Chapter 1: Beginnings My name is Sophia, and right now, I’m a very bored twenty-three-year-old writing this from COVID-19 lockdown in California. I’ve never tried to write anything remotely like this before, so we’ll see how it goes. We’re all bored right? So, I’ll start where I guess my journey really begins, about halfway through senior year of high school, a few weeks after my eighteenth birthday. A little about me first, though. I grew up just outside of Los Angeles, and I was a pretty typical high school student. Like many of my peers, my big focus at that point was getting into a good college like Berkeley, UCLA, or maybe one of the top out of state ones if I could get a scholarship. My other big thing was running cross country, which kept me pretty fit, if a bit on the slender side. I wasn’t the most popular girl at my school by any means, but I was definitely a lot farther up the high school social ladder than down it. My family isn’t rich, but we are definitely pretty well off, and I never wanted for anything. I had lots of friends, and overall a fun life, but a can’t say I was that unique. If you called me a basic white girl, you wouldn’t be wrong. I had a few boyfriends that I had sex with during high school, usually guys a year or two ahead of me, but I wasn’t particularly promiscuous beyond that. So if you find yourself wondering later, why is she like this, it’s not because of some kind of bullying or trauma or anything like that. My parents were supportive but not strict or overbearing, and I got along fine with my two older siblings. My dad took me to Dodgers games and my big brother taught me to surf. I’m a painfully stereotypical California girl—sorry not sorry—and I had a great life growing up. Going into senior year I had been dating a guy that had started at USC that August, and even though it wasn’t that far away, we drifted apart pretty fast. He kind of low key ghosted me actually, and a little over halfway through the year I was clearly single, and not at all heartbroken about it to be honest. I kind of knew things would probably go that way, and even if they didn’t, the chances of keeping that relationship going once I graduated and went to college as well were pretty slim. And if I’m being honest, I don’t think I really wanted to. So that’s the exposition—on to the real story. One of the things I did a few days a week was go to a gym not far from my house after school. My mom had a membership there she was too busy to use much, and I was on it too. At times over the previous year or so, I’d seen this really attractive black guy working out who looked in his mid twenties or so. He seemed nice, with a great smile, and that kind of good natured cockiness hot guys with some actual maturity tend to have. He had hit on me a few times in the past, not in an obnoxious way, and was cool about it when I told him I had a boyfriend. There was some of the typical banter about “oh you don’t fuck with brothers,” and me of course saying no, that’s not it, but it wasn’t at all obnoxious—just fun flirting. We’d say hi when we saw one another and usually chat for a minute. I knew his name was Lincoln, but that was about it. I was flattered by the attention from this handsome older guy, so I often “just happened” to end up finishing my workout around the same time as he did, resulting in us bumping into each other. We’d talk, and I’d get a “you still got that boyfriend” from him, but he never pushed it much when I said yeah. The particular time when I guess this story really starts, a Wednesday, I saw him on both of our ways out (totally not on purpose, I promise), and when he asked me that question—it was almost a running joke with us at that point—I said, “No actually. He kind of ghosted me. He must have found someone he was more interested in at USC. Happy eighteenth birthday to me, right?” I gave him a smile to show it wasn’t a big deal. “Oh really?” Lincoln responded, sounding surprised for a second. “That’s sucks—you ok with it?” “Sure—I knew it was going to happen eventually, and I’m fine with it. I’ll be in college next year, probably not at USC, so it’s not like it was going to last anyway, right?” “Probably not,” he agreed with a nice laugh. He was super chill about it, and we chatted a few more minutes. As we were about to part ways, he was like “Hey you want to grab something to eat and talk about it?” I was excited, though I didn’t want to show it, and told him yes to food, but let’s talk about literally anything else. He agreed, and we ended up walking to a seafood place that was a few blocks away. I found out Lincoln was twenty-four, an electrician in the IBEW who worked contract jobs through the union all over the LA area. He’d joined the Navy after high school, and learned his trade there. After four years of that, he’d gone right into his apprenticeship with the IBEW. That was completed, and he was now working jobs either on his own or with another, more experienced electrician if it was something super complicated. He worked jobs at the Port of Los Angeles a lot, I assumed because he had experience with ships already from the Navy or something. He wasn’t one of those people who can only talk about themselves thankfully. I was having a really good time, and was totally open to hanging out with him again. To be honest, I was afraid he’d remember I was still in high school and wouldn’t take me seriously even though I was eighteen by that point, but it turned out he did want to see me again. Now, it’s not like I had any illusions about what he really wanted—I was young but not totally naive—and I was fine with it, thinking why not have a senior fling with this super hot guy, right? So we exchanged numbers and planned to go out that Saturday night, which wasn’t going to be a problem for me. My parents pretty much let me do what I wanted within reason as long as my grades were good, which they absolutely were. I picked out a cute sundress, wanting to look good for him, but not like I was thirsty or something. I have long brown hair and decided to wear it down, thinking he’d like that. He picked me up in a pretty nice SUV, and we drove toward the beach to find a fun place to eat. After a nice dinner and a walk, Lincoln asked if I wanted to go to his place and get high, and I was down. It turned out he had an apartment near the beach that he shared with his cousin. It was a really nice place, more of a townhouse really, and I felt bad at being a little surprised by that fact. Apparently being an electrician pays pretty well, and I was thinking it would not be that great of a place not knowing that at the time, which, yeah, judgey on my part. I don’t think my surprise showed at all, thankfully. His cousin James, who he’d told me was two years older, was there hanging out with another guy, watching TV. I met them both (the other guy was Devin), and after some small talk, Lincoln was like hey lets go upstairs and get high. He grabbed a couple of beers out of the fridge (they had a great open kitchen) and took me upstairs to his room.