A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY GWENYTH LEE
“Camouflage yourself, keep your legs together, you’re interpreting a boy…” all my life I was informed I had to be feminine. I was a child, yet I was here to please a man? I couldn’t understand, why was I being penalized? Why couldn’t they regulate themselves? I didn’t want it to conclude the way it did. I thought it would seldom be me, people aren’t that barbaric. But they never prepared you for what would happen if you didn’t obey their bylaws. They said, “people will traumatize you, you will be arbitrated,” but until you’re ancient, you will never concede what had occurred to you.
Nights pass by, day after day you reminisce on what your life will be like when you finally survive this enclosure, this community, this region. What opportunities you will have without anyone preventing you from departing. You live your days at school, embedded in stories of people you want to become. So when the bus hands you over, three miles away, you can equip your intellect for what you know is awaiting inside that small white cottage with red-rimmed windows.
It was a small residence when you moved in with your father just months ago, you thought it was too petite. It was only one room separated by one wall in the center with two folding doors dividing the bedrooms. Behind was where the terror arose. He had settled there for years, he was content. He acquired a cat, Bella, who was always hidden, too fearful to be around anyone new. After a week, I had prayed I too could do the same.
I had a past social worker from Massachusetts. But when I moved to the border of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, they never transferred my case. Greg made an appearance once when I first moved in. He said he would be back… I waited, months. No one ever showed up, knocking at that creaky door. I shrieked with tear-stained cheeks, I pleaded for him to stop. Let me transfer back to my mother. Anything would be better than what I was subjected to.
Every night, around 9, we would slide into our rooms, separated by a thin accordion door. I would wait, lying still like a possum. I wanted to escape, to wake up in a fairytale land with people who looked out for me, and never let me be disappointed. Yet at 10:32 every night, he would emerge. With heavy-footed, careful movements, he shuffled closer and closer to my blanket-covered body, until I could smell the stench of the Irish spring soap he had used after he traveled back to the dwelling. He slowly eliminated the only thing that could guard me, my precious blanket, and slipped underneath. With nothing between his hot sweaty body and my Christmas pajamas, he would grasp the drawstring of my pants, and pull them beneath my knees.
I was frozen like a fish in lake Winnipesaukee that winter. It was cynical to think that I would ever flee the hell I called home. All I could do was stare at the fluorescent red numbers coming from my bedside table. 11:07. My lucky number. Nearly every time, he would finish grunting and delicately pulling my pants halfway up my thigh, as to hope I didn’t notice in the morning. Migrating from beneath the soft bronze blanket my mother had presented me weeks earlier for Christmas, he would adjust to head back to the folding door that connected two worlds.
I would walk through the living room every morning presumably as if nothing had occurred the evening prior. He was unfailingly up hours before I was. Periodically I would wake up an hour after I fell asleep when I awoke he would be positioned at the folding door gawking at me with sinful eyes. I knew he was never going to conclude this, he never even acknowledged the concept. If he could escape consequence-free, anyone could.
At school, my guidance counselor would summon me down. When we would start the appointment very Tuesday at 12:00, she would always start off by declaring that, “I am such a lucky girl and to think that I have a father as lovely and wonderful as Chris? I really must be blessed.” I couldn’t understand why she would remind me, I always thought it was because he would call every morning to make sure I was in class.
He never showed any sensation, ever. He was only ever cross. I couldn’t fathom how no one witnessed it. All throughout my youth, everyone was so relieved I was secure and had such an affectionate father. He evicted me previous to my thirteenth birthday. It was prevailing I was getting too old to govern and abuse. My mother wasn’t sober, but it was my only opportunity, I seized it and ran.
I ran till my legs gave out, and my knees were coated in blood and bruises. But I never halted. Not until my new social worker loomed the idea of making me relocate back with him. I plunged into a rabbit hole, everything around me was spinning, traveling too swift to grasp. It was dull, but I could faintly detect someone wailing, screeching that I would die, he was going to kill me if I didn’t settle this now. I snatched the voice I had once had long ago and cried out he is a rapist, an abuser, a manipulator. They couldn’t send me back, they can’t make me feel weak again. But all that accumulated was “I think I was raped.” That wasn’t sufficient, I soon found out. They poked and prodded, for what I wondered. I knew they were never going to terminate this, he was bulletproof, the devil.
Weeks past, he wouldn’t stop summoned the facility I was stationed in. On occasion the phone sounded I inferred, was it him? I was unaware if he knew I had confessed. That was the most alarming part. Was he ready on the other line with a shotgun loaded ready to fire? Or was he going to find me when I left and put a real bullet through my cranium?
To this day, when a consequential event comes, I still worry. Is this the time? Am I safe? I don’t deem I ever will be. I will seldom know what is approaching. But that’s the best part of existence.
Gwenyth Lee is a person just like anyone of us, she has endured torment and has risen through to share her story with those who care to read. I sincerely hope that you learn from my piece and become more passionate to use your own voice to create peace among hate.