By Sally Barker (Victoria, BC)

Dating can be nasty! I was thirteen; awkward, insecure, and easily embarrassed, in love with a beautiful Grade twelve hot guy; and who asks me out?

He was the minister's son, sixteen, and in no way appealing; but I said, Yes.

He'd asked me out before, three, four, five times and I'd run out of excuses. I needed excuses; couldn't just say No!

We went to a movie. He slid his arm around my shoulders and leered when I tried to squirm away. He slithered his free hand onto my breast, knee and under my skirt. I dug my fingers into his wrist. He looked hurt, then grinned. I seethed.  It was a long movie. I refused coffee; sat back to the door in his car on the drive home, while he tried to stroke my calf and ogled my breasts. He took the long way, stopping on a darkened street, grabbing me for a kiss. He laughed as I fought. It took a full ten minutes of fighting and a hard slap to extricate myself from his slimy grasp.

At home, my father asked how it went. Embarrassed, I shrugged; only to get an unbelievable, angry lecture on being a snob and too picky.

Furious, I stammered. He... wouldn't... keep... his paws... off me!

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I 'hot showered away the smear of touch. My father's rebuke left scars.

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