Hide And Shut Up
Many years ago, I had been seeing this guy named Charlie. Charlie was a sweetheart, athletic, and handsome and (in my oh-so-cultured 14-year-old mind) I thought he was perfect. So naturally, I got really excited when he invited me over to his house to watch movies and hang out.
Immediately we got snuggled up on his bed and watched a movie on his laptop, him with his arm around me and hugging me close every once in a while. Once the movie finished, he mentioned that he had a huge trampoline we could relax on and go stargazing, and I was wooed by the romantic proposal. We grabbed blankets, his laptop (for music), and some pillows and went outside to see the beautiful night sky.
He wrapped his arms around me as we stargazed, but he froze up when we heard a huge crashing sound. His eyes were wide in fear as a beat-up pickup truck crashed through his front gate and kind of skidded to a stop just a few feet from our romantic setup. I had no idea what was going on, but Charlie seemed freaked out and told me to “be quiet, shut up!” I could barely get a word out as he pushed me under the blanket and shushed me. I listened as the door to the car opened and shut, and a slurred voice called out to Charlie: “Hey! Chaaarlie…”
The footsteps came up right next to the trampoline and Charlie said “Hi, Ted… What’s that?” I felt a thud as something hit me in the leg and rolled around the trampoline, and judging by its weight and the clink it made, I knew it was a bottle. Charlie said “No, Ted, I’m not drinking with you tonight.” An important bit of info: I was really straightedge when I was 14 (no sex, drugs, or alcohol) so I was shocked and disgusted that my “perfect” date would drink underage.
Ted groaned a few “Come oooon, Charlie”s and started rambling about his weekend with no sign of stopping. Apparently, his girlfriend had dumped him, had sex with him, and then told him to get lost. He was an emotional roller coaster, one minute praising her and the next moaning about how slutty she was. Ted just wouldn’t shut up and I swear I started to hear him choke up about his problems. But, at the time, being trapped under a blanket was a little more important than Ted’s sob story.
Ted grabbed my foot (it took all my power not to scream) and slurred “Who’s dat? Is that *pause* Dani? Oh hiiiii, Dani! Charrrlie, is that Dani?” Charlie froze up a little, as if flinching, and laughed nervously “No.. It’s not Dani.” Okay…we had been dating for a few months, and to my knowledge we were exclusive. Who the hell is Dani? Or Danny. Even worse.
Eventually Ted got bored and sauntered off, and when the coast was clear I threw the blanket off me and gasped for air. Charlie shrugged meekly and apologized “Sorry about my brother…he gets drunk a lot…I don’t really like his behavior and try to stay away from him when he drinks, but sometimes I have to go with it so he doesn’t get mad.” I stared at him, kind of feeling bad about being so upset, but I was too pissed to care after our date turned into a game of “hide and shut up.” I dialed my mom and left soon after.
Charlie became more and more distant, until we stopped talking altogether. Later on I discovered that Charlie gets wasted and/or high with his brother more often than he led me to believe, and looks like he’s having a great time! Thanks, Facebook.