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A Bad Experience This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I am your average teenage girl, a junior in high school, captain of the cheerleading team, average grades, and a member of a close-knit group of friends. My social life is not different from any other high school girl - dating, athletics, shopping, just having fun.

Well, this past summer, my little perfect world which had been constructed and protected by young parents and my older brother shattered. You see I come from a family which friendship, trust and love are quite obvious, even through the eyes of strangers. The disappointing fact in this sad experience is that we were not betrayed by a stranger, but in fact a person with whom we all looked upon with love and respect.

I thought the summer of 1989 would be different from past summers. I was now 16, ready to begin my first job, and anxiously awaiting my annual stay with friends from back home which were considered family. Since the year we moved, each week of July fourth I would visit with my old neighbors whom I was quite fond of. The children are considerably younger than I, but nonetheless considered them my "adopted brother and sister." And their folks, what can I say, I looked upon them as a second set of parents, which is a very high standard considering my relationship with my own parents. Well, I was correct on one account. The summer was different from my past summers. This summer made me realize that I am very lucky to have the family that I have. It taught me how to be strong and overcome difficulties.

During my stay, I became sick. I was very feverish and groggy one night and unable to sleep. I decided to go downstairs and watch television. I began to doze off and on, and at a later time the man who I loved and trusted as a second father came home. It was dark, and he tended to me, bringing aspirin and water, rubbing my back, taking care of me as my own father would. I became very feverish and dizzy and was so thankful to have someone near me I did not realize at first what he began doing. This man, who always seemed so gentle and kind became out of control and forced himself upon me. I was so confused, so scared. I was finally able to free myself from him. I went upstairs and cried the rest of the night. To scared to move in fear that he would come into my room, I waited until the early morning hours and called my mother to come and pick my up.

I have learned to keep the situation under control, but when it particularly begins to bother me I am able to talk about it. I am very lucky, I was not raped, but he still tried to take advantage of me sexually. This man took something from me that he had absolutely no right to. My trust, my faith, our family's relationship, all my feelings unexplainable. I don't blame myself, I often wonder if I might have done something to provoke his actions. I know that I did not. Because of him, I can no longer see any member of that family. He has gotten in touch and apologized to my parents, but I am not yet ready to talk to him.

To this day I sometimes shiver or back away when a boy reaches out, even a simple pat sometimes reminds me. I am now aware of how careful you have to be, there are many sick people in this world. You can never be too careful. I understand these situations cannot be prevented, but I hope that others girls can be as strong and able to protect themselves if they are ever involved in a horrible situation such as this. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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