"When I was younger, I was super self conscious. I needed the approval of everyone for everything I ever did."
"That doesn't seem..." He stopped; he knew that she would elaborate. She would tell him how she became so radiant and confident.
"Shh!" She said loudly, "Well, there was this Sophomore. He was super cute. Hot, I guess. He was crazy stupid, and I mean stupid. But he was popular, and that's all that mattered to me. Plus, he was in high school! I was this goofy eighth grader, and a high school boy like me! And at first, he was nice. A good, caring boyfriend, everything you could ask for. I was wrong about him though, every one was. He was a pig. He still is, it's just now everyone knows so he's even worse about it. No sense in hiding what everyone knows.
"On our 3rd date, he tried to get me into bed. Of course, I said no. I was waaayy to young. Not even 14! And he was almost 16. I wasn't ready, and he knew it. It didn't stop him though, he only gave up when I texted Bell and she came over. We live right next to each other, so it took like 2 minutes for her to get there, which was great. At the time, I was sure he wouldn't have done anything, but now, when I look back I know he would've. He would've done whatever he wanted to."
Z looked shocked. Back home, nobody did that kind of thing. Everyone was polite and respectful to everyone. There was never anything like this. But Ari didn't stop there.
"I didn't think anything of it. Bell wanted me to dump him, but I wanted to stay with him. It was our first real fight, and he loved it. He had me all to himself for that time. It was ridiculous, I know – knew – I should have listened to her. She was right. It would have hurt a lot less if I had ended it then, but for the first time I was popular! People knew my name, people I didn't even know! It was great, like I was on cloud nine every second of my life!
"Like every trip to cloud nine, there was eventually the fall from Heaven. After a few weeks, he tried it again. He was very persistent. Honestly, he wanted nothing else from me. He was into that. First-timers. It made him really happy inside, who knows why. All I know is that it's disgusting; he uses all these beautiful girls and just throws them away after they put out. I didn't care about that either, but Bell did. I just ignored all that stuff, I insisted that he really had changed. She kept trying to talk me into ending it. I never listened.
"I was stupid, horribly stupid. When I look back, it's all that I can see. I was too stupid to believe my best friend." She blinked away her tears; she was getting to the part only a few people know. "From here on out, nobody knows this stuff except the people involved. And nobody else will ever know." It was an order, her making sure he wouldn't spill anything. "Also, don't tell Bell I told you this. Let me tell her that you know."
"Okay, I got it." He understood completely. He wouldn't want Ari sharing his story, so he would return the favor.
"For the first couple times, I got away with saying no. There was always an excuse not to, sometimes somebody 'accidentally' barged in. Every time, he got more and more insistent. I held out longer than any other girl ever did. I never said yes to him; don't forget that." Her eyes were piercing green, glowing in the darkness she wanted for story time.
"Well, shortly after I came to high school, it was home coming weekend. Oliver was on the football team, so of course I had to go the the dance with him. He took me off to the side of the dance and gave me a present. I was expecting a necklace or something, but I opened it up and it was some frilly, itty bitty thing. A dress, I guess. But it was basically lingerie with extra lace."
She stopped to wipe a tear away, "He wanted me to put it on for him. And as a good girlfriend, I couldn't say no, right? So we went to the storage room by the bathrooms and I put it on. He loved it, obviously.
"At this point, 'No' was not an option for me. He wouldn't accept it; it wasn't in his vocabulary anymore. When he insisted I kept saying no, but he didn't get it. He forced my almost non-existent clothes off, and then his. I was crying and screaming 'No' almost nonstop. But nobody came to help, and he didn't care what I had to say.
"I thought I was done for, that he had won. I passed out because I was so afraid. When I woke up, I expected to be alone in the room, beaten and used by a man I trusted. Instead I found that I wasn't alone. There were two boys in the room with me, each one looking at me, begging for me to be okay. I was so embarrassed. I was in my bra and panties!
"Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a Mohawk standing and facing the corner, yelling. As it turns out, Yuki and Yasha had been in the boy's bathroom and heard me crying. Ash came running in to help me, saving me from that monster. When he recognized me, even though I'd never met him before hand, he sent Yuki to get Bell. While Ash was playing prince charming, Yuki was getting help." Ari started smiling, "These two boys that I had never met saved me, from who knows what. I don't know, well, obviously I know, but who knows what could've happened ? I mean seriously, unconscious girl in a room with a guy who has no boundaries, can I say goldmine?"
She was laughing, as if this wasn't really what it was. "Well, Yuki got back with Rock and Bell, they immediately took him to the corner and, let's just say, he never looked quite the same again. Ash didn't leave my side until I woke up, which was really nice. They gave me my clothes and never mentioned how much they saw. From the moment I locked eyes with those boys, I knew they were keepers. To be honest, I was kind of upset when I found out Ash was gay."