"Who Knew"

September 14, 2011
“She was only eight years old,Sophie” My mother whispered softly to me, her voice full of pain and disappointment. I just sat in the space next to her on our worn brown leather couch as the newscaster, reported another rape victim on our television. I shivered ever so slightly thanking god my mother was to attentive on the TV in front of her, throwing information to and fro, as she anxiously soaked in all the facts of yet another heartrending case of sexual assault against a minor, to notice my mere tremble. I sank further onto the couch, casually draped over my mother, nestled close to her warm belly as she ran her long finger through my hair. I sighed and continued to watch as the tears strolled gently from my wet eyes down onto my cheek, making a small puddle on my mother’s faded grey sweatpants. What made this story unlike any other rape story; the little girl was harassed by her grandfather. “A figure of trust, the apple of her eyes, he was supposed to protect her, guide her, and instead he took all her innocence away, stripped her of her youth, scared for life, my beautiful baby girl, my baby girl” the ginger hair lady in a oversized purple sweater mumbled in between her sobs, her husband wept into her shoulder and brought her closer as they held each other in a loving embrace. The middle-age bald man looked up behind a pair of teary doe blue eyes now stained red and his eyelashes clumped together, as he cleared his throat, “ I would have never expected this, if you’re watching you pathetic b****** I want to know just one thing, how could you harm my baby, my girl” he whispered softly more to himself than to the man in front of him holding the camera. The screen switched from the grieving couple to the reporter, her hair was overly stiff and permed horribly, as if she jumped out of a eighty’s movie, with her high waist blue pants and large shoulder padded black blazer. My mother wiped her eyes before reaching for the remote in front of her and clicking off the TV and cable with just one touch of a button. I moved from her lap and kissed my mother goodnight. She held me longer than usual, her arms warm and welcoming, my throat began to dry up, and I tried ever so hard to swallow the lump that recently formed in my throat. She looked down at me with wet eyes, I remained emotionless, and while my exterior showed no sense feeling, I was slowly dying inside, every piece of me crumbling slowly, corroding until one day I was gone. The disgust in her voice was undeniably evident as she said “ who knew that her grandfather could do something like that, to his own flesh and blood at that” I shrugged and she stared at me behind weary eyes. “Sophie?” she muttered into the air, I concentrated my eyes on the laminate floor of our Jersey City apartment. She continued, “Sophie, nobody has ever touched you or done anything like that to you?” I tore my eyes from the floor and met hers. Nothing could describe the emotions whirling inside me or the thoughts that rampaged through my mind, racing around and around, my head spun and my feet losing their balance. She waited patiently in the silence until my voice cut through the emptiness. “No.” was all that I could manage to say, she looked at me with the same weary brown eyes and kissed my forehead and then sent me off to bed. I rested my head on my pillow wrapping my self in my blanket and cried myself to sleep. I told my mother everything and at the young naive age of ten years old I figured something’s are better kept that way.

The years passed and I still harbored the secret deep with in me, always making sure to never let it surface, the consequences could be brutal. Each night I found it harder to sleep, restless in my bed, dreams or should I say nightmares of everything I was hiding creeping their ways into my head at night. You see, dear reader, the little girl and I shared something in common, we were both sexually harassed by our grandfathers, the only difference and a major difference was that I was continued to be harassed until the age of fourteen where I finally put an end to the horror. Unfortunately, I was not as brave as the eight year old in front of me that one cold January night six years ago, and it wasn’t until my sister had gone through the same thing that I confessed and revealed the dark secret that lingered inside of my for six dark years. Should it have taken my sister going through the same experience to confess? The answer is a simple no. Looking back, I realize that I had confessed to the acts from the moment they began I could have saved my sister but that is a mistake I regret that I am unable to change, but that very night my mother got the text from my sister that she had been inappropriately touched by this man that I once called family, I was taken back to the night when my mother and I laid on the couch watching the evening news and I saw something that my sister and the little girl both had; bravery and courage, to overcome their fears and come clean. I have learned so much from her, and thank god for showing me that, there is a safe place to turn to. I have over came a million obstacles in my sixteen years of my life, all to different degrees but learning that Newton’s law of physics doesn’t apply all the time, sure every action has an opposite reaction but it isn’t always equal; because with ever fall I get back up stronger than before, letting go and waiting for the next fall to show me something, you would be amazed at how staring at the floor will teach you things you never knew you could do. College will be just another one of those obstacles to over come, etching my journey into my skin, with stories that will redefine the meaning of faith.





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