by Lindsay, age 17

He looked me in the eyes,
And brushed my hair out of my face
From the way he touched my skin
I knew where this was going.
I’d been in this situation before:
Other guys, another place, different moments.
But the energy of anticipation mingled with
The breathlessness of nerves
Were all too familiar feelings.
But then this guy, in this moment,
Chose to do something to take away the fear.
The question of whether I was going to be heard
Was unequivocally answered.
With his words, he embraced
The concept of consent and
Made me feel empowered, valued
And above all respected.
I knew there would be no regrets
As there had been so many times before.
This time was infinitely sweeter because it was
He made me feel like it was okay to be myself.
And all he did was ask…

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