Was she 17 yet? I didn’t know. I’ve always had a thing for older women. I was a pre-pubescent 14, a freshman at a Catholic High School that was all about american football. Every Friday night home game was a SCENE, where it all went down. There was a particular girl. I followed her around like a lost puppy, guided by forces of which I was unaware. She was kind, tolerant, but not easily amused. She had dangerous friends. One fateful Friday as the game was wrapping up I walked with her and her 4 male friends through the dark campus to a nearly empty parking lot at the front of the school. The four upperclassmen with her had long tired of my presence and innocent overtures. A car pulled up, it was their ride, we all got in. Someone questioned why and where I was going. The four got out and pulled me with them. Three of them picked me up off the ground and held me fast while the other produced a knife, a switchblade, and held it to my throat. “Leave her alone.” He said.

“What are you doing? Stop! Put me down.” I wriggled. I hadn’t paid the knife any attention. Love conquered all. Eventually, they gave up trying to get anything other than protestations of love out of me. They put me down and got back in the car. I was not invited. I walked back to the game alone, dejected and lucky to not be cut. I had no further contact with the girl or her friends.