Web Site: House Of Pain
Grusome story of a rape and the victim's trimuph. FYI... This story contains vivid detail.
I just received notice that this will be pulished in the next issue of House-of-Pain.
As each day before, I leave my house at 6:30am. The rain is still falling as I walk to the car. I start the car and a cigarette. Lighting a cigarette, I notice the puddles left by the overnight rain. Staring at the puddles I see tiny reflections of the world around me. The puddles act like thousands of little mirrors, and for a moment I think that those mirrors could be windows to another world. I wonder what that world would be like. Images dance through my mind of fanciful dancing elves and fairies lighting the way. I believed that the fantasy world would exist even after the reflections disappear, but it is just during this special time that we have access to peer into their world.
A tire screeches behind me and my concentration is broken. The cigarette in my hand has burned down to nothing. Tossing it out the window, I light another and put the car in gear. Forgetting my imaginative thoughts, I return to my mundane reality. The rain breaks after my mad dash into the building in which I’m working today. Waiting for the elevator I wonder if I should tempt fate and walk out to see if it will start raining again. The elevator beeps and I turn and enter. Another day of work goes by and at the end of the day I return to my car. Briefly noticing the dry ground, I wonder when the sun came out. Traffic is standing still, making traffic stressful, as always. Five cigarettes later, I have finally gotten home.
My faithful dog meets me at the door. He is a large husky and now at his full growth can knock me over. I stand only five foot two inches tall and weigh only one hundred and two pounds soaking wet. He is about one hundred fifty pounds and stands four feet tall on his hind legs. After he settles down, I kick off my high-heel shoes and walk to the bedroom. Changing from my business suit into a more comfortable outfit, I walk to the kitchen. I go to my refrigerator to look for something to eat. Opening the refrigerator and freezer, all I see is empty shelves. I let the dog out into the yard. Slipping on my tennis shoes, I grabbed my keys and left for another fast-food dinner.
The traffic is lighter now. The after work rush has ended. Usually I just go through a drive-thru and go home. Tonight I decided to stop at a local restaurant and eat in. I scan the parking lot for a spot to park. The only available places seem to be shadowed by the oncoming dusk. Not thinking anything of it, I park and walk into the restaurant. I settle in the smoking section for a while. After a while the waitress finally comes over and takes my order. Once I order the waitress disappears for a while. After eating a quick dinner, I am reluctant to leave the restaurant. The waitress is beginning to bother me, so I decide to leave.
The night has drawn upon the world and I look at the blackened sky. Normally the stars would not be visible from the city. This night, as I look at the dark night sky, I think I see a sparkle of a star. Reverting back to my childhood for a moment I make a wish on the star.
“Wish I may, Wish I might. Have this wish I wish tonight. I wish for a change in my life.”
Coming back to reality as a man brushes past me, I walk to my now black parking spot. I look down to find my keys and start to dig in my pocket. I see a movement from the corner of my eye. I look up and nothing is there. Becoming paranoid, I look around before I turn the corner of the building. Walking faster, I rush to my car. As I put the key in the door it happens.
A hand is held over my mouth and a knife is held to my throat. Another hand grabs my wrists and I feel something go tight around my wrists behind my back. Fear races through my limbs.
“Don’t make a sound and this will be over before you know it.” A rough voice whispers in my ear.
Tears spring to my eyes as I feel my body being dragged backwards. One set of hands forces me down to the ground. The force of hitting the ground forces a scream from my lips. Suddenly I taste a dirty rag being shoved in my mouth.
“I told you to be quiet!” The voice said.
I feel the cold metal of the knife against my legs as the man cuts away my jeans. A cold breeze blows across my now bare skin. When a hand touches my breast, I start to fight. My mind screams at me to do everything I can to stop this from happening. Then my shoulders are pinned by another pair of hands and the knife returns to my throat. My body goes limp. The warning is enough to stop my struggle. I resolve myself to the situation. My only thought is to survive this. I fight only once more when the first man lays on top of me. I cried to myself. This is not how it’s supposed to be. It would be better if I had accepted one of the offers in college, even though I knew it wouldn’t last. The pain that soared through me deafens his surprised exclamation.
“Hey guys, good choice, she’s a virgin.”
Their laughs drown away in my sobs. The small puddles I create with my tears begin to grow larger as the rain starts again. I keep my eyes closed until the last of them rolls off of me. I wait for a few moments before I open my eyes. As a bolt of lighting strikes, I score each face into my memory. I vow silently that I will bring them to justice for what they have taken from me. The one with the knife looks at me and perhaps sees my determination. He walks towards me as the others start to walk away.
“I want you to take a good look.” He bends his face closer to mine and licks my cheek. “My face will be the last thing you will ever see.”
The knife comes towards me and pierces each eye effortlessly. The pain doesn’t start right away. At first I just feel the blood running down my face, then a sharp hot pain shoots through me. I hear his laughter getting farther and farther away. I don’t know how long I lay there, but eventually I hear a woman’s scream. Then I hear sirens. A man’s voice tries to comfort me but I just try to move away. He tries for several minutes then I hear him call into the night for a female officer. I feel something cover my legs and the feeling starts to come back.
