A random childhood memory

The summer air was pungent in my nostrils when the car stopped in front of a house I had never seen before. Then my father got out, opened my door, and I remember vividly how heavy that lilac was in the air. In the same breath the very moment my feet hit the gravel of our new driveway, I ran as fast as I could toward that great fluffy purple tree in the back corner of the garden.

The pillowy blooms were glowing from the sun. It was hot, and I shielded my eyes as I looked up at all the blooms oscillating in the breeze. There were so many shades of purple. Speckles of white under the black finger like branches beneath. Deep amethyst hiding in the shadows.

I was mesmerized and infatuated from that moment forward.

The rest of the summer I would spend my afternoons siting underneath it till the sun set as I read. As a young girl with the beauty of words between my hands I didn’t need friends around me. I disconnected and lost myself in worlds that didn’t exist. In the possibility of dragons and boys whose kisses made toes tingle. Alive in worlds where babysitters solved crimes, and where girls like me changed the world.

The lilac tree stood tall

Childhood holding its roots

My cat with ears nicked from scrapping

The front lawn in all its glory

My garden with red rhubarb

My dog

Picking lilacs, the way they would bloom, the scent

Placing them on my mother’s bedside table

Only to see them in the garden the next day

Knowing she never loved me

Sunlight, summer breeze

Then it was gone

Excerpt Chapter 10:

**She’s remembering her second time and getting lost in her own thoughts as she sits in her car while trying to track down a man named Robert Negro – A convicted rapist and murderer whos “done his time”  She find herself down the street from his house late in the evening**

He told me he loved me, and when we stopped I was finally able to tell him that I loved him too. That’s where the boy meets girl fantasy ends. A coldness filled the car as he moved away from me to zip up his jeans and hop in the front seat.

I started to get dressed in the silence.

As I was putting my jeans back on and slipping my feet back into my shoes, he started the car. The next twenty minutes he said nothing to me until we pulled in my driveway. Then with a kiss on my cheek, and a pat on my leg he said,

“That was fun and you’re a sweet girl, but on Monday when we’re at school, we don’t know each other. “

 

 

Monday came, and I was just same old me. He didn’t acknowledge me, he didn’t even look at me when I said hello. I didn’t have a boyfriend anymore; I just had another dirty secret. I never wanted to be that girl but now I was. My friends tried to console me and assure me that all men are dogs.

That day I ate lunch in a bathroom stall.

I still don’t know if I can do it. Roberto Negro shouldn’t be able to come home to a warm bed. He shouldn’t be able to stand in his kitchen and make a meal, or a cup of coffee. He shouldn’t be allowed to cut the grass in his yard or go grocery shopping.

Yet here he was.

He was living

Existing

Breathing

Shitting

Having a beer

Ordering take out

Walking into his home

Enjoying a warm bed

And she

Lifeless

The world is supposed to accept him because he served his time and paid his debt to society. Apparently “justice” in this country means ten years is a fair exchange for the life of a young girl. Sipping on my coffee I decided right then and there, that he wasn’t going to make it through the end of the week alive. I got that feeling again. The heat from my head to my toes.

It was orgasmic.

I looked up over the dash and saw that the couple that were just back from getting pizza, were still outside.

 

The woman was standing at the door fumbling with her keys, and her husband who now had his head down texting as he walked, came to her aid as slowly as possible. As the lights flicked on in the house I could hear an argument.

Who are you texting?

None of your business

A couple of drawers slam closed

You’re practically a zombie!

A door slams twice

All you do is fucking nag!

Nag, nag, nag

A glass breaks

Then after an hour or so

Lights out

It’s quiet by the time I see another car pass by and pull into Roberto’s driveway.

Everything from my head to my toes running cold. My arms rippled with goosebumps as I looked at my hands again. “You remember what Roberto did, you can do this” I told myself.

I hit the steering wheel

That smug look on his face

Getting groceries from the back

His cheap fucking case of Coors Light in one hand

Filthy jeans

Unshaven

Dirty hands

I’m sure he worked on cars of or something

 

Crud under his nails

A short while later he left the house, got in his piece of shit car and left. I followed with no idea where we were headed, and I was careful as I drove behind him. My brain couldn’t reconcile that he lived in such an idyllic little neighborhood. The streets had mature trees, and every lawn was well kept. It made me even more infuriated as I passed houses with twinkly lights on their porches and couples enjoying what I assumed were cold drinks. Maybe lemonade or a nice cabernet.

