i carried your weight, the misplaced rage and the burden of hate.
You are: eighteen, pleasantly buzzed from weed and cheap, shitty Steel Reserve. There is a wide rip along the seam of your fishnet tights that you notice after slipping outside for some air. You wish you could talk whoever is controlling the music into playing something off Silent Alarm.

He is: currently in possession of cigarettes, which you suddenly find you desperately need. After you bum one off of him, you find out that he is a junior. He asks you what your major is. Everyone asks that, ever since you got here, that is how everyone navigates conversation with a stranger. You tell him.

He says, what are you gonna do with that? You want to work for a label or something?

I want to own one, you answer. You don't know why, exactly, but you want for people to be able to make that distinction.

He laughs. He says, that's stupid. No one buys music anymore. His parents would never pay for him to waste a degree.

You should be affronted, you realize as much. You should not let anyone shit on your dream, the one you worked all last year to come up with for the admissions portfolio, the one your parents are definitely only able to half pay for, but you are drunk and young and trying confidence on like a new coat. So you are not so easily deflated and you do not leave.

What happens is: You change the subject. You talk for fifteen minutes, maybe twenty. You make out while you're outside. You go back inside, find a bathroom and go down on him so he realizes you're not an inexperienced naif fresh out of high school. You put your number in his cell phone. You have all of the power here.

What you don't realize is: This does not mean you have all of the power here. In fact, you have none of it.

What you will come to find out: He won't stop you, of course, but he'll use it against you later. When he doesn't want you to go out to parties with your friends. When he dislikes the exposure of your stomach in your crop tops. When he says he can't trust you. When he says he can't trust you -- when he asks how do I know you won't cheat on me -- he throws the accusation at you. You sucked my dick the first night you met me. How do I know you won't fuck the next guy that gives you attention? As if that was how you greeted everyone.

Your friends always find somewhere else to maintain their eye contact when he says that in front of them. You never figure out how to defend yourself.

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