TRIGGER WARNING: CONTAINS RAPE AND DOMESTIC ABUSE.
I remember when cooties were something you got by grazing someone’s skin. Now they have a different name, a more serious name. As a child naps were a waste of time and screeching, “I don’t want!” half of the day was normal. Now naps are a blessing and bottling up our frustration and giving into peer pressure leads us to mentally berating ourselves and mumbling, “Just sit down and shut up, it will all be over soon.” As a child, summer went by in a blur and the school year dragged on for what felt like forever. As I grew older, with a blink of an eye my childhood was gone and I sit wondering, “Am I really allowed to be an adult just yet?” The carelessness, the innocence, the bubbly personality I once had is gone. I use to fly through wonderland with Peter and the Lost Boys. I fell down the rabbit hole with Alice and rode my first broom stick with Harry. Aladdin showed me there was a big, wide world out there for me to explore no matter what I came from. And the best thing Disney gave me was a lie. There was no happily ever after, no one to save me from the evil that lurked just down the hall. No one to protect me from his wrath, I was alone. I was spoon-fed lies and my innocence was lost forever. What I can’t remember is what innocence felt like. Did it warm my stomach? Did it put a spring in my step? Did it paint the smile I once had on my face? I don’t know.
My eyes fluttered open and I was met by cool darkness. Fear settled in the pit of my soul and a wetness graced my cheeks. Why am I crying? Why am I here? I was too scared to ask aloud and it formed a lump in my throat. Suddenly light splashed its way into the room and I heard a door bang against the wall. I stared at what was in front of me and found myself under the family SUV. I slammed my eyes shut as his steps grew closer and closer, each one heavier than the last as he stumbled into the center of the garage.
“I KNOW YOU’RE IN HERE! I CHECKED EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE HOUSE! COME OUT NOW AND MAYBE I’LL BE NICE!” He shouted into the empty room. No he wouldn’t, from my own experience he never was. And he was probably the reason I was hiding.
I began to shake and tried to keep myself from crying as he flipped over boxes and opened up cabinets. I was trapped yet again. Who knew what he had in store for me this time. I forced myself to watch his feet trip over themselves as he searched the room. Each minute of slams and curses seemed longer than the last until he had checked every possible hiding spot, all except one. I held my breath as he paused in the middle of the room. Something wasn’t right, he should have given up and gone in by now. I should be safe. He turned in the direction of the SUV. My stomach begins to flip. What gave me away? I glance to the very edge of the shadow that the car is casting and see a chunk of my hair lying in the light. Crap! I can only hope that that wasn’t the reason he moved toward the SUV. Once at the car door he stood there for a moment before swinging the door open and stepping closer to the vehicle and on top of the bit of chocolate colored hair. His work boots twisting on it and yanking it, he knows I’m here. I try to pull it away as gently as possible, trying not to draw attention to myself but he only presses down harder drawing a yelp from me. He scoffs to himself and kneels down so his face is in clear view of mine.
Car oil lined his face and his dark eyes squinted and me, “You really thought you could hide from me, you little bitch?” He grabs my hair in his ashy fists and yanks me out from under the car as I scream for help.
“No one is home to hear, don’t even bother.” He slams my back against the body of the car and slams the car door on my hair making sure I couldn’t run away as he pulled his fist back and began his beating. I winced as his left fist rammed itself into my gut, I tried to hunch in on myself but just the slight tug on my hair had me slamming my skull back against the car.
He leaned in close to my face, “This is what you get, you little whore. I tell you no boys and what do you do? You bring one home!”
I try to explain myself choking on my own sobs as I tell him that the boy showed up after school and just wanted to borrow a book. I tell him that I didn’t even let him past the doorway when I went to go get it. Tears were running down my face by this point and he wasn’t willing to listen.
“Uh huh, sure! Your sister tried to pull that crap with me and you know what that got her? Pregnant! I’m not going to have you be like her!” He screamed as he opened the door and let me fall to my knees where he preceded to kick me repeatedly. The beating hurt, but bruises heal, what he did next I’d never heal from.
He ripped my shirt off of my body and punched me in the face to keep me on the ground, spitting up my own blood. Normally he was careful not to hit me there. Then he yanked off my jeans as I began crying and begging him not to. Tears and blood streaming down my face and on to the concrete beneath me.
“Shut the hell up!” He screamed down at me. Once my jeans were off and I was lying there in my bra and underwear he went over to his work space and grabbed the duck tape. I shook my head wailing, “Please! No! Please!” My chin covered in spit, dried blood, and tears. He tore off a piece and plastered it over my mouth.
“You want to have boys over? You want to know what boys do? Fine! I’ll teach you!” He tore my underwear and let it pool beneath me as I try to curl myself up into a ball. He kicks me with his steal toed boots again, this time once in the rips and once in the shin. Both I cried out in pain. Surely he has broke or fractured something. He has been angry before, but never like this. He undid the metal buckle of his belt and unzipped his grease covered jeans.
No. No. Someone help me.
I begin crying again and turn my head down towards my chest. No one would be home for another three hours. It’d just be me and him until then.
He lifted me off the ground and threw me down on the back seat of the SUV. “I’ll show you exactly what they are capable of.” He grumbled under his breath and he slammed into me. I scream in agony and can hear the blood sloshing every time he enters me. My wails have turned into muffled pleas behind the tape, by this point it’s coated in saliva and is peeling right off. Because of this he clamps his hand down over my mouth making it twice as hard to breath and with the other, he unclips my bra and begins to fondle my chest.
“See? This is what boys do. They don’t want to be your friends, they can’t be nice! They lie and all they want to do is fuck you! That’s all you’re good for to them!” He movements begin to slow though he gives no indication that he will be stopping. Something wet hits my bare stomach; he’s crying.
“All I wanted was to protect you! You forced me to do this!”
With one last thrust he comes and I begin to cry again, soon he leans forward and his lips are on mine and he is apologizing and saying he didn’t want to do this.
He shock of his cold lips awaken me. Another nightmare. Unfortunately for me, I’m only met with another one as I roll over and check the time on the clock that sits on my nightstand. It’s four in the morning and that means any minute now he’ll be tiptoeing in here and pounding himself into my unresponsive body. The nightmare wasn’t just a nightmare, but a memory of the first time he’d forced himself upon me and the day he pulled me out of school to be “educated at home,” by him while my mother was out at work. He’d do this at least twice a day. Once after my mother left for work and again about midday and a few hours before anyone got home.
I listened as the car engine started up and pulled out of the drive way. The lights of her BMW lighting my room. I sit up as I hear her round the corner down the street. Sure enough the light in the hall flickers on and he is standing in my doorway. He comes in with a guilty smile on his lips and kisses my forehead. Pulling my nightgown over my head he takes in my body like he always does before pulling of his sweats.
Right before he inserts himself inside me he notes, “It’s your birthday today right, Catherine?”
“How old are you today? 14?”
“Yes,” I mumble.
And then he pushes his way inside me slowly as if by doing this, I will enjoy it more. I don’t I stare blankly at the ceiling behind his oval head and wait for the end.
My name is Catherine Nellus and my father has been raping me since I was 11 years old. Ever since he has had me on birth control and my mother is none the wiser. One of these days I will either be some place he can never find me or dead. The latter more likely than the former.