The girl her took, her last memories were his face.

Not cool nights on porches

No cold beers

No stolen kisses

No butterflies in her stomach

No coming home late

His scent all around her with the last rise and fall of her chest

The smell of lilacs wafted though the window as we stopped at an intersection near what looked like Main St. I thought to myself, that someone must have a bush in their garden nearby.

He told me he loved me, and when we stopped I was finally able to tell him that I loved him too. That’s where the boy meets girl fantasy ends. A coldness filled the car as he moved away from me to zip up his jeans and hop in the front seat.

I started to get dressed in the silence.

As I was putting my jeans back on and slipping my feet back into my shoes, he started the car. The next twenty minutes he said nothing to me until we pulled in my driveway. Then with a kiss on my cheek, and a pat on my leg he said,

“That was fun and you’re a sweet girl, but on Monday when we’re at school, we don’t know each other. “

Monday came, and I was just same old me. He didn’t acknowledge me, he didn’t even look at me when I said hello. I didn’t have a boyfriend anymore; I just had another dirty secret. I never wanted to be that girl but now I was. My friends tried to console me and assure me that all men are dogs.

That day I ate lunch in a bathroom stall.

I still don’t know if I can do it. Roberto Negro shouldn’t be able to come home to a warm bed. He shouldn’t be able to stand in his kitchen and make a meal, or a cup of coffee. He shouldn’t be allowed to cut the grass in his yard or go grocery shopping.

Yet here he was.

He was living

Existing

Breathing

Shitting

Having a beer

Ordering take out

Walking into his home

Enjoying a warm bed

And she

Lifeless

The world is supposed to accept him because he served his time and paid his debt to society. Apparently “justice” in this country means ten years is a fair exchange for the life of a young girl. Sipping on my coffee I decided right then and there, that he wasn’t going to make it through the end of the week alive. I got that feeling again. The heat from my head to my toes.

It was orgasmic.

I looked up over the dash and saw that the couple that were just back from getting pizza, were still outside.

The woman was standing at the door fumbling with her keys, and her husband who now had his head down texting as he walked, came to her aid as slowly as possible. As the lights flicked on in the house I could hear an argument.

Who are you texting?

None of your business

A couple of drawers slam closed

You’re practically a zombie!

A door slams twice

All you do is fucking nag!

Nag, nag, nag

A glass breaks

Then after an hour or so

Lights out

It’s quiet by the time I see another car pass by and pull into Roberto’s driveway.

Everything from my head to my toes running cold. My arms rippled with goosebumps as I looked at my hands again. “You remember what Roberto did, you can do this” I told myself.

I hit the steering wheel

That smug look on his face

Getting groceries from the back

His cheap fucking case of Coors Light in one hand

Filthy jeans

Unshaven

Dirty hands

I’m sure he worked on cars of or something

Crud under his nails

A short while later he left the house, got in his piece of shit car and left. I followed with no idea where we were headed, but as careful as I drove behind him. I couldn’t reconcile that he lived in such an idyllic little neighborhood. The streets had mature trees, and every lawn was well kept. It made me even more infuriated as I passed houses with twinkly lights on their porches and couples enjoying what I assumed were cold drinks. Maybe lemonade or a nice cabernet.

The girl he took, her last memories were his face.

Not cool nights on porches

No cold beers

No stolen kisses

No butterflies in her stomach

No coming home late

His scent all around her with the last rise and fall of her chest

The smell of lilacs wafted though the window as we stopped at an intersection near what looked like Main St. I thought to myself, that someone must have a bush in their garden nearby.

There was one in my garden as a child.

Excerpt Chapter 3: My mother

**Trigger warning: The following piece contains graphic depictions of child abuse and alcoholism**

My father told me I was born on the coldest night in January, 1978. My father, then nineteen with my mother who was eighteen, wrapped me in a blanket they bought from Woolworth for $1.99. The same drug store in the same small town where he’d bought her wedding ring.

“You’re not really listening, are you?”

My father looked at me with his brow raised from his position on the couch as he wrung his hands.

“Yes daddy, I’m listening.”

