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Author's note: This piece was inspired by all of the people I've met who have been abused. They're stories helped me realize how much we need to open our eyes and see what's going on, and I hope to accomplish this with this piece. I also hope that every victim realizes that this situation is not the end of the world, and there is hope for everyone.
THE DEFINITION OF A FATHER:
There are no pictures over the fireplace anymore, no pictures of me or my sister, Farrah. No pictures of my late mother, Marilyn. Nothing but the new family Mark has. Pictures of my step-mother, Jessie; my father, Mark. Pictures of him. Perfect place to put them, warm fire for every member of Mark’s family, my family closed away in a box in God knows where.
Michelle is sitting on the new sofa, which replaced the old sofa my mother bought when she and Mark got married. I can still picture it – red plaid, comfortable, warm, worn out. That didn’t matter though. It didn’t matter how old it was or how messed up it was.
It was still much better than the new piece of junk I’m forced to call home.
I look outside, watch as my step-brother’s Jeep pulls into the driveway. Present for his twenty-first birthday from Mark. Isn’t that nice, a Jeep with flames burning on each door, beer stains on the passenger seat, white stain on the back…
I close my eyes, try not to remember.
My step-brother walks into the house, into the living room, greets me and my sister as he usually does. His smile sends Farrah upstairs, hands making their way toward me, and I let them come all the way. What difference does it make? Either way, he always gets what he wants.
EMMA, WAKE UP.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be ignored, to scream what’s wrong, to tell everyone who’s the face of evil, whose lies make up who you really are?
Ever wonder what it’s like to be invisible?
I jump, stare at my grandfather. His eyes look tired, angry, sympathetic.
Poor guy, spending his life being a father to me when his only child died, when his perfection became his only imperfection. I am his daughter, he is my savior, the only man who will ever see me… Emma Sophia Dawson, the girl without a face, an infection untreated.
The girl that swore to keep her mouth shut just to save a life worth keeping.
“Emma?” Farrah asks, her small, innocent voice causing my throat to burn. I look in the rearview mirror, see her dark brown eyes glisten, tears forming in them.
“Hmm?” I respond, sitting back in the worn passenger seat, my arms folded.
“I don’t want you to leave.”
I close my eyes, fight tears, and I know Farrah is doing the same.
“I don’t either,” I say.
She sighs, slumps into her seat. Farrah is eight. Young, innocent, the most adorable little girl anyone could possibly meet. She doesn’t know anything, can’t analyze the pain that’s in my eyes, can’t see the reason behind it.
I’m not complaining. I don’t want her to see what happened to me.
I watch rain drops glide down the windows. Crystal clear, illustrating the parking lot. Four cars around us, two in the drive thru, two parked in the parking lot. None of them belong to my father, Mark Dawson. I’m not surprised. It’s not like he ever has time for his kids…
Always time for Jessie, always time for my future step-brother.
“I’m sorry about this,” my grandfather says, “you losing your freedom, I mean. Your mother wouldn’t have wanted this to happen.”
“I’ll be fine,” I lie, trying to wrap myself around the thought of being content with living under the same roof as a man who would believe someone else over his child.
It’s not working. I’m still not happy.
I look out of the window, praying that God will kill me. Rip me from reality, the fact that I have to face hell all over again. Praying never works. Mark’s olive green SUV pulls into the parking lot. My middle name is etched into his license plate. It’s funny because he clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of fatherhood. Parade me around all you want, but it still doesn’t make you my father…
I step out of the car, grab my duffel bag off of the backseat. Farrah reaches to hug me, and I squeeze her tightly, tell her just how much I love her, how everything’s going to be fine.
Lying to children isn’t fun. I don’t know how Mark gets by with it.
I walk toward Mark’s truck, watch the water that’s streaming around me. Wait for it to pull me away, to get rid of what’s left of me.
I’m still standing here.
My grandfather rolls the passenger side window down. He has so much to say.
“Call me when you get there, Slim,” he says, smiling.
I smile back, only for a second. “Love you,” I call back. My smile fades quickly as I open the door to Mark’s truck, the new car smell nearly suffocating me. Loud music blasts through the speakers, my favorite band, favorite song. Happiness, life, God… No hesitation, I turn the radio off. Mark smiles at me, his big white teeth showing just how “happy” he is I’m coming home, the same toothy smile he’ll give to his new family.
