(TW for sexual assault)
The first time it happened
I was 14.
It was my first time on the subway.
I was on a school trip.
The subway car was packed
so we shared the same pole
to steady us from the shaking train.
One particular hard jostle and
he bumped into me from behind.
He didn’t step back though.
He continued to press.
Harder and harder
Soon I could vividly feel him.
Feel his erection
shoved into the cleft of my ass.
I was 14.
I was in public.
I had friends and even teachers around.
I was frozen in place.
Surely, this wasn’t really happening.
Maybe I was imagining it.
But then the forceful rocking
and the barely muffled moan
made it abundantly clear.
I was terrified.
My cheeks flamed red with shame.
I put my head down and squeezed my eyes tight,
desperately waiting for my stop to come.
I left the train without a glance back.
I had learned my place.
The second time I was still age 14.
Two men, several years my senior,
slipped something in my drink.
I had been dancing with a friend
(my own age) one minute,
the next these men were telling me I was tired
I needed to rest.
They led me to lay down on the seat between them
Everything was so hazy
Then I remember them holding me up
as we walked down the sidewalk.
I remember a lot of yelling as two friends
forcibly pulled me from the men
and led me back inside.
I don’t remember anything else from that night.
I had learned that I was only a toy.
The third time I was 16.
I was closing up the restaurant where we worked.
My boss was always so careful about protecting
the teens that worked for him (especially the girls).
There were always three people closing up.
I had to be the last one out
since I had to lock the door.
One coworker walked out the door
but the other one stopped suddenly.
I could was stuck in the small hallway
with a teen boy that outweighed me by a good 75 lbs.
He had asked me out a few times,
but I had always declined.
He was angry.
He shoved me up against the wall
and with his hands wrapped around my throat
he lifted me off the ground.
I couldn’t breathe.
I don’t even remember what he was hissing at me through clenched teeth.
I could see my other coworker walking to her car through the window
But I had no breath to scream.
I was getting dizzy when he let me go
and I dropped to the floor.
He slammed the door as he left.
I locked the door behind him
and curled into a ball and sobbed.
I learned I was never really safe.
The fourth time I was 17.
I was on a double date.
We were making out in the back seat
after my friend and her boyfriend went inside.
Suddenly he had me pinned beneath him
and his cock was in my face.
He bragged to me how big he was
how he was going to split me open.
I tried to shove him away,
but he only pushed harder.
He finally let me up
when I lied and said that I had an STD.
(I was a virgin)
I told my friend later.
She just laughed and said it was a brilliant idea
to tell him I was diseased.
I had learned that I was worthless.
The fifth time it happened
I was 20.
He was one of my best friends.
It was the night before my college graduation.
We were walking around campus
and happened upon one of our favorite spots by the lake.
We sat and reminisced.
But then he began telling me that he loved me.
That he had always loved me.
I began to stand up,
but he pulled me down.
He splayed his body on top of me
and while he ripped my shirt and tore my jeans,
he professed his love.
I was pinned down.
I felt alone
Somehow, I was able to scramble away.
He chased me all the way back to my dorm
calling after me
I threw my ruined shirt and jeans (my favorite pair) away.
Everything is blank until the next day
when I stood up to walk out for commencement and blacked out.
I spent my graduation in the ambulance and the emergency room.
The doctors couldn’t understand what was wrong.
I insisted I was fine.
I didn’t tell anyone what happened.
I had learned I could trust no one.