I was dealing with a conflict of epic proportions in that moment. As my father continued speaking, Barbie and Ken were in heated negotiations about their dinner date. Her shoes kept falling off and her hair wouldn’t lay flat. Ken was getting impatient and grew tired of waiting. I screwed my face up and bit my tongue trying in vain to get Barbie’s shoes back on or Ken was going to leave.

He was going to go to Malibu Beach and leave her there; riding off into the sunset in his pink Corvette. His plastic hair blowing in the wind and that smug immovable smile.
“Do you want to hear the rest of the story?”
My father swiped at the mop of hair on my head.
“Yes daddy.”
With his hand wrapped around a glass like a bear paw; my father raised it to his lips to drink. The shag of our carpet was starting to itch my legs. I tried again to get her shoes on to no avail. I tried once more to brush her hair flat. My tongue now squished out of my mouth down to my chin I could not ignore the furious itching on my thighs. I gave up and shoved Ken head first into the trunk of his pink Corvette.
That would teach him to rush Barbie.
I crawled up to the sofa where my father was sitting and looked at him. He was only twenty-three at the time but to me he was an old sage. The wisest of the wise and an invincible force. Indestructible in every way, at least he was in my mind in my mind.

His eyes were getting heavy with sleep and drink, so I crawled up on the sofa to put my head on his shoulder. I pulled at his hands so I could stare at them. Sleep from the rum took over and happened too fast for him start the story again. With a bat of my eye lashes the floor became an ocean and I had but stones to hop on to get to the kitchen.
One by one
Tottering
Balancing perilously
Teetering on the last stone till I took a victory leap towards the refrigerator. I went after the bread with lightning speed. Scaling the counter with Spiderman like agility, grabbing it from the top shelf, with a plate on the way back down. Spinning webs as I walked backwards balancing the bread on my plate.
To the left
Swoosh
To the right
Swish
My flat feet slapping the linoleum floor as I walked to get the jelly and peanut butter from the cupboard. I had a mission in front of me to concoct a sandwich of mighty proportions. The greatest sandwich of all time. That was till my father all stumbly like, appeared in the doorway.
“Let me help “
He tried, he really did, to grab for the bread and knife to make my snack. On my tip toes with my nose to the counter I noticed his legs were all wobbly and knobby, his hands were unsteady. The drink had made him unsteady.
What I ended up with was a pat on the head, and two pieces of bread mangled and unevenly loaded with jelly and peanut butter. I frowned.