I love my child more than anything.
I frown as I look out of the window, notice Farrah rolling hers down, trying to get Mark’s attention. Then the car starts moving, and I look toward him. He shrugs.
“Probably wasn’t anything important anyway,” he says. My eyes widen, and I watch my grandfather’s car out of the rearview mirror, my throat burning, tears welling.
I don’t belong here.
“So,” Mark says after a while, “how was your last year in high school?”
Oh, well let me see. Hmm my friends stopped talking to me (really I stopped talking period), I barely made honors, hmm, I’ve been afraid of boys, it took me three months to actually start getting some sleep… Oh, and I started cutting myself. So how the hell do you think my year went?
I shrug as I look out through the windshield. It stopped raining.
“Have you decided where you’re going to college?”
I smirk. It’s not like he’s paying for it, spending every dime on his new family. So why should I tell him?
I shrug again, dig into Mark’s silence as he ignores me. I close my eyes as he turns the radio back on. I grunt, music clogging my thoughts.
You can survive this.
Yo ca su vi thi
It’s simple. Silence makes everything better…
At least for me, it does.
“Jessie can’t wait to see you,” he says.
“Mm hmm,” I respond. Honestly, I don’t give a damn about Jessie.
“Neither can Jeremy. He’s been asking about you all week.”
My eyes widen… Jeremy’s a different story.
Imagine the green eyes searching for my innocence, the part of me he can break open and tear apart right before my eyes. Imagine the curly blonde hair everyone can’t get enough of…
Imagine him raping me… Imagine him inside of me… I don’t want to think about it.
“Jeremy?” I whisper, shock tearing me away.
His body was pressing onto me.
He glares at me. “Emma, don’t start this shit again. He’s not the one who’s causing problems here.”
I tried to scream, but he shoved something into my mouth…
And somehow my lungs refused to work.
I stare at him, long and hard; see the demon buried deep inside of him. See his torture, different from what Jeremy does to me.
And then he was inside of me, and everything…
“You’re lucky he forgave you for those accusations,” he continues, staring at the road. “If I were him, I don’t think I could.”
If you were him, you’d be all over me by now.
My gut bursts, and I close my eyes, my blood pumping through my veins too quickly, my heart pounding. I don’t think Mark just said what I heard. A father could never say that to his child…
At least, that’s what I would think.
Then Jeremy’s voice comes, loud and harsh, screaming at me.
Remember who you belong to, who loves you, who has you.
Say it. Who do you belong to?
I stare at my wrist, imagine blood flowing down my arm, dripping onto the floor of this new truck; a razor blade gliding across my skin, tearing my skin away. A little bit of Jeremy gone every time. Imagine myself dying a little more. I smile at the thought. Mark doesn’t notice, doesn’t say anything.
“Yeah,” I say after a while, my voice trying its hardest not to crack, “it’s my fault I was raped, right?”
I squeeze my eyes shut, wait for him to yell at me. Scream, anger, pain. Wait for the demonic words to fall from his pretty mouth, the words that pry me open and shut me down.
Why would Jeremy rape you?
Instead, he says he doesn’t have time for this, I’m overreacting. I don’t want him to marry Jessie, will do anything to keep it from happening.
I was never raped.
TRY TO IMAGINE a girl as she sat with her boyfriend, talked about her summer lit homework with him, his voice constantly saying how it ridiculous it is to have homework over the summer.
Imagine him when he left, and watch the monster as he walked through the door. Watch him as his green eyes glistened, curly blonde hair fell over his eyes, the crooked smile that stretched across his face.
Watch him as he asked if she needed company.
Watch her as she said no.
One night, a monster didn’t take no for an answer.
