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You’re Not Allowed to Die

·902 words·5 mins
Leather Family Relationships Survival

“Page, you stupid fucking whore, I love you, cut it out!” J yelled at me.

I was sinking into the grass, full of innumerable shots. “No, leave me alone, I’m going to stay out here until I freeze.” At least that’s what I meant to say. I’m sure it was slurred, smeared, obscured somehow.

It wasn’t the world’s best plan for ending it all. It was unlikely that I’d die of exposure. Maine gets cold, sure, and it’s still a bit chilly in early April but probably not anything someone would die from. Still, my friends were having none of my resolution to remain on the damp lawn all night, unguarded.

B grabbed my arm hard, kicked my leg. J, A, and S joined in. I made myself as heavy as I possibly could, and I started out heavier than any one of the four of them. Somehow these girls got me to my feet, hauled me up, and forced me across campus to A’s bed. S stripped off my soaked clothes, threw one of her nightgowns on me, and force cuddled me until I passed out. “You’re not allowed to die,” she said, as I drifted off. “You have no say in the matter.”


I have 2 scars on my right side, a 1-cm white line mid forearm and a tan oval right above my wrist.

My 19-year-old self was all about forcing perspective shifts, no matter the cost.

The line: When I got sick of S cutting herself, I grabbed one of her blades and cut myself in front of her to see how she’d feel watching such a thing.

The oval: I burned myself with a cigarette in front of J because the guy she was seeing had done it to her, and she told us it wasn’t so bad.

Dramatic, but they got the fucking point.

Over the years, at times when someone has called me a coward or a bad friend because they didn’t get what they wanted out of the situation, I look at my right arm and remember.


We called each other “whore” all the time – “whore,” “cunt,” “slut,” “bitch.” We did it with love, in only the way that the closest friends can. We all had so much damage, and that’s what made our friendship work. Smoking weed in the basement of the honors dorm, sitting on the dirt, the wires and pipes nearly knocking us on the head. Wearing each other’s clothes. Fucking each other’s boyfriends, ex-boyfriends. Fucking each other. A couple of the girls stripped and turned tricks – I was a bit envious because they were so much braver than I was. I was stupid and gave it away for free.

I swallowed S’s tonsils in the middle of Boston in broad daylight when B, J, and I went to get her. S had fled school after hearing her ex-boyfriend drunkenly pressuring J into having sex with him.  J wouldn’t comment on whether it was rape or not, but she had sort of phased out of reality, as she did when things got uncomfortable. As we all did. Making out with S in public seemed the least I could do to distract everyone. We all needed a distraction so badly – I would’ve fucked her right there if I thought I wouldn’t get arrested.

I can’t listen to Orgy or watch Fight Club without thinking of them.


We’ve all changed, gone on to different things. Except A. She’s stuck at 20 forever.

S cleaned up her act, married a frequent customer at the club. She’s an accountant, and they have 2 kids.

J married a super rich dude and moved to Australia. She ghosted on me a few years back, and I hope one day she looks me up and reaches out. She stays off social media because she hooked long enough to worry about clients finding her.

B is a biological researcher at a lab in the Deep South. She sent me a fruit basket when I remarried.

And A… well, she was always the one I thought would do the best. She’d struggled with some opiate use, but she was doing well. She had kicked it. Just gotten a job with the postal service, which at 20 is kind of a big accomplishment.

And then she was dead. Overdosed.

We hadn’t talked for months. I’d spent a couple of weeks on a psych ward after leaving an abusive boyfriend (who I met because he was A’s dealer), and as part of my recovery, I spent several months avoiding people who had done drugs with me. This included A.

I’d just gotten a new boyfriend and was spending all my time with him and his friends, avoiding the wilder folks I’d known. Half recovery and half being a stereotypical newly partnered person.

Because of this, it took me over a year to find out she was gone.


I found out last night that a fellow kinkster passed away. We didn’t talk very often, but we’d had some really good conversations, and I identified with her. She was a very strong person. She was made of the same stuff as we were.  She was such a fun, sweet person.

I’m stunned, completely raw with grief.

It is wrong for her to die. It is not fair. It makes no sense.

And yet here we are. Again.


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