“You broke it daddy”
He put his hand on my head to mess up my hair once again.
“It’s a sand castle with lots of jelly and it won’t wash away if you just eat it. Now go to the beach and let me know if you need a drink.”
I looked up at him and he shot me a crooked smile with droopy eyes before he shuffled back to the sofa. For the fifth time that week I went to the dining room table, quietly ate my dinner and listened to him fall asleep again on the sofa.
His snores resonated off of the wood panel walls in our house. Some of the strangest pitches would come from the deepest part of his lungs. The house always felt so empty at that time of night. I looked at our new digital clock on the island in the kitchen.
8:15 p.m.
I didn’t feel like washing my plate so I put it in the sink and put myself nose to nose with Grilled and Cheese my hamsters, whose cage was on the counter. Grilled was going mad on his wheel. Full speed ahead, just like the little engine that could. Chug, chug, chugging away. You could almost hear him championing for himself like an Olympian.
The wheel would catch throwing him at lightning speed against the glass. This was his thing. Over and over he would get back up with the same determination and propelling it to speeds that caused it to squeak as if it might explode.
This last time he hit the glass it sent me into a fit of laughter. After meeting the glass for the fourth time in fifteen minutes, he got up and stumbled a bit. His little head shaking it off before he got right back on the wheel.
Cheese on the other hand was docile. Lady hamsters have nests to build and tunnels to dig. Earlier this morning I threw an old and in twelve hours’ time she reduced it fluff and nothingness. All of it was pushed up neatly in the corner where she sat in the middle shaking her furry little lady hamster head at Cheese. Bored and sleepy I went to my room, and sat cross legged on my bed to read some of my book, Bony Legs.
Bony Legs was a horrible bad witch.
She could run very fast on her on her bony old legs.
Her teeth were made of iron and she liked to eat little children.
I shivered.
She lived deep in the woods in a hut that stood on dead chicken feet. I shut the book and lay on top of my covers counting the ceiling tiles.  A spider ran across the ceiling in a mad dash to nowhere. Grabbing my snow globe off my desk I rolled it around in my hand.
It was the North Pole but the elves were sad and faded floating around in the blizzard so I put it down. I looked at my clock and it was nearly eleven. My mother would be home soon.
I picked up Bony Legs again to try and keep my mind occupied. The book swallowed me whole each time I read it but tonight the sound of my mother’s car pulling into the drive way made me jump. I was no longer peering from the woods at nasty old Bony Legs’ cottage.
The front door clicked and creaked. My mother’s sigh sending shivers down my spine. The clink and clank of her keys on the table causing goose bumps on my skin. I knew it was only a matter of time.
I scooted under the blanket and pulled it up to my nose.
Her shoes flipped off with a mighty flop as they hit the kitchen floor. Her steps getting faster ever still coming towards my door. The door flew open and she flipped on the light pulling off my blanket in a flash,
“Somebody forgot to clean the hamster cage.”
Taking me by the nape of my neck with her bony hands and dark stare. My head twisted sideways with the way she was holding it; making it physically impossible to answer her with the way the skin of my neck was stretching.
“Somebody forgot to clean the hamster cage didn’t they?”
Taking her other hand to the front of my neck she wrenched my head around so we were eye to eye. My eyes were watery and my head tingly I whispered,
“Yes momma I forgot.”
She looked me up and down.
“And what did I say last time?”
Her grip made my head go all foggy. Then with her fingers pinched on my neck like a mother cat carrying a kitten, she led me to the kitchen with my footed pajamas dragging behind me.
Grilled and Cheese were in zip sealed plastic bags on the counter. Grilled lay limp and lifeless in his bag, but Cheese was fighting frantically as the small bag suffocated her. My mother still holding me there took the bag with Cheese inside and led me to the bathroom down the hall.
The pictures hanging on the walls passing by through my tears like a flip book of pictures. My mother released her grip as soon as we were at the doorway. When I hit the floor the soft pink rug cushioned my landing. Cheese was flipping around inside the bag trying desperately with her furry little paws to make a hole.
Something
Anything to get out
A hole
A chance for some fresh air
One deep breath to keep holding on
My mother positioned herself over the toilet and without hesitation she opened Cheese’s prison and plopped her in. I scrambled. Shrieking I reached for the bowl as I watched Cheese turn blue from the deodorant cake in the toilet water. I turned and clawed at my mother’s bare feet.
She flushed.
I tried to reach in and my mother yanked me back and reminded me,
“I told you last time if the cage wasn’t clean we’d have to get rid of the hamsters. I told you the last time I’d strip them clean of any hair.”
One by one
Pluck by pluck
With those tweezers from just over there

She pointed with an unsteady hand at a pair of black tweezers my father would use on stray hairs in his eyebrows. Those hairs you find every so often that are out of place and twisted in unusual ways.
The shakes, part from fear and part from trying to not cry, came over my body. My mother looked in the mirror to examine her teeth, and then turned and walked away. I was left there next to the toilet.
Wearing yellow footed pajamas
The feet worn almost through
I leaned with my head resting on the toilet seat
The length of my body across the linoleum tiles
All the pretty little flowers underneath me

Excerpt: Chapter 1

I used to wake up every morning and tell myself the biggest lies about how everything would be ok. Now, I’ve come to terms with reality and I tell myself the truth. I tell everyone the truth about how I feel. Those things that when people hear you say them; they feel compelled to respond and let you know how other people have it worse.

You’re healthy

You’re alive

You’re employed

How you have a warm bed every night and food on the table

You have so many blessings

God is with you

I was over all of it.

This particular day after my alarm went off I stumbled to the bathroom to wash my face and stood naked as I looked in the mirror. I tried to tell myself I was happy. The truth? I’m not happy and there is a monster inside me. A monster just waiting to crawl through every pore in my skin and open my chest. My husband pushed me too far last night and, so I had taken to bed for a long nap once the fight was over. Now my husband was dead, and I was perfectly ok with it.

Warm relief began to settle in my bones as I stood there.

