My house was on the corner between Delightful Lane, technically the road I lived on, and Prodd Boulevard. Prodd Boulevard was on a steep hill. A few friends of mine lived at the bottom, while I lived on the top. A few of my other friends lived nearby on Delightful Lane.
There was a house that my friends and I would always hang out at. It was my friend Jenkins' house. He was a good friend, or so I thought.
Now, I can't tell you how I met Jenkins but that's only because I can't even recall our first encounter myself.
His house was a two-story apartment. It had a porch with a large stoop, as well as a balcony. It had one door to the left, and in the foyer, you could choose to go upstairs to Jenkins' apartment or you could go in the door to the right into some cat lady's apartment. Once you reached the top of the stairs you could go into his apartment.
Jenkins was the center of our group of friends, although none of us saw him often. He always hung out in the other room, in the back of the apartment. A few of us would talk and hang out like kids do. I don't remember what the conversation consisted of but I do remember that it was never of my primary memory at the apartment.
We would paint at Jenkins'. The walls were white throughout the whole entire apartment. It had mediocre generic furniture, and had a distinct, clean smell.
Of the few times I visited over that long summer, I remember painting. We repainted the whole entire living room white. The walls were bare and untouched so I don't know why we would have needed to paint, but we did. I don't recall the smell of paint, or the feeling of it, I just remember the cleanliness.
I can see myself, so young and stupid. I was on the opposite wall of the apartment toward what would be considered the front of the apartment. I was painting, alone. In my content, I was called on upon, by request, into the bathroom.
The tragedy took place here. My most embarrassing, traumatic memory took place in that bathroom. It had a plain floor and plain walls, just like any other part of the house. I had no idea that such a disgusting and degrading event was occurring, yet I proceeded with Jenkins encouraging and comforting words.
Oh, please believe I said
Baby, there's a shark in the water.
Or at least there was.