I didn’t let this tragedy stop me from taking my nightly strolls. Every time I passed the field that took away my innocence, chills were sent down my spine. The hair on my arms stood up tall and I felt sick to my stomach. Those four words repeated in my mind… day and night. Night and day. If I would’ve reacted to him, or said something in return, what would’ve happened to me? Whatever it was couldn’t have been as bad as what he left me with. I was spiraling back down into my hole, and fast. I needed to save myself.
Closing my eyes at night was like setting myself up for disaster. I started picturing different men that I thought could be capable of doing this to me. I saw his black hoodie with white strings dangling down near my face. His ashy skin, strong grip, and crackled voice all sent me into a nightmare that I couldn’t escape from. But in reality, I had no idea who this man was. He wasn’t even a man… this monster didn’t deserve that type of respect. I wanted to know, I TRIED to know, to recognize anything I could. But I always fell back to square one, which left me with nothing.
I was at a crossroad with myself. Was I supposed to tell someone? I felt like the people around me were catching a drift that something was wrong. Did I have a sign over my head saying, “ASK THIS GIRL WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER 20 TIMES A DAY!!”? I wanted to talk about it, damn it. I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell. I wanted to shout about it. But all I could do was whisper, I’m fine. I shut myself out from the world, once again. This was what I did best so I knew I couldn’t go wrong.
There I was again, walking around my complex as if nothing happened to me. I only wore one ear bud to listen to music because I was scared someone would sneak me from behind. I felt like I was being followed. He was waiting for me, somewhere. He wanted to catch me when I let my guard down. I was letting him control the thoughts and emotions in my mind. I often stood in the middle of the road hoping a car would come speeding my way. Maybe if I let my guard down just for a few seconds… my wish would be answered.
Take me away. Forever! No one wants a dirty human being like me to walk this Earth. Why did I let this happen to me? Why didn’t I scream for help? Why was my body motionless and not in control? …. No! Don’t do this, Courtney. You can’t let him win.
I WON’T let him win.