Carefully, very carefully after I stepped into the shower, I started to wash the blood from my face. Checking behind my ears and under my chin as the water ran pink. My body was sleek, a machine to marvel at. The water creating red rivers running down its lines, and my eyes were bright blue in contrast to my pale skin. I wondered if all pretty well-mannered women had a dormant monster inside them.

A monster with blood between their fingers

Dried clotted mats in her hair

Skin beneath their fingernails

I tilted my head back, the clots loosening as the water hit them. They slipped down streams of water flowing over my curves; the steam causing a metallic smell to rise in the air. I’d found my purpose, my calling. They were all going to pay.
Right then I noticed my reflection in the water on the wall and had no idea who that was staring back at me.
Just for a moment close your eyes.
Take yourself back to a time where you knew you were about to drop something. A glass maybe slipping out of your hand or off the edge of the counter. That feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you gasp, and accept that you have no control. That moment of terror where you hold your breath, and then shout “shit”. The best you can do is to steer clear of the mess once it’s in a million pieces on the floor. Life is no different.
All the signs where there; this was me hitting my rock bottom.
I stepped out of the shower and dried off. Pulling on my yoga pants, bra, and tank top that were hung over the bathroom door. Reaching for a brush on the counter, I pulled my damp hair up and shook it out; not bothering with any make up.

My rock bottom was not what you’re thinking though.
I hadn’t wallowed in years of drug or alcohol abuse. Nobody tried to help me, and I hadn’t failed each time I tried to come up from the bottom. I was just a normal everyday suburban mom.

It all just happened so quickly.

Last night I had tripped him as he walked by, sending him face first into the hook on the back of the bathroom door. There weren’t any tears, and when I realized what had happened I smiled to myself because it was finally over. After he stopped struggling, I calmly walked to his stash next to the bed, and went to the kitchen to make myself a martini.

I stood in the kitchen and emptied what I took from his stash on my Tuscan cutting board. Leaning over it I proceeded to take an entire gram of cocaine into my system as I sucked down the last drops from the bottle of five-dollar vodka that I’d used for my martini. The incessant replay of his forehead cracking like an egg played in my head.

In my head
Over and over and over
I wasn’t sorry

I slipped on ballet flats and grabbed my keys; walking out the door swiping pictures off the wall along my way. Birthdays, Christmas past, our wedding day and other bullshit moments were one by one gone from their place. They were dead to me.

I was dead to me.

As I sat in the driver’s seat I wasn’t sure where I was going. I just picked a direction and didn’t look back. My father always told me never look back when I decided to go somewhere.

I drove for several hours on I95 with the volume on my radio so loud I felt the vibration in my chest. This portion of the highway stretches from Pennsylvania to Key West so I had plenty of places to choose from; where I would end up just depended on how long I could stand being in my own head. It was a dank musty darkness suffocating me with each breath.

The roof was open to bring in breeze
Ninety miles an hour wasn’t fast enough
My heart thumping in my chest
I was convinced the three lines I did were going to give me a heart attack
My nostrils were burning
My throat was on fire

I thought of wrapping my car around every light pole I passed. The fantasy of just ending it playing in my head as I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel. In between my fingers I noticed his dried blood in one of the folds of my skin.

Panic
I had to wash my hands
Panic
I could hear the crackle in his chest as I looked at my fingers
Panic
They were soaked
Panic
He was choking, and I felt nothing
No Relief
No sadness
Nothing but emptiness

The whites of his yes were red, and his cheeks were turning purple as a last gasp left him. Blood vessels breaking in his cheeks and under his eyes as I watched him for a little over an hour.

The next exit was a truck stop and that meant a bathroom to wash my hands and I’d be able to get a coffee, smokes, and something to eat. Instead of finding something to eat after washing my hands I found a trucker who following me around the convenience store like a lost puppy. He looked as if he wanted to say something. When I’d finally shuffled my way outside and pulled my tank top down over my hips he was inching his way closer to me. I lit my cigarette while leaning against a trash can.

I looked up and around
My vision was blurry
His face looked lopsided and greasy
My head felt like it was levitating off of my shoulders
I could feel sweat on my forehead
My fingertips were tingly
Coffee wasn’t going to slow my heart

The weathered green sign near the exit just beyond the gas pumps read,

Dunn, North Carolina.

That’s when he leaned in and whispered in my ear
“You work at Sparky’s?”