I FEEL THE CAR STOP, open my eyes. Mark turns off the engine, and I look through the windshield. The Jeep, fire stickers, beer stains… My heart stops. Bark met my face… “How long is he staying?” I ask, frozen in place as I keep staring at the truck. His fists… Mark sneers at me, eyes narrowed, hands clenching into fists. Leaves, dirt, everything hit me… “Emma,” he responds as he opens his door, steps out of the truck, “I’m not arguing with you. Get out.” Pain growing deep, so much of it I couldn’t scream anymore. My gut bursts again, pain cutting deep down. I don’t know what to do, say. I could defy him, but what would that do? Another court ruling? She cuts herself, so she deserves to be in an environment with her parents. My only parent died a long time ago… I grab my duffel bag off of the floor, step out of the truck, walk slowly toward the front door. As I walk into the foyer, I try not to remember anything that’s happened, brush it off as if I can just get rid of the nasty feeling I have. That won’t work very well, not with Jeremy being under the same roof as I am. I walk into the living room, set my duffel bag down on the sofa. Try to keep quiet, just in case Jeremy is upstairs, waiting as he always is. Mark has other plans. “We’re home!” he yells as he walks past the threshold to the living room, toward the stairs. I hear massive footsteps, thumping too quickly, in tune with my heart. My step-brother’s head pops out of nowhere, the kind of thing you’d expect out of a horror movie. Try living in one. It’s more f*ed up than you’d think. “Hey, Kiddo,” Jeremy says as he walks toward me, wrapping his arms around me. I try not to cringe, try my hardest to remember what he told me he’d do if I didn’t do what he wanted. Don’t you dare call me that. He pulls away, leaving his stench, something I could have lived without. I frown as I resist eye contact. I don’t want to see what he’s thinking, break him down and watch what’s playing in his head. I already know what it is… it’s playing in mine. His body was pressing onto me. “How long has it been? Last summer?” I nod, my stomach twisting, fear surfacing. He’s going to do something to me… I can feel it. I tried to scream, but he shoved something into my mouth… “How have you been?” he continues. He smiles at me, the same crooked smile that turns me inside out. He’s trying to f**k with me, is barely failing at it. I gulp. How do you think I’ve been? I shrug, stare at the carpet. Off-white, just as I remember. Plain and simple, slightly lighter than the new sofa. Mark’s fiancée messed this place up. And somehow my lungs refused to work. “Well, I’m fine,” he says. I can feel his eyes cut me open, dig deep down. I can imagine him weeding me out, tearing me apart just to get what he wants. I have to give it to him, so there’s no point in caring about what he’s going to take. “I’m staying here for the summer since my roommates are getting fed up with me.” As if they’re the only ones… I nod. I watch Mark as he walks past the living room, toward the front door. “I’ll be back,” he says as he opens the door, walks outside. I hear his truck start, pull away from the house, leaving me in Jeremy’s arms. Lucky me. Jeremy looks me up and down, tries to decide what he wants to do. Then his eyes warn me (remember what’ll happen if you tell anyone, remember what I‘ll do). “You know,” his arm slips around my waist, squeezes me tightly, and he whispers into my ear, “You’re way hotter than I remember.” I think of my mother, Farrah, my grandfather. I guess that’s something to live for, something to get me through what’s about to happen. When he puts his hands on me, my body stiffens, throat burns. It wants me to scream, say something. And then he was inside of me, and everything turned black, blurred together… I can’t. Then his lips press to my ear. “You know what I want,” he whispers. I keep my mouth shut, kindly obey him. Nothing I can do about it anyway. Mark didn’t do anything about it, so who would? I lead him upstairs, into my bedroom. He closes the door silently as I set my duffel bag on my bed. Then I hear the door lock, and he smirks as he turns toward me. “Come here,” he says as he walks toward me, his arms held wide open, “it’s been a year since we’ve done this.” I grind my teeth together. He said we, as if I have something to do with this. I don’t remember asking, don’t remember trying. I just remember him taking it from me. I tried to think about all of the reasons why I could live through this. I walk toward him, let him wrap his arms around me. His hands smear across me, stain every part of me. I feel my body pulling away, a natural reflex… I have to stop myself. But he seemed to have overwhelmed them all. “Good,” he says, smiling a genuine smile. I guess he’s happy I’m letting him take over me. After a few moments, I hear Mark’s truck outside, and Jeremy pulls away, his fingers stroking my hair. I shudder. “Do you remember what I said would happen if you lied again?” he asks. I stare at the carpet again, concentrate on something else other than his eyes. He grasps my arms, shoves me back and forth. “Do you remember what I told you?” he asks, anger growing in his voice. I stare at him, my eyes trying to cut into his hollow center. There’s nothing to look at, nothing to see. He tightens his grip as I nod. “Good,” he continues, pushing me down to the floor, “then I won’t have to remind you.” He grins, unlock the door, tells me we’ll spend more time together later. I gulp as I stay on the floor for a moment, in case he comes back. Then I stand up, stare at my duffel bag. When he was finished, he told me he loved me… I walk toward it, open one of the small pockets. Told me how beautiful I was… I pull one of my razors out, walk into my bathroom. Nasty film all over me, peeling my skin away, trying to make its way deeper in order to kill me. Told me my boyfriend didn’t stand a chance… I need to cut it away, need to keep it away. And the sick thing was he was right… Nothing stood a chance with me anymore. I lift my shirt over my head, press the blade to my side. You’re so beautiful… You don’t have to be. I slowly pull the razor, smile as blood draws, drips down to the hem of my shorts. My smile scares me… It’s so vicious, I can’t even recognize myself.