A woman’s voice speaks softly to me. She comforts me as I feel my body being moved from the cold ground to a more comfortable place. Suddenly my hands are and the cloth is removed from my mouth. The taste of fresh air is never so refreshing. My body raises and I fell myself being rolled away. The fear and helplessness seep from my body and is replaced by sorrow. Sobs now choke me and my mind is at loss how to comprehend all that has happened. My life is no longer mundane.
Thinking back to my wish a short while ago. I cry harder when I realize that my life has changed. At this moment, I would give anything to have my mundane life back. I wish I could erase the pain that now consumes me. The circus of the emergency room flies by before I ever notice. The pain only stops when I fall into a drug induced sleep.
Upon waking, I am devastated to realize my world is dark and the events of last night are not a dream. A woman’s soft voice speaks to me.
“You are awake?”
I don’t answer.
“My name is Marcy. I am a rape councilor. I am here to talk to you and help you get through this. It is a tragedy that has happened to you. I realize that this will be a hard journey. I hope to become your friend as well.”
“Has anyone checked on my dog?” The words escaped me.
“Yes, a police officer went to the house. She took care of your dog.”
We talk about trivial things until I start to relive my day in its entirety. Marcy stops me at my description of the fantasy world that I describe.
“That sounds like a wonderful place to live. It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into that place. I’m sorry please continue.”
I continue retelling my past days events. When I begin describing what happened to me, I choke upon my sobs and can’t continue anymore. Marcy holds me until the tears are dry.
“Let’s try something. I want you to imagine yourself in the world you talked about. Pretend like your watching the elves and the fairies that you talked about.”
I did what she said and I calmed down.
“Now stay in that world, but turn around and watch what happened to you. Tell me what you see.”
I told her the horrid tale of my night; but, somehow, I didn’t choke up. The fantasy world is still around me and somehow that world shelters me from the pain. Marcy stops me only one more time to call for a police sketch artist. I describe the men to Marcy and the officer. The officer disappears sometime later but my fantasy world continues until I fall into a restful sleep.
I wake to a new attitude to my life. The tragic has happened to me, but somehow I see past that. I see there is still a future. I accomplished my goal. I lived through the past night. I will survive this. My life is different now but I will go on. Justice is the foremost thought in my mind. It is close to desire for revenge. I stop myself at that thought. I won’t go down that path. It has more problems than solutions. I may not have my sight, but I still have my pride. More importantly, I have my life. The nurse calls my name. Starting my new life, I answer.
Five months have passed. I have learned how to live my life without my sight. Marcy is a dear friend and has helped me more than once during this time. We try to train my dog to be a Seeing Eye dog, but he doesn’t learn well. He accepts my new dog without a problem. The police are unable to find the men I described in the hospital. I still keep hope that they will be found. There are no reports of additional attacks or rapes in the area. I count my blessings for that mercy. For the first time since the attack, I go out to dinner with a friend.
Sitting at the table I hear a voice that turns my blood to ice. The voice of the man that blinded me is sitting nearby. I turn my head to find a location of the voice.
“Paulette, what’s wrong?”
“Did you hear that?”
“Hear what? There are a lot of people around.”
“He’s here. I just heard him.”
“Who’s here? You’re not making any sense. Do you want to leave?”
Overcoming the fear, I say. “No! Call 9-1-1. Tell them you’ve recognized one the rapist they are looking for.” Pulling out the binder from my bag, I hand it to her. “Look at the first picture in there. Do you see that man behind us and to your left?”
My friend is silent. I hear the pages of the binder flip. The pages suddenly stop.
“You have everything from the papers in here. But you’re right, he’s here.”
My friend calls the waitress over and asks her to o dial 9-1-1. There are few minutes of silence between us before I hear the door open. Then I hear a struggle behind me. The officer comes over to us after speaking with the waitress. He speaks softly to my friend and me.
A trial soon begins. With several months of testimony now behind me the hardest part begins. Today I sit in the court and tell everyone what happened to me. My lawyer is confident and I know my friends support me. But the question still haunts me; will they believe that this man did this to me?
The news is talking about the statistics of rape victims accusing the wrong men. They say that it’s not possible for me to be able to identify this man without my sight. That stings the recently healed scars of my heart. I ask myself; how could I not know the man that did this to me? But none of it matters after this trial. Whatever the outcome, I know he will be judged in this life or the next.
After a long day of testimony, I go home to a quiet house. The jury deliberation starts a few days later. They are out for several days, before they come back with a verdict. Sitting in the courtroom I hold my breath and close my lifeless eyes in anticipation of their words. The verdict is read. And the words vibrate in a silent room.
“We find the defendant Guilty.”
After the trial, he decides to plea bargain for a lesser sentence by naming and implicating the other men that were with him. The court accepts the plea and he receives the lowest sentence possible. Several friends tell me to move away and start a new life. But I answer each the same. I won’t change my life for them. It is true that they took my sight. It’s true that I fought to be able to make myself whole again. But I have learned to live my life to the fullest. If someday they come knocking again, it will not be so easy. For strength comes in many forms. Mine comes from the experience of terror. I harvest that strength in my life. I now know that no matter what happens, I will survive.
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