WARNING: Disturbing stuff ahead.
This is the hardest post I've ever written. It's raw and ugly, and I didn't finish the story...but it's enough for now.
Almost anything can set me off:
Standing too close to me
The sound of footsteps at the door, and me realizing that the door is unlocked
Walking alone in an unfamiliar place
Not hearing the footsteps at the door as it opens...
But never did I think a Facebook post would reduce me in such a wa y - shoulders slumped, as though my middle was pulling my body inward. Eyes darting, looking for danger to strike. All of my senses heightened to full vigilance. The hum of the refrigerator suddenly menacing. Looking for a way OUT.
Fight or flight, that's what they'd call it.
Anxiety. Rage. No, this time, I'd fight back, dammit! I'd scream so loud the windows would rattle in their frames, and my hands would not lie limply at my sides, impotent.
Shallow breath, rapid heartbeat, I looked again at the picture of the young woman. Apparently unconscious, a man's hand holding her cheeks like a vise - a bottle of vodka tipped, the alcohol ready to run into her now open mouth.
The End of the Friend Zone, it said...
And suddenly, like that, I was in 1977, on my back, the hideous harvest gold carpet against my bare skin, its sculptured nap leaving marks on me.
He grabbed me so fast I had no time to react - my clothes pulled off me, and his hands roaming over me, pushing me down.
It didn't take long, the actual rape. Without sound, I wept as he thrust and groped and defiled me.
I couldn't scream - on the other side of the wall, my thirteen month-old daughter lay in her crib, napping. My cries would startle and wake her, and she might try to climb out of the crib and get hurt. Or worse yet, she might toddle into the room before he was finished with me.
When he was done, he climbed off me and pulled on his gym shorts. "I'll come back again when you'll enjoy it more." With that parting promise, my neighbor grinned and walked outside, shutting the door.