Seven

I smell the musty odor of old clothes, feel the hard floor on my back, hear the sound of close walls, taste metal – copper – sharp on my tongue.  It is dark, late at night, and I am on my back in a closet.  I think it is his closet; I know it is not mine.  Everyone else is asleep and the house is quiet.

His face is above mine, as he leans on his hands.  I am wearing my nightgown, but my panties are gone.  My llama is in my hand, threadbare and soft and comforting.  Thunder rumbles somewhere outside, but there are no windows for the lightning to show through.  It is hot in here and I need to breathe, but I can’t get a good breath.  Something is not right, he is doing something to me, trying to put something inside me where it doesn’t want to go.  It is rounded and hard and he is breathing so loud. 

“I want to go back to bed,” I whine. 

“Sssshhh, just a few more minutes.”  He tries again.  It feels dumb, whatever it is he wants in me.  He takes one hand away from the side of my face and leans on his elbow, while he tries again to put it in.  Dumb round thing, trying to push its way inside me where it doesn’t want to go.

“I’m sleepy.”

He pushes hard and it hurts and I cry, but it still didn’t go inside me.  My llama has fallen from my hands and I want to hold it tight, but I can’t reach it and he won’t let me go back to my bed where my blankie is.

One last push and he gives up.  After all that, he just stops and says, “This isn’t working.”  That’s it.  He lets me go back to my bed where I lay next to my sister, my soft white blanket on me, carefully avoiding her scratchy wool blanket.

That smell of old clothes lingers, and my bed feels like the hard floor.  I close my eyes and see his face, feel the walls closing on us.  I open my eyes and see the darkness, hear rain on the window.  Nothing is right.  There is nowhere to be, but I creep downstairs anyway, looking for something to read, something that will take me to sleep. My mom stirs in her room, and I grab the nearest book and run up the stairs before she is fully awake.  I feel naked, so I put on pajamas instead of my favorite blue nightgown.  The book was Nancy Drew, and I tried to read it, sitting in the doorway where the hall light shone, but I couldn’t fight my way past the reading into the story, and I didn’t want him to see me sitting there, so I went back to my bed, wrapped myself in my blankie, and waited for morning to end this night.

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