He Doesn’t Live Here

Posted on: November 1, 2012
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    By Ja’Nee Newman
     
     
    He walks behind me. He doesn’t live here. His hand is over my mouth and I’m in the Twilight Zone.
     
     
    He says; “Don’t move,” and I struggle.
     
     
    He says he has a knife. I cry out and his hands go around my neck. I’m down behind the trash bin.
     
     
    “Are you a virgin?” and tell him yes because I think he’ll back off or take it easy. My blouse is pulled up and he shows sick attention to my breasts. Penetration, I feel nothing. I think, where’s the knife, where’s his weapon, and I realize it’s buried inside me. This man accomplishes his goal; he puts fear into me. He finished and the new me emerges. He says, “Count to 100,” and I know this is when he uses the knife. I see my stomach in the moonlight and I’m proud that it’s flat.
     
     
    Will my flesh be ripped? Will I bleed to death behind the trash bin, along with the disposable diapers and rotting lettuce leaves? He gets up and leaves my skin in one piece. He takes my suede fringed purse and a scarf as a memento. He takes with him my trust, pride, innocence, and humor. I pull my jeans up and don’t bother to zip them, and go into my empty apartment. I cry because I’m angry and shocked this has happened to me. Do I call the police, call my parents, or go to a neighbor?
     
     
    I want to soak in a bath and think about what to tell my husband. I call my parents instead, say I’ve been raped, and drop the phone. The police car arrives with lights flashing. Mom comes inside the house but Dad decides to stay outside when I need him with me. There’s the police station to fill out a report and the young officer says, “You were lucky the assailant didn’t use your scarf to strangle you.”
     
     
    At the hospital emergency room, they give me a feminine wash of a nurse of all things. The nurse advises me to never tell my husband, and says she didn’t tell hers. Back at the police station, I look at Polaroid pictures of suspects, and there’s one photograph I can’t identify 100 percent. Later in the line-up, I do identify his plaid shirt. When I close my eyes, I can hear his voice, which is familiar but the facial features, height, and weight elude me. He might as well have carved me with a knife. The pain I carry is constant and the scars are real enough. I’m haunted. I have no more trust in men but lots of faith in myself. I want to thank him for introducing me to real fear, and may he burn in hell. I am still a woman. I will always be strong and never be a victim again.

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