His big fat grimy finger pointing across the highway to a bar with a bright pink neon sign in the shape of a woman with the biggest pointy tits I’d ever seen. I shifted so I couldn’t smell the bourbon on his breath nor the oil on his clothes. He careened his head to look me in the eyes. Nausea started whipping around my head.

“No. I’m not from around here.”

November 16th, 1991

Warning: The following piece contains graphic details of sexual assault and contains strong language. This is a true personal story. 

I sit here in my car at 1 am on a Saturday night in October 2018,  having finished this piece in the parking lot of a Waffle House. It’s not uncommon for me to not be able to sleep, have to grab my notebook,  and down a cup of coffee. This time was different though because I couldn’t stand one more minute in the house alone. Alone with my own thoughts, left to boil, and scream like a forgotten tea kettle. By the time I’d swung my feet over the edge of the bed, the words and thoughts were swarming like a cluster of Southern gnats in my face on a humid day.

So I got up.

Then I pulled on my yoga pants, slid a t-shirt over my head, put my Nike baseball cap on, and put my feet into my flip flops.

After that I got in the car, and left with no direction in mind. Eventually I wound up at Waffle House. It was simply the only place I could think of where I wouldn’t be alone and yet not surrounded by drunks on a Saturday night.

I was determined to tell the story of both my rape and the day I lost my virginity. It is a story I have buried inside my core for nearly three decades. A story I have avoided telling in all it’s exact detail for exactly twenty seven years.

You might wonder why.

Initially it was because I wasn’t able to fully process it nor verbalize adequately that it had actually happened to me. Add in a veil of shame from the way I was treated, and I had quickly been programmed that it was all my fault. After all I was a slut, it was my own fault, I was stupid for being over there alone with a boy, I must have led him on, it was my fault. It was my fault because I must have said yes then no.  I felt I needed to stuff it all down and suck it up.  Pretending I was strong so nobody would fully know what happened. I know now that it wasn’t my fault but for a good fifteen years after my rape, it’s what I believed.

I’ve eluded to it many times. Told the Cliff Notes version.

I’ve even written about it in scant detail as part of my story telling and in my character development. Of course I’ve told my boyfriend, and my girlfriends that I’ve been raped. I’ve even told my son. It has been my hope that as a young man he would be conscious of how wide spread the abuse of women is and that it has touched his life in some way. Never though have I shared the events of the day, nor the specific details of the sexual assault with anyone.

(This was me a month after my assault.)

me13


I was thirteen years old and in my last year of junior high. At the time I was dating a boy who was a sophomore in high school. He was sixteen, soon to be seventeen. At the instruction of this boy I’d lied to my dad, and told him that he was fifteen and a freshman.

It started out like any other Saturday. I got up, grabbed my clothes, and went to the bathroom to get ready. Not that it matters what I was wearing on this particular day, but I’d pulled the following from my closet,

Acid wash jeans with the cuffs rolled up
A black I.O.U. sweatshirt with a logo in the middle
The logo was pink and purple
Had the words “Authentic American Tradition” across it
Matching black cotton bra and panties
Black socks and black Converse

I had a routine.

So when I went into the bathroom I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and started with my hair. At that time of my life time I went through a can of Rave hairspray a week. My bangs took at least twenty minutes each time I did them. They were high, flipped, and teased to the heavens. I did my makeup, which at the time wasn’t too much. Cream foundation, mascara, and eyeshadow. The eye shadow I remember because my father had only just recently given the ok to start wearing make up daily. Back then it was a four color eyeshadow kit by Covergirl, and they called it Pure Romance. I don’t know if the colors still exist today. Even if they did, it’s not something I could look at without crying.

When I was done I asked my dad if I could use the phone to call my boyfriend. So I grabbed the phone and went into the pantry closet for privacy, and sat in there talking to him. For visual this was a large pantry closet in a farmhouse built in 1912. For a while we talked about going to Tinley Park to see a movie at Bremen Mall. Then the conversation turned to sex. Admittedly I tried to play along even though I had no idea what I was talking about. Finally I told him I really wasn’t ready to do anything like that, and an argument started. I wouldn’t even call it an argument, but more of a berating.

