By Francis Ashe
Copyright 2012 Francis Ashe
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Ashley here (who else?) My semester was finally coming to an end. This was my last semester of college, and Spring Break had just started. Where most of the students were going to have a crazy week of partying, I was going to visit my dad and his wife. I had almost run out of the money I saved over summer, and aside from that, I needed to get a few essays finished and applications for graduate school taken care of, so this was for the best. I was almost looking forward to the trip, in a strange way.
My parents had divorced when I was only eight, and I grew up with my mom in upstate New York. My dad had moved to Kentucky for some reason I was never sure of, and settled down on a plot of land near some woods. I had visited a few times, usually for a couple of weeks during summer vacation each year, but for the most part, had not been too close to him over the years. He married his second wife the year before I went off to Boston for school. My new step-mother had a 14-year old son who proved to be every bit as awful and awkward as a teenager could manage.
The first, and only, time that I met John Michael, I had just turned 18 and he was barely 14. I was finishing high school just as he started. He was a lanky thing – tall, gangly and unsure of himself whereas I was a track-and-field star at the school, and moonlighted on the volleyball team. Thinking back, I remember that he had been supremely creepy. For those two weeks we spent together, he had regularly crept into my room when I was out and stolen panties. One day I walked in to find him rifling through my dirty clothes pile and sniffing at the crotch of the pair I’d taken off just before going for a swim. When I saw him, I screamed as loud as I could and he jumped up and bumped his head on the dresser. I spent the rest of the visit torturing the poor kid – wandering around in a towel after showers, wearing my bikini too low when we’d swim, and one time I even loosened the top enough that it came off when I jumped in the water. I was really awful to him, but he definitely deserved it.