THE GIRL SAID NO AGAIN and the monster sat down anyway, his filthy green eyes watching her as she glared at him. Then she glanced back at her book, a story about a boy whose life is so f*ed up. It was her favorite book back then. One night, favorite disappeared from her vocabulary. Watch him as he asked her questions, questions that were invasive, questions that should have warned the girl about him, just how crazy he might be. Questions that she would later regret.
I slit my side once, put the razor back. Not as if it hurts anymore. I’d rather have cuts all over my body than feel like I have no control over myself.
That’s what I need more than anything.
I would cut even more, can have control over this as much as I want. But no, I won’t. Even through everyone’s blind eyes, too many scars are visible.
I had to learn that the hard way.
I stop writing, look out of the window next to my bed.
The neighborhood seems quiet. There are some neighbors outside, old and new, none I recognize. Someone mowing their lawn across the street, someone walking their dog, someone just standing across the street, staring at my house, my window. Blue eyes burning me, long brown hair turning me inside out. Someone I’ve seen, but won’t let myself remember.
I do remember and I won’t can’t act like I’m going to forget. It’s useless to remember, I know, but how can someone forget someone like him?
I look away from him, regret surfacing. It’s also useless to regret ever being with him. Best two years out of my life.
I feel him stare at me, his eyes a blade that cuts me open, weeds me out. I wonder if they can see anything… Then again, if they can, he probably would have done something by now.
I cut my eyes at him. He’s in my front yard now… They’re in my front yard. He’s with
I CLOSE MY NOTEBOOK, stare at the cover. My grandfather gave it to me on my seventeenth birthday, told me it was a journal my mother never got to use. It was supposed to be inspirational, filled with bible verses and philosophical phrases… It’s all bs to me. As if God is going to save me from what’s happening to me, save me from the person I have to live with, what he’s going to do. What’s the point of inspiration if it’s unrealistic? I look up, outside. Jeremy’s still talking to him, and I feel every lie stab me as I try to make out what he’s saying. Mark says she’s going crazy. You know, hallucinating, making up lies. I don’t know, Mark wouldn’t tell me what she was lying about. I just know it was bad enough to send her to a therapist. Then he looks up at me, his blue eyes way brighter than I remember. He smiles, and just for a second I smile back, forget what happened last summer, nearly half an hour ago. It’s as if I’m alright, as if nothing ever happened. My smile fades when I see the look on Jeremy’s face, and I remember. Bark met my face. He keeps glaring at me, green eyes threatening to tear me apart, muscles straining as if he were about to break me in half. Just when I think he will, his attention breaks, focuses on the black Mercedes pulling into the driveway, Mark’s fiancée sitting in the front seat. I remember the day I met her, and I wondered why Mark fell for her. I mean, of course he’d like her. She’s sweet, but she’s just so… different. Her name fits her perfectly: Jessie. Imagine a middle-aged woman with cowboy boots and eyes filled with joy. She listens to hardcore country music, loves to wear faded plaid shirts, sleeves rolled over her elbows. She has long curly blonde hair, which is often pulled into two braids that fall beneath her shoulders, and bright green eyes. But her biggest trait? She loves her son, more than anything or anyone. To make a long story short, she’s nothing like Mark, and I still wonder what they actually see in each other. I watch Jeremy as he walks toward the driver’s side, opens the door for his mother. She steps out of the car, smiles at him as he slams the door. Then she glances up at my window and her eyes gleam as she runs toward the front door. I can