There was the 20-something dude with a thick Irish accent who called me on several occasions for phone sex.
During the last call I ever made with him, he asked me, breathlessly post-orgasm, if I would be his online girlfriend. There was the 40-year-old guy who convinced me to phone with him while his wife was downstairs making dinner.
During the day, I may have been no one, but online, I was a goddess. I told them I was anything they wanted me to be, really. I thought that I’d baited these men and that had they known I was 13 they wouldn’t have let things go as far as they did.
I’d grown up enough to become acutely aware of my own outsiderness. It was stupidly easy: Post “16/f/ma” and within seconds you would be rolling in attention.
Sixteen seemed like the perfect age, primarily because at 13, 16 seemed more than grown-up enough.
Definitely not just sitting around in an ugly bathrobe drinking hot chocolate.
No one had to tell me what a cop car was doing in our driveway. The next thing I knew, I was standing beside my mother as she gripped a copy of an e-mail I had sent just days before. The exact beginning of the three years I spent dirty talking with strangers online is a mystery to me.
There was the first guy I ever virtually did it with, a supposedly 19-year-old boy from Ohio.