Nick Philby was the most popular boy in the eighth grade…probably in the whole school…and he liked her!
She couldn’t believe it when he asked if she would like to go for a Frostee after school. She couldn’t go, of course…she had to be right home after school or face Mommy’s wrath…but she was so careful how she phrased her decline of his offer so he wouldn’t think she was rejecting him, just this one specific meeting. They had different lunch periods, so she couldn’t have lunch with him…and besides, she always had lunch with Reenie…but she’d find a way!
She stepped out of her science class, her arms wrapped around a stack of books, only to find them snatched from her arms and cradled with Nick’s in his muscular grasp. Nick was a budding gymnastics star who could do absolutely amazing things on the rings and bars and had the physique to prove it. “Those are too heavy for a small girl like you,” he said, flashing his brilliant smile…his older brother was a dentist…“what’s your next class?”
“Mr. Shepherd,” she groaned, rolling her eyes. “I have to stop by the restroom and wipe my lipstick off or he’ll make me spend the entire class period in the hallway.”
He shook his shock of sun-bleached hair. “I feel sorry for you. I’d hate to have a teacher who got on me for my clothes or something.”
She nodded, at a loss for something to say. What was Nick Philby doing walking her to her next class? Nick Philby was a jock, really, really cute, and really, really popular. The girls all batted their eyelashes at him in the hallways, the guys all wanted to hang out with him…what was he doing with her? She smiled weakly.
“Look,” he said, handing her back her books at the door to the girl’s room. “I know you have to go right home after school…how about I walk you home? Wait for me outside Shepherd’s class, OK?”
She nodded dumbly as he turned and dashed down the corridor towards his last class of the day. Who would have ever believed? Nick Philby and her?
Weeks later, Nick was still walking her home. He had come over on a weekend and had even managed to impress Mommy with his gentlemanly manners and deferential attitude, so much so, Mommy actually asked if he might have an older, unattached brother. She had shuddered at the thought, telling Mommy that his only brother was married. Mommy actually looked disappointed, especially when she drove by Nick’s house and realized that his family was one of the original land owners of West Beach and although they had sold off much of their acreage to housing developers, they still lived in a grand old Victorian, the grounds of which took up an entire city block. She was rather unimpressed with the house and grounds since Nana’s garden was even bigger and her house was just as venerable, but she did stand in awe of the priceless antiques…furnishings that were originals with the house…that were an everyday part of Nick’s life.
At first she didn’t think it was particularly odd that Nick brought her to his house when no one else was home. He was the only person she knew who had a maid, and when the maid was working, they stayed out in the little guest house, playing board games and kissing games. She was accorded entrance to the main house when there were only the two of them, and she found a kind of reverent delight in being able to actually touch furnishings of an age and quality that she had only ever seen before in museums. As much as she loved Nana, she had no illusions about Nana’s taste…pedestrian at best. This, she could just tell, was fine…very fine.
Nick liked to make out, not an unusual preoccupation for a teen-aged boy. She was not his first girlfriend, and he had considerable experience and, if she was any judge, talent. So when his mother went out one Saturday to spend the day as an exhibitor at the annual flower show in Cabrillo Park, Nick invited her over, ostensibly to play chess. Frank had taught her to play chess, and she didn’t mind that she was still a novice at it. Her games with Nick involved a forfeit of one kiss per captured piece, and quite often the game was forgotten halfway through as they found a great deal more pleasure in the forfeits. This particular Saturday Nick had set up the chess board in the parlour, an elegant room furnished in plush velvet settees, gleaming mahogany tables, delicate Dresden shepherdesses, and massive bay windows looking out into his mother’s beautiful cutting garden. The room was splendid…not overdone, but tasteful and serenely gracious. She loved it.
He gave her the seat on the settee that had the best view of the garden and, distracted by the beauty of her surroundings…and Nick’s flashing smile…it was not long before they were stretched out together on the settee. She had been having some difficulty with Nick’s tendency to have what the girls called “wandering hands” of late, and today was no exception. The kissing was lovely…exciting…and being in his arms made her breathless…but when one of his hands began inching itself around towards her breasts or down below her waist, she would find the spell broken and her passion quenched. It was really quite annoying.
