJoy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm
this is written amazingly!!!!!!!!!!!! its so good!
rosaliehale said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm
this was truly great. it shows how girls are attracted to guys even after they hurt us a thousand times over. I really enjoyed it! keep writing!
goddess_of_the_moon_123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 6:55 pm
Wow, this was powerful. The story truly felt real. Amazing.
P.S. Would you mind reading my article 'Strong'? I would very much appreciate your input!
EMOEMY said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 6:28 pm
That was awesome please continue to rite stories like that. You are very good.
XoLaUrEnOx7 said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 5:15 pm
i think u should seriously rite another piece like tht. i loved the deets. they weren't obvious, very subtle.
Jatavion said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 12:08 pm
that was so awesome. i loved your ending especially
OneSilhouette said...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm
i LOVE how the last line could be kind of ominous. great work overall! :)
Prd101 said...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 12:07 am
awesome story :) I really enjoyed it.. keep writing!
SallySunshine said...
Sept. 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm
This is such a good story/poem! i loved it
michelle_my_belle replied...
Oct. 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm
Just wondering. How is it a poem?
CaitNicole21 said...
Sept. 15, 2009 at 3:20 pm
i always feel like i can relate to peple in stories with the same name as me!! and i have a feeling that i'm no different than the caitlin in this story. its really good!!!
MyChey5 said...
Sept. 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm
Of course i would NEVER (i think) do what Catlin did. Still being with him i mean. But im not letting that get in the way. This story is beautiful. Amazing!!! You should check out my article Elegance....kinda like this...in a few ways!!!
cait22 said...
Sept. 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm
storys with people with the same name as me always gets me. i loved your intensity. keep up the great writing.
JacintaT said...
Aug. 27, 2009 at 11:59 am
I really really liked this.
People were talking on msn and i couldnt even minimize the screen for a moment. Just had to keep reading. Lol. Really good.
TheRightToDream This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 25, 2009 at 2:38 am
This is amazing :D. I really feel for Caitlyn. From the beginning, it stirred the emotions in me and really moved me. Keep going--you're doing great :)
penguins_r_cool said...
Aug. 24, 2009 at 1:25 am
omg! continuation!!!!!!!!!!!! plez!!!!!!!!!!!!
unearthlyhaphazard said...
Aug. 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm
Fantastic! I can really get into Caitlin's head. I can't believe the way Aaron treats her, and she lets him. You've got serious talent, so keep writing!
Jennax3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 22, 2009 at 1:16 am
This is outstanding and wonderfully written! I felt really bad for Caitlin :( I love how realistic it is... and you send a great message to the reader about abuse. Amazing job; keep writing! :]
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