Questions and The Real Answers

“What do you mean he forced you to do stuff?”

she/he/they ask me with an undertone of doubt

and just a dash of judgment
I swear, I heard a smile in their voice

Let me explain

His touch was harsh and cold against my cracked skin

like the night wind of the day I met him

His touch left permanent burns on my neck, thighs, and arms

like the hot stove your mother warns you not touch

Oh, my mother warned me about those burns

“I don't get it, Tiffany”

she/he/they state, with an undertone of doubt

and just a dash of judgment

I swear, they sound bored.

Oh, let me explain

It was a March morning,

I walked into school, shaking and I

could still feel the weight of his body burdening mine

I heard his voice say, “Get out of my car”

over and over and over again

Then, six months later, I was trapped in the back seat of a car with him

“Did you guys....?”

her/his/their voice trails off with an undertone of doubt

and just a dash of judgment

I swear, they are getting it now

Let me explain

When I said, “No”, he said “Yes”

When I said, “Stop”, he shoved his hands up my skirt

That is rape

He did not force me to a crime I've had nightmares about ever since

He did not drug me or tie me down

But, he raped me.

“What do you mean he raped you if you guys didn't...”

she/he/they wonder with more than an undertone of doubt

and more than a dash of judgment

I swear, they will never understand

Let me explain

He taught me how my skin can crawl just from the mention of a name

He taught me how to hate everyone who says a girl is asking for it

He taught me how to dig my nails into my palm when I can't breathe

He taught me rape is not sex or a stranger on the street

He taught me rape is a friend of a friend who you met a party

who seemed cute at the time, I swear.

He taught me cruelty when all his friends called me “the easy 16 year old”

He taught me how to stay quiet

He taught me how to joke about what he did to me

He taught me that people won't believe you and that they don't understand

But

I will no longer let his lessons ring true

I will no longer stay quiet anymore

I will no longer keep this to myself

I will scream, “stop”

louder than I ever did when he was on top of me

I will scream, “stop believing rape is a far distant problem that will not happen to you”

“Stop assuming rape is only intercourse.”

“Stop thinking that a boy will listen when a girl says no”

“Stop reasoning that lack of clothes and alcohol is an excuse”

“Stop teaching girls that they have to say no more than once or at all”

“Stop keeping your mouth closed about the bad things that happen to you because you are not alone”

I will scream these words until I can drown out his voice in my head,

telling me, “Stop fighting me off, you're getting me mad now.”

 

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