Slowly I began to realize that CM and I were sitting in his house. Alone. I pushed the thought from my mind with the reminder that my mom’s house was right across the street and that at least one person in CM’s house was related to a friend of my family. I couldn’t stop a nagging feeling from stealing up on me, so I mentioned the family friend to him casually and learned that she was CM’s cousin. Still a bit concerned, I covertly sent a text to my brother asking him to call me and ask me to come home when he got off of work.

CM seemed to immune to any reservations I had and said that his brothers weren’t home because they had already left for a party, was I interested in joining up with them? I asked if my family friend might be there and for one instant a crafty look entered his eyes, but the moment passed and he responded that he really wasn’t sure but the party wasn’t that far away. For some reason – maybe I was looking for a little bit of danger – I agreed and we walked out to his car.

In the driveway was the largest truck I had ever seen. CM was by no means tall, but he wasn’t short either and in order to get into the truck he had to use a small step attached to the side of the car. I’m only 5’3″ and had to use my arms to pull myself up, even with the help of the step. He drove us to a local liquor store, where he escorted me inside to buy a handle. I chose the girliest drink available – Smirnoff wine coolers – and trudged back out to the car.

CM kept up a long string of questions about my life, school, work and things that interested me so I never once questioned why we were getting onto the freeway. It did not occur to me to wonder where we were going, how I would get home or if he had any ulterior motives