When I was fourteen, a friend told me she’d been raped. I remember it so clearly, so shocking. She said it out of the blue one day and I didn’t know what to do. I just hugged her around the waist, this girl three years older than me, and I told her I was sorry. She looked at me numbly and touched my hair and said she just didn’t want it to happen to me.

I couldn’t bear to tell her it already had.

Years later, a mutual friend who knew us both well was upset over something involving her, and he wouldn’t let it go, whatever it was. We were dating, intimate, and I pressed him for details. I asked him if it was privileged information and he said no, not really, that he thought he could tell me but he didn’t want to.

I asked him what it was, and why he didn’t want to. He said he didn’t want to injure my innocence. I snorted and reminded him what I’d been through, and he said this was worse. My friend, he said, had to deal with her rapist. All the time.

I asked him why the hell she would do that. I didn’t understand. I asked him if I was in danger. I always sensed when I went to visit her that she was too vigilant of me, watching out for me, too happy to see me go away but at the same time clearly missing me. I demanded to know, why wouldn’t her rapist assault someone else? Why would she keep it a secret?

He said, “He won’t.”

I demanded, “How do you KNOW that?”

And he replied, “Because he only had one daughter.”


~ by oniongirl13 on May 10, 2010.

2 Responses to “Memory”

  1. WOW. What a powerful story. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. that assumption, that he wouldn’t bother anyone else, because he *only* bothers his daughter –

    the fact that he didn’t want to tell you; didn’t want to tell ANYONE – that it was better to hide it, because he “only” hurt one person.


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