Hot Chocolate, Red Roaster cafe, St James’ Street, Brighton

I have a lot more than these two, believe me. When I was in junior high from 1975-77, (I was between the ages of 11 and 13) I was not a popular girl. I was chunky, wore dress pants instead of jeans and was not a 'stoner' like my brother. Kids weren't only verbally cruel to me, they were physically cruel as well. I had been pushed into lockers face first, tripped, pushed down stairs, hit, you name it. I believe I was in history class. Two girls that had come after me before on many occasions were talking about how cool it was to have a baby. There were several girls at our school who were already sexually active and/or pregnant. They asked me if I thought it was cool to have a baby. I said no. They got in my face about it. 'She doesn't think it's cool to have a baby' one said to the other. 'Not at our age' I shot back. 'For gods sakes we're what, 11, 12, 13 years old? We've got our whole lives ahead of us. I don't think it's cool to have a baby when you're still just a baby yourself. I think it's obscene (yes, I really did talk like that back then; English has always been my favorite subject). I didn't even care if they kicked the sh** out of me for it later. I was so sick and tired of seeing little girls my age who had romanticized the whole baby thing waddling around in late-stage misery because their previously loving boyfriends had freaked and split, leaving them to deal with parenthood alone. I have also always been very anti-drug. Anyone who knew me knew better than to ask me to go to any parties or try any pills. My brother was particularly incensed that I was such a goody two-shoes. He made it very clear on many occasions that I was an embarrassment to him. 'Don't you dare tell anyone you're my sister' he warned. 'I'll deny it, and then you'll be sorry…' One day when I was fifteen, I was very sick with a bad sore throat so I stayed home from school. He begged our mother to let him stay home too. I begged her not to. As usual, she relented in his favor. She has never been able to say no to him. I was listening to some music and he brought me a mug of hot chocolate. He said he wanted to help my throat feel better. Although I was suspicious, my brother had never done anything to my food or drink before. I drank the cocoa. By the time he let me in on what was happening to me I was so freaked out that he couldn't calm me down. He said 'I hate to tell you this, but you're tripping on acid…' so of course, I looked at the floor. When it dawned on me what he had done; the horror that crawled through my flesh was terrifying. My own brother had drugged me. My worst nightmare had come to life and I couldn't escape it. 'How could you do this to me' I cried. He laughed out loud. I pushed him out of the way as I ran up the stairs, but by the time I got to the living room there were maggots crawling all over everything and I lost it. He tried to 'babysit' me; he sat me down on the couch and put his arm around me, trying to talk me through my bad trip. I shoved him away. It made me sick to look at him. He had betrayed me in the worst possible way. 'Why?' I begged. He gave me the coldest look I had ever seen. 'Because I wanted you to be able to say that you did drugs at least once'. No remorse. No compassion. Nothing. I told him 'What you do with your body is your business. You had no right to do this to mine. I will never trust you again as long as I live. Don't ever bring me anything to eat or drink again. Just stay the hell away from me. If you ever try to hurt me again, I will tell Dad what you did to me today and we both know he would kill you'. It was the first time I had ever stood up to him in my life. He spent the rest of the day pathetically trying to be funny in an attempt to force me to enjoy my experience, which only made him appear that much more hideous to me. For him to have no conscience about what he'd done, to not care…it still breaks my heart, and the look he had in his eyes still chills me to the bone.

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