• Gaia

I THOUGHT IT WAS NOTHING

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

I thought it was nothing.

He was my first kiss and first boyfriend.

That day we had met in the village when he trapped me in a dark corner and stuck his fingers inside me.

I remember the voices of old ladies walking by. The smell of wet soil. His breath in my face.

I was 12, and he was 19.

His name was Maurizio. He was a classmate's cousin.


I thought it was nothing.

They trapped me in the recessed entranced of an old villa one of the days of carnival.

Hands everywhere, groping, grabbing, pulling.

Laughter and noise, the smell of shaving foam and fireworks.

The swarm that had caught us after a brief chase, 3 o'clock on a February Saturday afternoon. The bells were tolling. I was tall for 14.

But they were just boys, and these are things that happen.

I was 14. His name was Andrea, and he was 17.



I thought it was nothing.

When he offered me a drink in the club, it was July and the evenings were warm. I danced every night.

I had seen him around. He was cute like only some Italian boys can be; he was dark and sunshine all in one.

We spoke. We danced.

He held his hand out and asked me to walk on the beach but took a diversion to the car to grab a pack of fags.

When the doors locked, it was semidark; the smell of rum and coke and smoke filled my lungs.

When I managed to get away, he sped away.

I was just shy of 16; his name was Marcello, he was 23.



I thought it was nothing.

When the lads asked me out, they told my mum I'd be safe.

The one I clicked with had a crooked smile and deep dark Napolitean eyes.

He dragged me off to the beach for a kiss, he said.

He wanted so much more. As he pinned me down, I kneed him. He slapped me hard.

One of his friends walked me back safely to the hotel.

I was 18, his name was Antonio, he was 19.



I thought it was nothing.

He stepped out of the taxi to help me out.

I had had few drinks. It had been a Dublin's Friday night.

When he tried to get my keys, I managed to hold on, and a kiss was all he took for his own.

I was 23. He was a taxi driver.


I thought it was nothing.

At some point, I even may have thought it was all my fault.

So I grew armour. So I grew scales.

Each time one stole something, I added some more.

Today I return you the burden of your actions,

I won't inflict more violence on myself.

It was something, and none of it was my fault.






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