He told me my mom was right, that I was fat
He told me that no guy in high school wants a girl that doesn’t know how to suck dick
That I should want to have sex with the only guy that would ever probably love me

Those are the three things that I remember most vividly because they became a mantra I would replay in my head for many years after this day. Starting to cry, my dad heard me and opened the door. I told him we just had a fight, and asked him if he could drive me over there so that we could talk in person. My father, bless his heart, said yes and so we got in his 1979 Lincoln Mark V and drove over there. Everyone at school called his car the Bat Mobile.

When we finally got to Kostner Ave, my dad looked at me. I never liked lying to my dad but when he asked me if his parents were home I said yes. He accepted it and told me to call him when I was ready to come home.

As my dad pulled off I knocked on the door, and my boyfriend called out telling me to come in and come downstairs. I opened the door. The house was lower middle class distinct. I remember how dark the house was. From the doorway to the left were stairs to the first floor. On the first floor were two bedrooms to the left of the landing and a bathroom. To the right was the living room and behind that the dining area and kitchen with a sliding glass door that led to a back porch.

To the right of the doorway were the stairs that led down to the basement where his sister slept when she was home. I took my shoes and socks off and proceeded to walk down the stairs which were covered in a red and brown shag carpeting. At the bottom of the stairs to the right was the laundry room and a bedroom that his sister used. To the left another sitting area and television. To the right of that a small bathroom. That horrid shag carpeting carried throughout. I hated how it felt on my feet.

When I got to the bottom of the stairs I started hearing what I interpreted as sex noises from the TV. As I rounded the corner there was my boyfriend on the couch. He patted the spot next to him when he saw me. In that moment I contemplated running right back up the stairs to a friends house, but I stayed and sat next to him.

After all, he said on the phone he understood I wasn’t ready. So all this was going to be was making out. When I sat down, he was immediately aggressive with his kisses. It scared me a little so I put my hands up to his chest. That’s when he said,

“Look at the movie. That’s how people do it. ”

It was a horrific pile of people fucking in all kinds of ways. Clearly a movie from the 1970’s that he must have swiped from his fathers VHS collection. There was no grooming like there is in the porn we have 2018. There were big dicks, sprouting from these massive piles of pubic hair. I felt nauseous watching it so I tried not to look.

We continued making out
He slipped his hands under my sweatshirt
Then further under my bra
Whispering to me how pretty I was
How he loved me
How great my “tits” were

I looked at him not knowing what the word “tits” meant.

“What does that mean?”

He rolled his eyes and pulled my sweatshirt over my head and put his mouth on my nipples.

“These are tits.”

I panicked and pushed him off me. Telling him I needed to use the bathroom really badly. He was clearly very angry and told me,

“Fucking go then.”

As I shut the bathroom door behind me he let out a disgusted sigh of exasperation.  I looked at myself naked from the waist up in the mirror, and noticed the movie had been turned off when the sounds stopped. That brought me some relief because I was sure he was going to stop and that he really understood now I wasn’t ready.

I studied my breasts and my stomach
Tried to smooth my hair
Adjusted my headband
Turned my back to the mirror and looked at my behind
I wasn’t fat
I felt indignant
Faced the mirror again
Noticing my mascara was smudged

I tried to psyche myself up to go back out there and talk to him. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him, I just wasn’t ready. Flushing the toilet to give the impression that I’d actually gone. Running the water to make it sound like I was washing my hands. Then, finally I’d mustered the courage to open the door. All the lights were off except for light coming through dirty ground level basement windows.

There were two of them.

I looked down and noticed a sleeping bag on the floor in front of the door. It was an army green silky material with a Boy Scouts logo on it – his father was a group leader. As I stepped out I felt the slick material of the bag rub my feet. Still I heard nothing.

Did he leave? I called out his name and as I turned he rushed me. He wrapped his arms around me in a bear hug, and put me on my back on the floor. The kisses came first once I was down, and I pushed at him. I was laughing because I thought we were playing fighting like we sometimes did.

Then he started to fumble with the zipper of my jeans. I told him to stop, and push at his shoulders. Then he put his forearm on my neck and the other hand tugging at the zipper.

“You just need a little coaching. If you weren’t fat it would be easier to get these off.”

I was 5’3, 138 lbs. at the time.