hear her boots clack as she runs up the stairs, opens my door. “Hey!” she screams, her soft country accent engulfing the room. Oh… great… “Mm.” I force a fake smile as I set my journal down onto my pillow, stand up. Her arms are held wide open for me, and as she hugs me I try not to squirm. I hate being touched, being close to people. Whenever I am, it takes me back to Jeremy. His fists. And that’s not somewhere I want to be. “How have you been?” she asks as she pulls away. I sigh. Take a wild guess. I shrug. Jessie may be sweet, but she’s also senseless. She doesn’t notice my silence, doesn’t pretend to care. Doesn’t really matter to me, how oblivious she is. Just one more person to ignore. “This year’s been hell! You ever tried planning a wedding?” Hmm, seems more like a funeral to me. I shake my head, look down. Leaves, dirt, everything hit me. Pain growing deep, so much of it I couldn’t scream. He smiled, took me into his arms, carried me back to his truck. Then he raped me for an hour, his body pushing and heavy, nearly… “What college are you going to?” Jessie asks. I jump, realize she had been talking the entire time. She stares at me, doesn’t wait for me to respond. I guess she figures that waiting for something that’s never going to happen is pointless. “Oh God, I haven’t even made dinner yet!” she glances at her watch, “We’ll have to talk during dinner.” I smirk. God, I love it when Mark’s family uses we in a sentence. Makes me wonder who exactly they’re talking about because I know I’m not involved. She storms out of my bedroom, and I turn toward my bed. His body was pressing onto me. It’s really sad. My room is the only place in this house that remained the same after my mother died. Same sickly pink walls (I forgot why most little girls tend to love this color; it makes me sick), same daybed next to the window, same oak dresser that stands next to the door, the big gash in its side from when Mark and my mother tried to bring it home. And no matter how much this room remains the same, I still don’t want to be here. I tried to scream, but he shoved something into my mouth. And somehow, my lungs refused to work. I climb onto my bed, look out of the window. He’s walking out of the yard, and Jeremy’s nowhere in sight. “You f*ing b***h,” someone whispers. I jump, turn around. Jeremy’s standing in front of the closed door, his eyes angry, forcing their way into my head. He smirks. He knows what I’m thinking. “Lay down,” he says. My eyes widen. “Jeremy, I just got here—” “I don’t care,” he interrupts, walks toward me, “Lay down.” I can’t argue. Won’t solve anything, only causes more anger, which leads to more pain. I obey him, and he lies on top of me. I hold my breath as his lips press to mine, as he kisses me deeper with every second. His fist crashes into my side. “Kiss me back,” he commands. Again he kisses me, and I kiss back as my heart quivers, throat tightens. This isn’t enough for him. He starts unbuckling my belt, pulling my shorts down. You can survive this. My heart’s pounding, blocking out the thought. Yo ca su vi thi. I can’t hear it anymore. And then he was inside of me, and… He’s raping me again, and I will myself not to cry. What would crying do? Make him angrier, cause him to hurt me more than he normally does? Either way, it won’t stop him. After a few moments, he pulls away from me, sits up. “Get up,” he says. I sit up, pull my shorts over my hips. He watches me as I walk toward my dresser, stare at my reflection. My hair is matted, clothes wrinkled. Jeremy takes the brush off of my dresser, begins to brush my hair. He’s crazy about the way my hair falls, tells me he loves it. It’s probably one of the reasons why he does this to me. Once he’s done with my hair, he smiles. “Do you love me?” he asks. I nod, and it’s so funny. Last year I never lied, thought of it to be immoral. Now things have changed. I lie just to get everyone to leave me alone. …everything turned black, blurred together. “Dinner!” Jessie calls from