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!

HereSheIsThis 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...
Jun. 11 at 10:26 am
Feels so real
sabbylynnThis 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...
May 25, 2016 at 8:58 am
wow i love this so much you should make this into a book i love this.
PenInHand said...
Jan. 30, 2016 at 1:54 am
This story is an "ouch" kind of story. It's too real, it's too familiar; but something about the reality of the abuse scenario makes the story thought-provoking, intriguing, and heartbreakingly beautiful. The idea of twisted, manipulative "love" is powerful in the form of a story, and there's really nothing better than a story like this to capture the brokenness of humanity, along with humanity's longing for love. Fantastic job. Would you mind reading and rating some of my stories? I would lov... (more »)
MADDO said...
Oct. 30, 2015 at 6:15 am
This is outstanding...superb:)i enjoyed reading your story.. well written:)
BeilaThis 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...
Mar. 25, 2015 at 1:15 pm
The title is eye-catching, and the voice is powerful. I like that you intermingled dialogue with body language to tell the story of their relationship. Also, props on--you as a writer, not Caitlin--not answering the question about that other boy. I think many writers feel the need to satisfy the reader's every question; this is a perfect example of how leaving the questions hanging actually makes the story stronger.
devoted138 said...
Sept. 28, 2014 at 10:43 am
Oh my God! This was an extremely beautiful writing piece. I was close to tears because this actually happens, and I loved the fact that you added in the strength of the main character but also the weakness of loving a boy because that is how it all happens. Love it, make sure to post more!
Katie-jo said...
Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:32 am
This was beautiful! You are such a talented writer! I love your endind, too! It was just perfect! Personally, it's up to you whether or not you add a second part, but personally I think it's good the way it is. Adding more would undermine what's happened. Some stories are supposed to leave you hanging! By the way, if you get a chance, could you maybe read and/or rate and/or comment on some of my work? Thankyou!
theawesomeone21 replied...
May 30, 2013 at 11:58 am
I love it! You are very talented:)
PeaceAndLove98 said...
Sept. 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm
Wow! That was amazing :)
KylieK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

I have no clue why people keep saying to add a sequal, honestly. That's completely irrelevant and unneccessary.


You guys, the reader is supposed to feel a slight longing at the end. That means she made you fall in love with the characters, getting you so attached that you didn't want to let go at the end.


Bravo for giving us that connection and relationship with the characters!


I also agree with the person up there ^^ who spoke of... (more »)

KylieK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 13, 2012 at 8:47 am
I don't know why I put "up there". It was meant to be posted as a reply, so I could make that reference, lol. I meant SethP. :)
SethP said...
Jun. 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm
The voice of the main character was strong, lending to a very lifelike plot and precise prose. I just have two small suggestions for ways you could maybe strengthen your prose in the future. Try to be wary of how many times you say and in succession. I understand that using "and" successively can evoke a sense of time rushing by or a rush of action, but I felt that the use of "and" got a little bit clumsy here and there, especially when it is used after a comma twice or three times in a row. I w... (more »)
StillYoung said...
Jun. 1, 2012 at 9:22 am
I'd love to read more from you :) this was really believable, as if it happened to you, you've a real talent well done :)
hippiechick99 said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 8:11 am
Wow... this made me cry. I love the obvious pain in the words. And yet you still make it clear that Caitlin still loved him. 5/5
Annette11 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm
Awesome! I really liked the ending, I feel like if you wrote a sequel it would somewhat ruin what I had envisioned, but at the same time I would definitely read it! great work (:
Sweetheartless said...
Mar. 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm
I actually completely disagree with some of the comments here. I think you ended this perfectly, and a sequel would completely undermine the original. Every word you wrote helps to lead up to a perfect conclusion, and that conclusion rings with everything the reader needs to know. Fabulous.
AGirlWithADream said...
Feb. 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm
I think this was great although it leaves me with a question: Did he go through with his promise? I think adding a second part is a great idea. Good job; very detailed and I could relate to the character. I could feel how she felt.
beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 2, 2012 at 6:26 am
For me, it ended too short. Would you add a second part? 5/5
Heenal M. said...
Jan. 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm
Good story! But could you add some more??? Like a sequel to see if he actually kept his promise to her.... :)
Nessa13 said...
Jan. 19, 2012 at 7:46 am
Is that it?? It was really good, but I would love to find out if he ever kept that promise in the end!!??
Site Feedback