I fought

Pushing at his chest
Pleading, trying to reason with him
Kicking at him

He finally got my jeans off and pulled his penis out of his boxers as he kicked my legs open. I tried to roll over,  kept telling him no, and he pinched my arm as hard as he could. A purple bruise in the shape of his thumb started to rise (and stayed on my body for two weeks)

“Look at you, you’re not even fourteen yet. You know you want it. Everyone has to lose their virginity some time.”

I begged.
I told him no.
Over and over and over again I told him to stop, that he was hurting me. When he wouldn’t stop, I started to scream.

His dog become aware that something bad must be happening and started barking at the patio door. I could hear it scratching the glass.  I continued to scream till my voice went hoarse. I kept pushing at him, pleading through the hoarseness which only seemed to encourage him and excite him.

I looked past him when he finally was laying on top of me with his full bodyweight, and saw that the digital clock read 3:32 pm. It took him roughly 30 min to fight me into exhaustion. He grabbed my chin,

“Look at me, I need you to look at me. Don’t worry one of my friends gave me a condom so I won’t cum inside you.” At that point he pulled out a condom from under the sleeping bag. It was in a gray wrapper with a white stripe down the side, Trojan Ultra Thin.

Then he slid himself inside me
His forearm still on my neck
Told me how good I felt
Then I felt a weird sensation almost like a pop
A sting
And then there was a metallic smell in the air
I knew I was bleeding

I tuned my head away from him to stare out the window and he grabbed my chin again.
He thrusted in and out more than a dozen times before asking me,

“What’s it feel like? Tell me it feels good. ”

I kept staring out the window
My voice so hoarse it was a whisper by that point
Continuing to tell him to stop

Half a dozen thrusts more, a grunt, and he kissed my cheek. He was done. Pulling out of me while I lay there on his filthy basement floor, blood now running like a faucet between my legs. When he had composed himself, he stood up and went into the bathroom. I saw him wrap the condom in toilet paper, and flush it.

I held my legs together tight
Turning on my side
Curling up into the fetal position
He dropped my clothes next to me on the floor
My purse too

My parents are going to be home soon. Get up. No thank you? No that was good? ”

When I stood he picked up the sleeping bag and put it in the washer near by with bleach and tide. I stayed there holding my clothes against my stomach . Once the washer started he turned and told me to give him a call tomorrow. The he went upstairs and took a shower.

I scrambled to get dressed as fast as I could.

Up the stairs
Out the door
Down Kostner Ave.
To the police

By the time I got there it felt like I had a river running between my legs. My underwear was bloody and squishy. The desk officer looked at me when I told him what happened and that I was bleeding. He didn’t even come from behind the desk, instead asked me a series of questions.

What were you doing over there?
What were you wearing?
Did you lead him on?
Are you sure you didn’t agree and then change your mind?
The first time can be confusing.
I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.
You shouldn’t have been over there alone with a boy anyway.
Just go home with a lesson learned.

I never spoke of it again.

Words cannot express how badly I wanted to tell my daddy, but I didn’t because I know he would have killed him. For a full eight days after that I bled like I had my period. In the months after that, I began to change.

School became an afterthought and I did just enough to pass. I tried marijuana for the first time, and by the time 8th grade graduation rolled around I’d been bullied relentlessly by a girl at school who played basketball, and who had found out I’d “had sex”. She’d tag team bully me with a friend of hers, a guy who was rather short with dark hair. Calling me a slut and tossing that word back and forth like it was a volleyball. I didn’t understand because we had been friends since we were 8 yrs old.

The summer after 8th grade came and went.

I dyed my hair, shaved part of my head. Gotten a tattoo in the basement of a known gang member. Then when high school started, there were already boys in his circle of friends that knew. I was fortunate enough to know not to fall into it, but I went after boys relentlessly.

I’d use them, lead them on, and discard them. They all deserved it, and I didn’t feel bad about it.  I felt that it was necessary to get what you can out of them, and leave them high and dry. Up through the summer of my Sophomore Year in high school I’d managed to conceal all the issues I’d developed until I started hanging out with a group of boys that had drug connections. I had good friends that did what they could to keep my head above water, shaking me awake from the coma I’d put all my emotions into.

There’s more after that, but that’s as much as I can stomach getting out right now.
I’ll tell you the story of when I first told a group of guys that had become good friends what he did to me a little later. I can only do this in short bursts.

 

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