This special includes language, adult situations, violence, and disturbing or sensitive subjects therefore I rated it PG18. Read at your own discretion.
It was Tuesday, February 19th, 1986. The day of my sixteenth birthday. I was on my way home from school like any other day. Halfway home, it started snowing and it didn’t stop snowing for the rest of the afternoon. I went up the stairs leading to our house, cleaned my shoes on the mat and walked inside. If I had known how dramatically my life would change in the following hour, I would have never gone home that day.
When I opened the door of my bedroom I saw my mother. She was standing there, right by the door, waiting for me.
“There you are!” she sneered. She was too concentrated on checking her nails that she didn’t even raise her eyes to look at me. “I’ve got a surprise for you, darling,” she said and gave me one of her fake smiles.
“I thought we were going to celebrate later with papa and Sebastian,” I mumbled.
“Surprise!” she suddenly called out and the door behind me slammed shut. The moment I turned around someone put his hand on my mouth, pulled me towards himself and held me tight. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t even breathe. Then my mother made two steps towards me and caressed my cheek.
“I know you had your first period last month,” she said and smiled wickedly at me. “You can finally give me what I desire the most,” she continued and put her hand on my abdomen. “You’ll carry a child for me, darling,” she said softly. I have never heard her talk with such a sweet voice before. I tried to protest, but all I managed to do was a low moan of despair. “Yes, yes. In less than nine months I will finally have it all,” my mother kept on talking, more to herself than to me, actually. I was in a complete shock. I didn’t want to believe in what the woman who was supposed to love me just said. She was my mother. I trusted her and she betrayed me.
“If you won’t make trouble, you could even enjoy yourself,” she gave me a naughty look. “Take her,” she suddenly commanded. The man standing behind me threw me on his shoulder and carried me towards my bed.
“No! Please! Mother, please! Don’t do this to me!” I begged her with tears in my eyes. She just stood there and smiled. I clenched my hands into fists and started hammering the back of the man I’ve never seen before. Nothing. Only when I managed to kick him in the balls he let go of me and dropped down to his knees in pain. I quickly crawled towards the bathroom, but when I turned the knob I found out the door was locked.
I slid down on the floor and begged them to stop. The more I begged and cried, the more they had fun. Then the man grabbed me again and dragged me towards the bed. I could kick, scratch, pull, squeeze and slap him as much as I wanted, but he wouldn’t give in.
“Take off her clothes!” my mother shouted.
“No!” I protested. “Don’t touch me!” I squealed.
The man pushed me to the wall with the weight of his body, took off my cap and unzipped my jeans. He put one hand on my throat, slightly pushing me upwards, and pulled down my jeans to my knees with the other. Then he grabbed me and threw me on the bed, taking my jeans off completely. I tried to roll around to the other side of the bed, but he caught my ankle and pulled me back towards him. He unzipped his trousers and lied down on me. I nearly suffocated under his weight.
He took off my glasses and threw them away. I could see my mother pick them up from the carpet and put them on my desk. When he was pulling up my sweater I managed to grab him by the hair. I pulled his hair the hardest I could and poked him in the eye. He groaned painfully and rubbed his eyes. I wanted to use the moment of distraction to escape, but my mother jumped on the bed and slapped me.
“Why are you letting this man hurt me, mother? Why?” I sobbed. She looked to the side to avoid the eye contact and didn’t speak a word. In the meantime, the man got back atop of me and while my mother kept my hands tightly pushed to the mattress, he pulled up my sweater. I have never felt more ashamed in my whole life. I lied on my bed just in my underwear with a stranger sitting on my legs and touching my body while my mother watched from aside.
I will never forget that look on her face when the man finally took my virginity. She sat on the bed not a half meter away from us and watched me be violated by the stranger. There was pure amusement shining from her eyes. I was disgusted by it. She ruined my birthday. She ruined my life. She ruined everything… and the worst was yet to come.
I don’t remember when exactly my father got in my room and whether or not he witnessed the rape of his little girl. All that I recall is his worried voice calling my name and my mother’s evil laughter.
She said some words I’ve never heard before. Then a loud thud followed. That was when my dad fell to the floor. He came to my rescue and instead, he walked right into the arms of death. I had no idea what was happening then. The weight of the stranger’s body was suffocating me. I felt numb from the pain he was causing me. I felt like I was being torn apart by a wild animal. A hungry animal with unstoppable lust for blood. An animal which hasn’t eaten in months.
