By Sam Di Benedetto
I. The boy who destroyed me
The monotone of his voice made me cry. His words were empty and grey, but his eyes were a pastel blue that transformed his words into velvet ribbons on my skin, sensually choking different parts of my body: my wrists, my ankles, my thighs, my neck.
But then suddenly he gripped my legs, dug his nails into my skin and snapped my thighs apart. All I could do was let him take me on what felt like an endless ride of painful thrusts and sobbing, broken cries pathetically whispering, “Stop, please stop.” “It’s fine, just relax,” he said. He held down my arms by my wrists.
II. Déjà vu
Another boy asked me to “go out” with him. Somehow, he ended up in my room that night. We listened to a song that had a pulsating rhythm, a soft voice mumbling lyrics. I loved the song in that moment, but then he matched the rhythm of the song with the rhythm of his hands. He held my head with one hand and used the other to throw me down on the bed. He pinned me with his shoulders and I forgot how to breathe.
His hands moved faster then, becoming frantic. He tugged down the waistband of my pants and pulled up my shirt. My head was dizzy. I was panicking. I tried to push his hands off, but they were glued to my skin. His touch burned and my body ached under his weight.
I wasn’t a human. I was a dead piece of dust floating in a dark, dark room with no gravity to hold my sanity in place. I couldn’t move. I was not myself anymore. My body belonged to him now. I was staring at myself from another realm. I saw him scrape out my insides and push himself into my shell of a body.
III. The reliving
I still try to scrub away his touch when I take baths, but it never erases the memory. The water slowly flows in spirals into the drain. My body is folded so tightly into itself that there is no space for any muscle to escape. My arms are latched around my knees, pulling them tightly into my chest.
Hot tears roll down my cheeks as I pant and sob, making inaudible words with my mouth. I can’t inhale, I can only exhale gasps and cries for help.
I rock back and forth, my naked body touching the empty bottom of the porcelain tub. Shivers start to shake my limbs and my torso. I feel so exposed.
The flashbacks are paralyzing.
I close my eyes and see him — he’s smirking at me. I can feel his hands on me, clawing at my body like I’m his prey. He squeezes me so hard that I cringe and try to shift my body any other way but his fingers are inside me. There’s so much pain. It’s like he’s invading my home and setting it on fire. This bed is my prison.
I hear his voice in my head whispering, “Just let me touch you.”
I open my eyes. I’m naked in the bathtub and I’m shivering. “Relax. You’re making it worse for yourself,” I hear him again. My nails are digging into my palms so hard blood starts to drip into the bath water turning it pink. I can’t stop shaking my head no.
I have a soap bar in my hand. I’m scrubbing at my skin with so much force as if I could scrub away his hands and his touch and his words. As if I could erase all the torture he put me through. As if I could regain the part of myself he stole from me.