Today, with the long, deep settee, they sprawled out and, lost in Nick’s kisses, she didn’t realize that something was amiss until she felt his hand fully cover her right breast. Snapped suddenly back to full awareness, she struggled to remove it, only to find herself pinned beneath him, her right arm trapped so that she could do nothing but flail it impotently against his back. “Stop it,” she hissed in his ear. “You’re crushing me…let me up!”
“Just relax,” he said in her ear, kissing her just beneath it where she usually found it titillating. Now she just found it alarming. “This feels so good,” he said with a kind of half moan, his hand tightening on her breast, his thumb brushing across the nipple. She felt a jolt of sensation that frightened her even more, and pushed at him again.
“I can’t breathe,” she said. “Let me up!”
He shifted his position a bit, just enough to ruck up her shirttail and bring her bra into view. “Stop!” she cried, truly alarmed now. “Stop it!” and she began to struggle in earnest. He groped her breast through the bra and began grinding his lower body against hers.
“Stop it!” she cried. "Stop it right now or I will scream!”
“There’s nobody here but us,” he breathed, rubbing his face against her bra cup. “So, you don’t stuff, do you?” he said, half to himself. “The guys in gym all thought these were fake.” He squeezed for emphasis, then shoved the cup upwards, revealing her entire breast.
She would have clawed him, but she had no nails…she would have hit him, but he had her hands pinioned. With sudden alarm she realized that he had carefully planned this…he had even asked her to wear a skirt today rather than her usual capris…dear God, what was he going to do? “If you don’t let me up this instant,” she hissed in his ear, “I will never speak to you again!”
“OK,” he said, closing his hand over her bare breast, his fingers and thumb pinching the nipple painfully. OK? she thought. Did he just say “OK”? Icy fingers of fear crept over her and she clenched her fists and pounded his back, wriggling back and forth to try to break his grasp. He laughed and pushed his pelvis harder against her. “I knew you’d like this,” he said with a chuckle and bent his head to put his mouth on her.
She screamed for him to stop, she struggled, she even started to cry, but all she succeeded in doing was encouraging him further. When he had her bra pushed up to her chin and both breasts bare and glistening with the moisture of his efforts, she began to realize that her skirt and slip were bunched up and nothing stood between them but her thin cotton panties and his chinos, which she suspected were not as securely buttoned and zipped as she would have ordinarily expected. When he moved one hand down towards her leg, freeing her hand, she lashed out with a stinging slap and bucked up against him, trying to throw him off. He just laughed.
“Shove up against me a few more times like that,” he chuckled, recapturing her hand. “I’ll show you how to do it right…”
As he bent his head to her breast again, she went absolutely rigid. “I will tell your mother,” she said.
“She won’t believe you,” he said, mouthing her nipple.
“I swear to you, before I leave here today, I will hide something in this house to prove I was here, and I will tell your mother. I will describe this room and the guest house and the kitchen and the dining room and I will tell her what you did to me unless you let me go right this minute!”
He went still, the grinding of his pelvis against her stopped, his mouth lifted from her now sore nipple, and he looked at her closely. She must have done a very good job of hiding her fear and projecting only her anger and determination, because finally he relented and let her up from the settee. She jumped up and turned her back to sort out her bra and shirt, then bolted for the kitchen door.
“Wait!” he called after her. “Wait a minute and I’ll walk you home!”
By Tuesday afternoon she knew something was wrong. She had refused to speak to Nick before school on Monday and ignored him when he showed up at her classroom doors or at her locker. “Don’t make me say something to embarrass you,” she finally said, just before lunch. “Just go away and leave me alone.”
He didn’t take it well. “You can’t break up with me!” he said to her in a low, angry voice. “Just who the hell do you think you are?”
