Anonymous Story: I Will Never Forget (1)

I don’t remember every detail. I don’t remember exactly how many boys were there. Or exactly what they looked like. I don’t remember all of the words exchanged between those boys, my friend, and myself. I don’t remember every detail. But the details I do remember, I will never forget. I remember we were at a playground on a summer night. A group of about four boys had shown up at one point. I remember thinking that they looked to be about our age, maybe a little older. We were in high school, but I don’t remember exactly what grade. If I had to guess, I’d say we were both about 16.

At first, the boys seemed friendly enough. But that changed relatively quickly. One of them, a braggart, made a dubious claim about his physical prowess and I made a crack at his expense. That’s when things really began to go downhill. I remember seeing the look on his face after I’d made that remark. And I remember the other boys laughing at his expense. I’d embarrassed him, and that had made him very, very angry. He then made a remark that scared me. It was a thinly-veiled sexual threat. Something about how my friend and I were no longer considered jail bait. Soon after, he and his friends left the playground and moved toward the school. Were they leaving?

My friend and I, believing that the boys had moved on, climbed onto the swing set and began to swing. My friend and I, believing that the boys had moved on, climbed onto the swing set and began to swing. But the sound of something large and heavy hitting the wood chips near the swing set confirmed my fear that they were still nearby. The boys were throwing rocks at us from the shadows! And not small rocks, large rocks that would hurt us badly if they made contact. One of the rocks hit the metal frame of the swing set just to my left. It made a deafening sound that I felt in my bones.

That’s when I jumped off the swing and started running. My friend followed closely behind. I remember feeling relieved that I could hear her footsteps. But that relief vanished when, moments later, I heard the footsteps and voices of the boys giving chase not far behind her. I’d never before run for my life. And I knew I’d never run faster. The fear was enormous and all-consuming. Fear that they would catch us. And worst of all, fear of what they might do to us if they caught us.

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