Stolen Innocence

October 19, 2011
By , Broken Arrow, OK
In summer of 2003, I was molested.

"Mommy, I want to sign up for cheer camp this summer!" A little girl begged cheerily at age seven. Her bright blue eyes danced around her mother's face, trying to read her answer through her expressions.

"Whatever you want sweetheart. We'll sign you up and have you in the program by next week."

"Oh thank you Mommy, thank you!" Her bouncy, platinum hair flipped around her face wildly as she jumped in place with excitement.

"I have to go to work now. Get over to Papa's house so you won't be home alone." The young girl walked across the street to her grandfather's house as she did every day during the summer. Her Papa was her best friend. Every day they would stay up and watch cartoons together until Mama came home with dinner. Shortly after, her mother would pull into the joined driveway after a long day at work. She would go home, kiss her mommy, ask how her day went, brush her teeth with a Spongebob toothbrush, and go to sleep. This was her routine.

"Alright girls, the first thing we're going to show you today is our sunshine cheer!" The Little Tigers cheer leading coach shouted through a megaphone with a high, squeaky voice. A large group of high school girls began to break the cheer into parts: all the way from the chant to the high kick, then to the splits at the end. The young girl had so much trouble with that one simple cheer. The snotty coaches' daughter always told her she would never be a good cheerleader. It still didn't stop her.

"Hi Papa!" The young girl shouted to her grandfather after practice. He had come to pick her up while her mother was at work.

"Hello Haymeebob!" He responded with the nickname he had given her. The slew of whiskey stench bellowed from his mouth. The girl hated it when he drank. He was always so angry and he didn't act normal. She flashed a disappointed smile as she climbed into his red pickup truck. As they drove home to her grandapa’s house on a five acre plot of land in rural Oklahoma, they talked about cheer camo and all the things the girl had learned.

After several hours and pints of Jose Quervo, sitting in the shade of the old maple tree served as a wonderful way to cool down. The young girl wore her bright yellow cheer shorts and a "Cheer Camp 2003" shirt with a pretty yellow ribbon in her ponytail.

"Do you want to see one of my cheers?" the young girl asked her grandpa happily.

"I would love to!" The stench of whiskey stung her nose.

The bright eyes, pretty little blonde proceeded to show her grandpa the Sunshine cheer. She started singing the chant while doing the high kicks in appropriate places, and finally ending the pep rally with the splits.

"Do that again." Her grandfather responded in a monotone.

She did the cheer again once, so proud of herself for doing a good job because her grandpa kept asking her to do the splits over and over again. After a while, she began to wonder why her Papa kept wanting her to do strange things with her legs.

"Papa, I'm tired of doing this over and over again. Can we go inside? We could play Barbies!" She lead her grandpa into her house which sat right next to his. After getting all of her Barbies fixed up and wearing proper clothes, her Papa began to take off Ken and Barbie's Beach House Party clothes.

"Have you ever played Barbies this way?" he asked with a sly grin. The young girl shook her head. "Well, why don't we play a different game... I know! We can play dress up!"

"You mean like play Mommies and Daddies?"

"Yes! You be Mommy, and I'll be Daddy!" The man's words seemed mischevious and evil. Something about the way his whiskey-slurred wrapped around the room made her feel sick.

The man began to undress her from head to toe, then paused to go to the bathroom.

"Here, put these in your shirt," he said, handing her two balls of wadded up toilet paper. "You'll look more like Mommy that way." She looked at him questioningly, but didn't argue. She knew her Mommy sometimes wore these things she called bras, that way her boyfriend would like her more.

"Good. Now, take off your panties." The man said with force. He began to touch her in strange ways in strange places her Autie Carol told her a boy should never touch.

"How do you feel?" he asked, still touching her.

"I feel funny..."

"Does it feel good?"

"No... It makes me feel sleepy."

The man took her into his bedroom and he watched what her called "grown up movies" while she was in the bed with him. These acts continued for many years on several occasions, but the young girl never thought much of them.

Standing in the very spot where my innocence was stolen seven years ago, tears began to spew from my bright green eyes. My platinum blonde hair lay framing my face lazily. My heart, weak and heavy, was begging me to leave. It was time to set a match and leave this nightmare behind.

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