Friday, January 23, 2015
An excerpt from Just Another Number
I always imagined rape as this violent scene of a woman walking alone down a dark alley and getting mugged and beaten by some masked criminal. Rape was an angry man forcing himself inside a damsel in distress. I would not carry the trauma of a cliché rape victim. I would not shriek in the midst of my slumber with night terrors. I would not tremble at the sight of every dark haired man or the mention of Number 1’s name. I would not even harbor ill will towards him. My damage was like a cigarette addiction- subtle, seemingly innocent, but everlasting and inevitably detrimental.
Number 1 never opened his screen door to furious crowds waving torches and baseball bats. Nobody punched him out in my honor. The Nightfall crowd never socially ostracized him. Even the ex-boyfriend who’d second handedly fused the entire fiasco continued to mingle with him in drug circles. Everybody continued with business as usual. And when I told my parents I lost my virginity against my will, unconscious on a bathroom floor, Carl did not erupt in fury and demand I give him all I knew about his whereabouts so he could greet him with a rifle. Mom blankly shrugged and mumbled, “Oh, that’s too bad,” and drifted into the kitchen as if I’d received a stubbed toe rather than a shredded hymen.
Everyone in my life took my rape as lightly as a brief thunderstorm that might have been frightening when it happened, but was easy to forget about. I adopted that mentality as the foundation of my sex life. I would, time and time again, treat sex as flimsily as it started. I would give it away as if it was cheap, second hand junk, rather than a prize that deserved to be earned.