June 1986

It’s the last day of 9th grade and I’m excited! After school I grab my stuff and head to Clementine’s. She lives a couple of miles from my house. I’m 15 and naive.

Clemmy tells me that we are going to her friends house and we’re going to sit in someone’s jacuzzi. We walk down the street to this guy Steven’s house. It’s me and Clemmy and some guy named Rick. I didn’t know Rick or Steven. All I know is that Rick is from Myrtle Beach South Carolina and that Steven’s dad is a DA.

We walk over and we are sitting in Steven’s garage. Clemmy starts talking to Rick and she loses all interest in me. Steven is making me uncomfortable. He has the B-52’s song, Rock Lobster, playing on repeat. He is standing next to me drinking straight vodka out of the bottle. He is completely silent and doing this stiff jump up and down dance. Every time I look up he is starting at me. He has no expression on his face. Just staring right into my eyes and not saying a word. I am a virgin, have never even kissed a boy. But this boy scares me. Finally Clemmy says we are leaving. I am relieved until she says that Rick and Steven were coming with us. At least we will be safer at Clemmy’s house.

We go to her house. The couch bed is open and made up since that’s where we are going to sleep. She leads us to her room. She has a day bed. Her room is purple and she has clowns everywhere. Her room seems babyish to me.

Clemmy sits on her bed and Rick sits next to her. Steven then sits down so I sit down as far away from him as I can. Clemmy stands up and tells me that her and Rick will be right back. I freeze. I watch them walk out. As soon as the door closed Steven is on me. He pushes me down on the bed and is trying to stick his tongue down my throat. This is my first kiss.

I know I can’t over power him so I tell him as calmly as I can that I want to lock the door. He still hasn’t said one word. He let’s me up and I walk as calmly as I can to the door. I fling it open and run as fast as I can down the hallway. My heart is pounding in my ears and I am terrified. I have no idea where Clemmy is or where I plan to go but I know I have to get out of that room.

I make it to the living room before he tackles me, face down onto the couch bed. He flips me over. Every time I try to scream he put his tongue in my mouth. It’s dark except for the glow of the porch light seeping in.

All I am wearing is a bikini and wrap around shorts. He is yanking at my top the entire time but it wont come untied. I am on my back and he is straddling me. He isn’t violent or mean, just determined…… Unemotional. That terrifies me.

I am trying to buck him off of me. Clemmy walks out of the kitchen and when I see her I am so relieved. She looks at me and tells me I need to be quiet because I am going to wake up her parents. I’m stunned into silence. Steven never stops pulling at my clothes or groping me and I know I look scared. I am asking myself, what in the fuck is wrong with her??

She’s been in a dark kitchen screwing around with Rick while I’m being straddled and groped by some random dude.

Rick walks in and sees how scared I am, notices that I am being pinned down. Rick grabbed Steven, asked him, in his southern accent, “what in the hell are you doing?” as he pulls him off of me. He drags him towards the front door. Clemmy is asking Rick where he is going and Steven suddenly finds his voice. He tells me he loves me and that he will see me tomorrow. I stay awake all night. Clemmy sleeps like a baby.

As soon as the sun comes up I get up. I walk to the door. There is a long walkway outside. I stand at that door forever trying to get up the courage to open it. What if he is outside waiting for me? I open the door and leave the chain lock on and peek outside to make sure he isn’t crouched down. He isn’t there. At the end of the walkway to the left is the driveway. Immediately to the right of the door is the front yard and freedom. I open the door, take a deep breath and run as fast as I can. I run the two blocks to the main, busy road. I live about three miles away. I get out to the road and cross it and I am running along side the dirt. There isn’t a sidewalk. I hear a car pull up behind me. I look behind me and it is John. He is an older guy from my neighborhood. I don’t know him that well but I have to get home.

He asks me what I am doing, running down the road at 6:00am with a bikini and shorts on? All I can do is shake my head no as tears fill my eyes. He offers to give me a ride home. He pushes the passenger door open but I jump into the bed of his truck. I can’t stand the thought of being trapped in a vehicle with any guy. He doesn’t say a word, just takes me home.

25 years later Luke would tell me, when he was drunk, that two years after John gave me a ride home, he killed a girl who burned him over drugs. It was ruled a suicide. I asked Luke the next day what happened. He told me he didn’t know what I was talking about. Secret Keeper.

I go to my room and call my friend Victoria and tell her what happened. She tells me to call the cops. I tell her, no. She tells me to tell my mom. No way. I could never tell my mom anything like that. She says she wants to at least tell her brother so he can kick his ass. I tell her no again. I just want to forget about it. I think the reason that this has happened to me was because I was wearing a bikini.

Two years later Clemmy told me that when she was 13 years old her dad came home from the bar, drunk. He came into her room and finger banged her. I thought to myself, no wonder you are so fucked up.

Four years later I am sitting in Luke’s Baja and he goes into the store. I look up and see someone staring at me from the phone both. He smirks at me. It is Steven. I immediately started crying. I feel trapped. I put my head into my lap.

Luke gets in the car and I keep telling him I am sick. He takes us home. He lives around the corner. I run inside and start sobbing. He kneels down in front of me and grabs my forearms. His roommate comes running over to see what is happening. I am saying over and over “that was is guy who attacked me. “ Luke is shaking me, in a panic, asking me what I am talking about. He has tears in his eyes. That calms me down. I always take care of Luke. Seeing him tear up is devastating me. He asks me what he looks like and I tell him. Luke and his roommate try to find him and can’t . When they come back Luke kneels down and says two words to me.

“Did he?”

I know what he is asking. I had been a virgin. Luke was my first. Luke was asking me if he had raped me. I say “no, he didn’t.”. He is relieved. He says “if you want to tell me about do it now because I can’t handle this and after today I never want to talk about it again. ”

I shake my head. No.

Six years later I am watching TV at Nana’s. There is a panel of women talking about rape and how women always blame themselves and because of that it is so under reported. I realize for the first time that it wasn’t my fault. I am so sad that I blamed myself and angry that it happened to me and relieved that I now know it wasn’t my fault. I walk over to my mom and Nana and tell them what happened to me six years earlier.

Lessons learned: I hate clowns and the color purple. I learned to never stay somewhere if I’m not completely comfortable. Also, I have always loved southern accents and now I realize why.

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