When he turned me over and took me from behind like a mating dog, I finally saw my dad. He was crawling on the floor, unable to speak a word. There was a stream of blood running down the corner of his mouth and his face was pale like a moon. I will never forget the last look in his eyes. It was so full of anger yet painfully helpless.
The moment my father let out his last breath I felt an unpleasant pressure followed by several seconds of rhythmic contractions. I tried to push the rapist off of me with the sudden force that entered my body, but he rolled off all by himself before I was able to attempt anything. It was finally over. I remained inertly lying on my bed, a pool of blood soaking the freshly washed covers. I closed my eyes and wished for everybody to leave. The man started arguing with my mother, accusing her of the stupidity of killing her husband in front of my eyes. He yelled at her to kill me as well but my mother yelled back at him, saying she needed the baby first. I wished she had ended my life then… but she spared me.
When they finally headed out of my room, I pulled my panties up and sat on the bed. I knew my mother would leave papa’s body lying on the floor to make me feel even more uncomfortable. I wished to fall asleep and never wake up again. I wished the world ended there and then.
I didn’t want to live with the echoes of my past haunting me for the rest of my life. I knew I could never escape the nightmare. I could never erase that look on my mother’s face from my mind… I would forever see the eyes of my dying father looking at me… The moans of the stranger would forever ring in my ears…
A week before my birthday, my mother told me she’d make sure I would never forget my sixteenth birthday. She told me my gift was going to be special, one of a kind. Not in the darkest dream I could have imagined what kind of gift she had on mind. I wished for a camera and the same pink neon leggings my best friend had…
Instead, I lost my virginity to a rapist and witnessed the murder of my father. I shook the still warm body of the only person who ever loved me, hoping he would open his eyes and tell me everything was gonna be alright.
I wished I could travel back in time and prevent everything from happening. Unfortunately, we cannot alter the words that have been spoken, decisions that have been taken or actions that have been done. We cannot change the time by walking backward. We can only move on… There comes a moment in your life when you realize that nothing will ever be the same. This was my moment. I had to make a choice.
And I made it. I ran away from home that same evening. I didn’t know where I was headed, I just let my feet take me away, far from the place I once called home. I have never felt lonelier than that very moment I stepped out of the house. I didn’t even say goodbye to my little brother who I left behind. I was a heartbroken teenager. Lost in the world, with no place to go.
I soon realized I haven’t really thought about a plan. I ran away into the chilly night just in my sweater and a pair of jeans. I had to come back. But how could I go back? I didn’t want to risk running into my mother so I hid in our garage and waited. I knew they would eventually have to get rid of the body and I knew the ground was too frozen to bury him in the garden. There was only one place they could dispose of papa’s body without leaving any trace behind…
As I walked towards the big shelf filled with junk stuff and boxes with seasonal clothes, I noticed a package wrapped in a colorful paper sitting on the backseat of papa’s car. I knew it must have been my birthday gift so I quickly opened the door and grabbed it. I sat down on the cold floor by the shelf and hugged the gift from my father. When I opened it I felt a spark of happiness ignite a little flame of love in my heart. I didn’t have enough time to check out my new camera because I heard loud voices approach the garage. It was my mother arguing with the man. I quickly hid under papa’s workbench and pulled some boxes in front of it so I wouldn’t get spotted. By the time my mother finally turned the key and the car engine started, I had already made a mental list of things to pack. But then as I watched the car leave the garage I got a much better idea.
I swiftly followed them with my brand new camera tightly clutched in my hands. The car drove about three hundred meters when suddenly, it left the road and disappeared among the trees of the nearby wood. I took a shortcut and got to the lake before they did. I hid behind one of the bushes and waited for them to arrive, ready to document everything.
It didn’t take long and the two criminals showed up. My right index finger nervously pressed the shutter button and my first picture was taken. I kept taking photos until I ran out of film… however, even though I had the evidence in my hands, I never went to the police.
Two days later, I read the article in The Pinecone – Hidden Springs’ newspaper at that time – speaking about my father. A fisherman found his body but because the medical examiner didn’t find any sign of a violent death, the police closed the case as a suicide.
I left for Bridgeport where I gave birth to a healthy baby in late October 1986. I thought about having an abortion but I was too afraid I couldn’t have children later on in my life, plus I knew there were people who couldn’t have a child of their own and desperately wanted one. I filled in the adoption papers before the baby was even born so the adoptive parents would be the first two people who the baby would see when it opened the eyes. Don’t ask me if it was a boy or a girl because I didn’t want to know… After I recovered I began working in a library and started living a new chapter of my life.