downstairs. Jeremy wraps his arms around me, squeezes tightly. “You better,” he whispers. Then, he pulls away, unlocks my door, disappears out into the hallway. I look back at my reflection, lift my shirt up. Right above my cuts lies a fist shaped bruise, right where he hit me. I smirk. Hopefully he killed part of the filth he gave to me. But it wasn’t enough. I still feel him all over me, the sharp stinging pain cutting my skin away. “Emma!” Mark calls, “Come down here!” I sigh as I smooth out my shirt and make my way downstairs into the dining room. Mark bought a bigger dining room table than the one we had before. Six seats compared to four, definitely enough room for everyone. Mark sits at the far end of the table, closest to the kitchen. Jessie walks out with food. Salad, meat, the usual things a perfect family would eat. Hilarious. She sits next to Mark, just as Jeremy does. He motions for me to sit next to him. I obey him, and we all join hands, say grace. Like I said, we’re the perfect family. Nothing’s wrong with us, no flaws… Bulls**t. “So,” Jessie says as she fills most of her plate with salad. She’s still complaining about how fat she is, wants to be flawless on her wedding day. She looks like a rail to me. “How long are you both staying here?” she continues. I stare at my plate, only half full. I don’t eat as much as I used to. I’m not like normal girls. When something’s bothering me, I don’t eat. I just do the exact opposite of the right thing, I guess. “Until you get married,” Jeremy says, devouring the food on his plate. Devour… the way he just devoured me, but not nearly as repulsive. “Gives me time to spend with my new little sisters.” I tried to think about all of the reasons why I could live through this. He smirks at me, and I look down at my shorts, wondering how no one noticed how messed up they look, the blood stain on the rim. Just ignore what he said. He told me he wouldn’t do anything as long as I do what he says. I start eating, stare at the wall as I do. Cream, clashing with the hardwood floor. Jessie stares at me, eyes asking me, trying to force me to answer. I don’t talk, silence blocking my throat, the words that want to come out piling up, causing me to choke. Jeremy raped me. Last summer and a few minutes ago. Look me straight in the f*ing eye and tell me he didn’t… I don’t think you could. Mark scowls at me, eyes narrow and ready to attack. I concentrate on what’s outside. He’s long gone, but other neighbors are still outside. The sky is hell orange, the sun setting, day fading into hell. Nighttime is when Jeremy’s the worst. “Well,” Jessie continues, “you’re going to the wedding then, right?” A couple jogging, someone walking their oversized dog, people laughing. “Emma,” Mark says harshly, “answer her.” His truck passing our house. “Emma?” Mark says again, a horrible tone. I then feel a harsh squeeze on my thigh, look at Jeremy. His face is twisted in annoyance, eyes warning me to talk. “Yeah,” I say, prying his hand away from me. Jessie smiles, the same bright, toothy smile Mark uses. I seriously doubt it’s fake. Jeremy smiles, and Mark continues to glare at me, as if he wants to rip me apart, to punish me for not answering her when he wanted me to. But he seemed to have overtaken them all. I press my hand to my side, want to feel blood draw, to cut away that part of me that Jeremy owns, the part he wants. I stand up, tell them I’m not hungry. They believe me, Mark resentful but pleased because I said three words to him. Three words. That’s all. I sprint upstairs, grab the razor out of my duffel bag. Back into my bathroom, the razor slicing the film again, tearing away just a little part of what Jeremy left. I smirk, stare at my reflection in my bathroom mirror, see the dead girl I’ve been waiting for. Then I clean the blood before it stains, walk back into my bedroom. My phone is on my dresser, vibrating. I pick it up, tap the screen. My grandfather called me several times and three new messages. I frown.
