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SOMETHING LIKE THAT

by Jacqueline Doyle

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About Jacqueline Doyle

Jacqueline Doyle's very short prose has appeared in Café Irreal, PANK, Monkeybicycle, Sweet, Vestal Review, The Rumpus, Literary Orphans, Corium, and elsewhere. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

I don't know why I lied. Maybe it's because someone finally believed me. So maybe it didn't really happen in exactly that way with exactly those boys on exactly that night. I'm not sure any more. But things have happened to me, on nights like that, with boys like that. I was at a party like that and a bunch of boys jostled me in the hall on the way to the bathroom. They were laughing and drunk and I was pinned against the wall and couldn't breathe and they were reaching under my skirt clawing at me with their hands in my underpants. I tried to scream but it was like my throat had closed up and no sound came out. Lighten up, one of the guys said, when I ran to the front door of the apartment crying. All night I was crying, hiccuping, rocking back and forth like a baby, mascara and snot smeared all over my face. My roommates said you got to be careful. I was lucky, they said, nothing really happened, not like the girl down the hall who dropped out. And I guess nothing really happened, at least not compared to high school, when I thought I was in love, at least he said he loved me, and then two of his friends showed up when we were making out in the back seat of his car, and they did things to me, and all three of them laughed and called me a slut. Everyone at school was calling me a slut that year. No one cared about my side of the story. In middle school there were my older cousins who were teaching me how to play pool and kept rubbing up against me from behind when I leaned over the table. Shame on you, my mother said. Don't lie like that. It would break your father's heart if he heard you say things like that about his own brother's boys. My other uncle when I was real little who called me Cutie Pie and always made me sit in his lap. I never told anybody about that, how he tickled me to make me wiggle in his lap and gripped my arms so tight his fingers left marks. So when the reporter was asking girls in my dorm for their stories, maybe I got confused, or maybe it all happened and it's just hard to remember, because why would I want to remember something like that, or tell a story like that, much less a lie like that.