I post this story to recognize that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It was harder to write than I thought. But it is the truth.
We were 16. I think. I have blocked so much about that night, that time from my memory. But some things never leave. The music pounding. The room spinning. My tears salty in the corner of my mouth. The fierce, non-human look in his eyes as he raped me. His mother sitting in the living room. The smell of… what… ejaculated semen? The piercing pain of torn vagina.
I was on a “date.” We had been dating a while. We had not had sex. True and full disclosure: I might have had sex with him that night had he asked and kissed me gently. It would have been a stupid decision, but it would have been my decision, a joint decision. But he didn’t ask. We had gone to a movie. I don’t remember what played. Odd the details that slip. He said, “I wanna run by my house for a minute, then we’ll go get ice cream.”
I thought he was the cutest boy. He certainly was one of the more popular ones. And I was popular too. A cheerleader. An athlete. Student government. Church girl. He was an athlete. Someone girls from every school in a 20-mile radius wanted to date. I know. They told me all the time. But I had the “prize” (for the moment–pretty boys don’t stay, you know). Anyway. To his house. We spoke to his mom. She said NOTHING about the fact that we walked into his room. He turned on the stereo. Loud. I presume so his mom wouldn’t hear. I wonder/ed what she thought… the loud, R&B music rolling from under his door. And then, he started kissing me hard and pushed me up against the stand in his room. It hurt. The kissing. The being pushed up against the stand. And fear started to rise. I asked him to stop. I begged. I started crying. And screaming. His mother. did not. come to the door. And then. Whimpering. I begged. Again. He sneered. Yes, sneered. That was the look. Sneer. “You didn’t think we were going much longer without having sex, did you?” Words. Spat out from a sneer. I said, “I’m not ready. Please don’t.” I squeezed my legs together. He laughed. And pried them open.
And penetrated me. Thrust. Hard. Tear. Thrust. Eyes Closed. No loving eye-to-eye stare. No love-MAKING. Broke my heart. My body. RAPE. I didn’t tell. FOR years. I thought, “I wanted to have sex with him up until that moment, so me saying ‘no’…” I thought, “He didn’t mean to hurt me…” When he finished, he gave me a cloth to “wipe myself.” He wiped his mouth. Told me to “Straighten up.” Walked me out past his mother. Who didn’t look up this time. Neither did I. He had his arms around me. Tender-like. Easy. The sneer gone. Smug. Satisfied? Rapist.
We went to the Dairy Queen. And had ice cream. I didn’t call it rape then. But it most certainly was.
*I posted the unedited poems on rape on my blog, Valerie’s Poetry and Other Life Stories