MY GRANDFATHER ANSWERS ON THE FIRST RING. “I told you to call me when you got there!” he yells. I laugh, pull the sheets off of my bed. It’s not like I want to be reminded of what happened, not like I want to leave stains all over the place. I put them in the laundry basket next to the door, open the bottom drawer to my dresser. “I’m sorry, Grandpa,” I say, pulling out my extra set of pastel pink sheets. “Yeah, uh huh. How have you been?” Ask the pain I feel how I’ve been. “Fine, I guess… How are you and Farrah?” I frown as I put the sheets on my bed and add my comforter. Then I walk back to my dresser, lift my shirt up again. Fist shaped bruise, six perfect lines cutting across this canvas I call my skin… I hate the way I look. I resemble my mother and Farrah, long black hair, dark brown eyes. The only difference is my lack of sensibility. I stopped caring about everything last year, when all of my high school friends decided that being friends with a social reject was clearly not the best road to take, when Mark wouldn’t call, when Jeremy would leave horrible voicemails threatening to do what he promised he wouldn’t. There’s only one thing I really give a damn about, and that’s the family my mother gave me. “We’re fine,” he says, “She’s been calling you all day. You want to talk to her?” “Yeah.” I wait, walk out of my bedroom, downstairs into the living room. Empty. I hear dishes clanking and Jessie and Jeremy bonding. I guess they’re doing the dishes. “Emma?” Farrah asks as she answers. I smile and it’s actually genuine, as if sensibility resurfaced. “Hey,” I respond as I stare at the blank flat screen television that’s hanging across from the sofa, next to the fireplace, “how are you?” “Good! How’s daddy?” Still a jackass. “He’s… fine—” “I want to talk to him!” “Uh…” I stand up, walk into the dining room. The table is cleared, Mark still sitting in the same place, reading the newspaper. Brings back a memory. His angry eyes aimed right at me, his voice screaming what the hell is wrong with you… “Dad?” I ask as I walk toward him. He doesn’t look at me, continues to read. Probably in the comic section, something that’s clearly not important. Are you crazy?! How dare you make up this bulls**t?! “Farrah wants to talk to you,” I continue. “So?” he asks, turning the page, smirking as he does. Yeah, it’s probably the comic section. “So, she’s waiting on the phone.” “Not my problem.” I glare at him. “Aren’t you going to talk to her?” “Does it look like I want to?” Do you have any idea what you could have done… I keep staring at him, trying to analyze why he treats my sister this way. I have a good guess. I tell Farrah he’s busy, don’t bother telling her he’ll call back. As I said before, lying to children isn’t fun. Mark really makes me sick, acting as if every time his world falls apart, it’s our fault. I don’t want him to marry Jessie, so I tell him I was raped; due to how crazy I was, he couldn’t get a girlfriend. Blames us for every little unfortunate thing… Even the death of our mother.
THE MONSTER ASKED THE GIRL SEVERAL QUESTIONS, why are you going out with him why do you like him what do you see in him do you love him?
The girl knew better than to answer with more than a shrug. He nodded at every gesture, as if he understood. Imagine the girl as she got annoyed with him, would try to dismiss him in the nicest possible way.
Imagine that the girl was me.
“I think you deserve better,” the monster said, his hand pushing a stray strand of hair out of my eyes. I hated it when someone touched my hair… with a passion. I frowned.
And what would you know about that?
“Sure,” I said, shifting away from him.
“You don’t believe me, do you?” he asked.
Safe to say I didn’t care. The only thing that was really running through my mind was why the hell he was asking me all of those questions.
He reached his hand toward me, clamped it around mine. My eyes widened, and when I looked up, his face was so close to mine, my heart nearly stopped.
Now imagine the monster was Jeremy.
“You deserve me,” he said. And before I knew it, his body was pressing onto me, so heavily I could barely breathe. I tried to scream, but he shoved something into my mouth, and somehow my lungs refused to work.
“Get off!” I managed to scream. He pulled the fabric out of my mouth, shoved his mouth to mine. I kept screaming, his fist crashing into my sides, my stomach, my chest, my head. Only then, I gave up. Only then, I really couldn’t breathe. Only then, I couldn’t fight back. I knew it was over, could barely see what he was doing. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t feel anything.
And then he was inside of me, and everything turned black, blurred together. It was the last thing I ever wanted, a sweating, thrusting man over me and no voice to tell him to stop, not enough strength to push against him, his muscles, whatever was holding me down. I tried to think about all of the reasons why I could live through this, but he seemed to have overtaken them all. Farrah, my mother, my grandfather… my boyfriend… Everything I loved and actually gave a damn about disappeared, and I was left with Jeremy, his heart pounding just as hard as mine, his hands sliding across me as if I were allowing it.
When he was finished, he told me he loved me, told me how beautiful I was.
“Tell me you love me back,” he said. I closed my eyes, tears trying to make their way out, prove my pain. His hands tangled with my hair, a harsh pull. “Say it.”
“I love you,” I said. The worst possible thing I could have said to anyone. He kissed me one last time, rolled off of me.
“Good… Now he doesn’t stand a chance.”
Imagine living in a horror movie…
Multiply it as many times as you can.
I don’t think you’d last… At least, I know I didn’t.
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