Things that can’t shake loose

The odd amber color of his eyes. The way they didn’t focus when he grabbed fistfulls of my hair and made me tell him I loved him. The first slide of the knife. How I left my body, and floated above. How I begged him not to get blood on the dress that my mother had worked overtime to pay for. The sickening crunch of my knee when it made contact with the pipe from the sink, the way my dancing shoe left a mark on his cheek when I raised my leg and kicked him.

The sounds of him. The one scream I let peel from me before terror took the rest and turned them into soundless sobs. Him laughing as he ran out. My feeling as though I would never laugh again.

That I used to need to be bruised and berated to be aroused. How release seemed an impossibility, a special paradise for girls who weren’t like me.

How I wished none of it ever happened, even though if it hadn’t been me, it would have been one of my classmates. The guilt of that very thought. Sleepless sleepless nights with too many dreams. Sleep filled nights with no dreams at all.

Warm arms reaching for me in the middle of the night, pulling me into him, hands resting on a belly I hate. As I try to suck it in away from caressing fingers, they delve deeper and show me, as is, I am ok.

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