This is a short story I decided to write, based on a true story I heard from a woman I care about deeply who was sexually assaulted and raped. She did not tell me every gruesome detail of her experience, and so that is what I am making fictional; her thoughts, the actions that were incurred upon her person, the lasting damage…it’s all from me. It isn’t the greatest piece of prose I’ve written, but something like this doesn’t need to be written by a professional journalist. There are a few parts are real, but that’s for you to make your own judgements about. Do yourself a intellectual act of justice and don’t assume anything. Thanks.
Who am I? Who haven’t I been able to become because of those degrading labels placed on my person that could hardly be categorized as “words.” His sharpened touch stings my skin to this day.
Being raped and sexually abused in a conveinent New York alleyway at twelve years old doesn’t make for a brighter future, or so that was what I believed after I had finally managed to escape…scathed in every sense of the word. The most painful part was that I did not know who dared take my body into their own hands. Obscenity after obscenity yelled into my ears as his hand left its mark upon my cheeks and eye. I slipped in and out of consciousness, unable to force his body off of mine…to silence his incessant groans as he nonchalantly stole my very innocence.
What would drive a man to do such a thing to a girl who only just began to menstruate a few months ago? Was it my body – much more maturely developed than the rest of the girls around me, despite my short stature – that gave him the idea that I was “willing?” If only I had that lovely pocketknife I bought that same day, and began occassionally cutting myself with…
I didn’t want to die, but seeing my own blood was my only confirmation of my existence. Strange huh? Yeah, but it’s the truth.
I remembered what I shudder to remember. I recalled what was most painful for me to recall. The memory welled up in my stomach so acutely…so tightly…that it drove me to purging myself. My purity was stripped away from me. I would never be whole again because of that corrupted fiend. I was convinced that no one could ever truely love me because of that day. The bit of self-esteem I had turned into withdrawal, as I began to buy into my assaulter’s declarations…that I was just a slut who could do nothing except use my body as a tool. I was dirty, impure; my commitment of sex until marriage shattered. My performance in school hit rock bottom. I was held back that same year.
I wasn’t strong enough to fight against that pathetic excuse for a male. Knowing this, I remedied that in the years that would come. That same anguish and anger I felt, I molded into discipline for the martial arts that I would be taught. I fought alone, defended those who were weak, and supported myself. I took great pride and comfort in that by sixteen years of age, I could kill someone within five seconds unarmed, if given the opportunity. At least I was sane enough to continue with school.
Now nineteen and fully blossomed, I found myself at a crossroad. Unable to decide whether this man I have feelings for would ever accept me for who I have recreated myself to be. For the year I have known him for, he has never once asked for sex. His intelligence far exceeded mine; I was still a senior in high school, making B’s & C’s, while he was the same age and a 3rd year in one of the best colleges on the West coast. Yet, he always insisted how intelligent I am in my own special way. We have kissed here and there, and he had never touched me other than to embrace me when distant memories of my rape creep up. I cried so many times in his arms. He never knew why he was embracing me, but he always did without question. He told me how he cared for me and has supported me, a quirky, happy-go-lucky, yet fearless blonde-haired cheerleader with a repuation of kicking anyone’s ass that touched me. He said he found my strength attractive; my willpower and resolve, sexy. He gave me hope…to live, and to someday love.
I finally shared with him my story; of how I was defiled and no longer a virgin. My three boyfriends before him I never told, yet unable to bear what his response would be, I turned away from him, ashamed and on the verge of tears. I thought he would never accept me. I wanted to love him, but a myriad of questionable doubts clouded over any hint of hope I had. And then, he said the words I have never believed I would hear uttered from any male’s mouth in my life:
“You may not be technically “pure”, Elle, but that’s something that should have never happened. It’s not something that is easy for you to forget either. And it’s fine if we’re thinking a bit ahead. The fact is, when you told me that had happened to you, my feelings for you didn’t change. That person may have taken your virginity, but they couldn’t take away you having the ability to give your body to the person you love in a pure act of consumation of marriage. That’s something no one can take away from you. And that would be good enough for me.”
All I could do was weep…My weeping quickly turned to joy, as he then confessed his deep affection for me; then mine for him. Neither of us believed the other liked the other, which made us both laugh while we kept verifying that the other was serious. Only at that point did I realize how much his very presence had healed my broken, ravished soul. I thought I knew who I had become, but he showed me how much hope I really had to live on; it wasn’t just for myself. It wasn’t yet love for either of us, but we both knew that there was a place for love to grow inside of us.
I could finally make peace with myself…and accept in my heart that for the first time, I didn’t have to fight alone.