She raised her eyebrows in mock surprise. “I can break up with you and I just did. And who do I think I am? Not your girlfriend anymore, that’s who!”
He stomped away, his face a study in fury, and she didn’t see him again. But by Tuesday afternoon she had had three boys she didn’t even know ask her for dates and many of the girls who usually ignored her were now pointing at her or nodding in her direction and whispering behind their hands. By lunchtime on Wednesday, a path parted when she walked through the halls, the girls stepping back as if afraid to get their fluffy felt poodle skirts soiled, the boys clearly appraising her. It was making her crazy…what was going on?
It was Reenie who provided the answer. As much as she wasn’t plugged in to the elite social groups of school society, Reenie was often an object of teasing and ridicule and Reenie’s friendship with her was well-known.
“What happened with you and Nick this weekend?” Reenie asked, happily swapping her pastrami sandwich for the nasty peanut butter which was the only thing Mommy bought these days for school lunches.
She shrugged, not wanting to go into embarrassing detail. “I broke up with him.”
“That’s not what’s going around school,” Reenie said, licking her lips over the peanut butter.
She went instantly cold. “What’s going around school?” she asked.
“Well, Nick says he dumped you because he finally got what he was after, and that’s why he was going with you all this time. It’s all over the school!”
“WHAT?” she shouted, dropping the pastrami in her lap. “He said WHAT?”
Reenie started to repeat herself…she could be a little dense and literal at times…so she held up her hand. “Nothing happened…he tried…he almost” here she leaned closer to Reenie and lowered her voice “he almost raped me.” She got up from the steps and excused herself. “There’s something I got to do.”
With Reenie hot on her heels, she stalked over to the circle of teenaged boys whom she knew would have Nick at their centre and shoved her way through the crowd.
“Hiya, baby!” Nick grinned. “Back for more?” The boys around him laughed appreciatively.
“You lying sack of dog turds,” she shouted at him, hands on hips. “I don’t know what kind of lies you are spreading around school about me, but I want it to stop.”
“Awww,” Nick smiled, “Feelings hurt because you weren’t good enough for me to want a return engagement?”
She stood there silently, rigid with rage. When the red haze finally cleared, she calmly looked around the circle of boys, the few girls, and at Nick.
“Ok,” she said. “Have it your way. I won’t tell them that you are such a terrible kisser that you had to hold me down against my will and force yourself on me. And I won’t tell them that you almost raped me. And I certainly won’t tell that that you ignored my threats to scream and my threats to break up with you…but when I threatened to tell your Mommy you let me up like a scared widdle kiddie. I also won’t tell them that I have refused to speak to you since then, and I most definitely won’t tell them that today after school, while you are hanging out at the Frostee shop, making eyes one of these girls and getting ready to pull the same stunt on her, I’m going to be over at your house having a nice little talk with your mother!” With that she turned on her heel and stalked back to her place on the steps, the crowd parting silently to let her pass, Reenie still at her heels.
“It won’t do any good,” Reenie said after they sat back down. “Your reputation will never be the same. Mud sticks, you know…and it dries hard.”
“I know,” she said disconsolately. “But it was worth it to set the record straight. Did you see the look on his face when I said I was going to tell his mother?” She smiled wanly.
One of the girls from the crowd sauntered over and took a rather dramatic pose, one hand on her jutting hip. “Nobody believes you, you know,” she said airily. “Nick doesn’t have to force a girl…especially a little nobody like you. We all knew the reason he was going with you was because you put out. And when he got it, he dumped you. We all knew you were nothing but a tramp…why else would someone like Nick Philby go out with you anyway?”
She looked over at Reenie and said in a loud stage whisper, "Well, if Nick doesn't have to force a girl, I guess we can assume that any girl who goes out with him puts out then, can't we?"
She then turned to the girl whose jaw was hanging open at her oblique insult. "Better get going," she said, nodding in Nick's direction. "There's a line of girls forming to put out for Nick...you don't want to lose your place now, do you?"
It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.