Thursday, 4 July 2013

Fiction ~ Reflections (ROYA #18)

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Some readers may find the following story upsetting. This is a YA story conscerning an issue that affects teens worldwide. However, its subject matter is of a serious nature.  If you are easilly offended, please refrain from reading.

I took a deep breath and tried to brace myself for the day ahead. Ugh. Maths first period. What kind of sick person thought that would be a good way to start the week? I checked my reflection in the bathroom mirror while I considered how easy it would be to pretend I was unwell. My kohl eyeliner was smudged already, and my hair was as straggly as straw, but that was nothing out of the ordinary. I’m not exactly known for being pristine. I looked as scruffy and pale as I did on any other school day. My dad is unbelievably suspicious. Very little gets past him. He’d know I wasn’t genuinely ill just by looking at me. Then he’d want to know why I was trying to stay off school, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to tell him the truth. Besides, if I did, judging from the reaction of everyone at the party on Saturday night, goodness knows how he’d react.

The weekend’s events flashed through my mind. I was overcome with the same, weighty misery that had been tugging at the pit my stomach ever since. I started to shake and slumped onto the loo seat. It was no use. I didn’t have it in me. I couldn’t go to school, not today, not ever again. I started to list what I would be able to do without any qualifications. I could still be a professional musician. I’d just have to join a couple of bands or something. I didn’t need to go to university. It was that final thought that got me crying. So what if I had to give up my lifelong dreams? Anything was better than facing everyone at school, especially Matt Duncan.

When he’d approached me at Katy White’s sixteenth birthday party, I wasn’t sure how to react. I’d had no idea that he’d even noticed me before. We didn’t run in the same circles. He was one of the so-called popular crowd, and me? Well, I’m not one for crowds, let’s put it that way. I figured I’d give him a chance. I don't get a lot of attention from boys. And he was cute, in a clean-cut, Disney kind of way. We’d danced, he’d shared his vodka with me, and we’d had a good time. That is, before I felt sick and had to go lie down in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Matt came with me. I assumed it was to make sure I was okay. What happened after he shut the doorwell, I said no. But that didn’t seem to count for much.

Maybe he hadn’t heard me? I’d been lying face down with my head on the pillow, feeling pretty ill. Maybe my voice had been muffled? My head was heavy, so heavy, and whenever I’d tried to lift it the room would start to spin. I remember the bed wobbled as he’d climbed onto it and started pulling my skirt up. It had made me feel sick. I said no, but he didn’t stop. I remember being totally unsure of what to do. It was as though I was stuck to the spot. I wanted to move, but I couldn’t and… I was scared. I said no again, I know I did, but he wouldn’t leave me alone. It all happened so quickly. I just remember it hurt, really bad. Then I vomited.

I’d heard stories about girls who’d been attacked, beaten and left for dead. But that wasn’t what happened to me. I just had some horny boy who wouldn’t take 'No' for an answer paw me at a party. What was I, weak? It must have been my fault.

After I'd thrown up, Matt cried out in disgust. I can’t remember what he said, but I’m pretty sure he called me something horrible. Next thing I knew, Katy White had burst into the room, yelling about the vomit on her parent’s bed, screaming at me, calling me a slut. I then heard the sound of people taking pictures with their phones, laughter, Matt Duncan joining in the laughterand I threw up again. More clicks of cameras, more laughter, more screaming. Then someone started chanting: “Slut! Slut! Slutand it sounded as if the whole party joined in. I tried to get up to leave, but I tripped and fell over. Next thing I knew I was being carried out of the house, I presume by my friend Lia. She was the one who brought me home, although I can’t remember much about it. I tried to contact her the next day, but when I saw the pictures up on Facebook I figured that she probably wants nothing more to do with me. Seeing those pictures of myself, covered in vomit and with – with my underwear pulled off – I can’t tell you how embarrassed I am. Mortified doesn’t even cover it. Then there's the comments… I was called a slut by my school mates twenty three times. I counted.

I still feel sore, you know, down there. It wasn’t my first time, but it hurts as though it was. I just can’t believe I let it happen. I’m such a mess. No wonder no one wants anything to do with me. And now I have to go into school and face them all. With maths first period. Ugh.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, contact Rape Crisis Scotland: 
Freephone 08088 01 03 02
They are open every evening between 6pm and midnight to anyone affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives.
It's never your fault.

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