*Trigger Warning: sexual assault.
There’s a lot of shaking
a lot of holding back your tears
there’s being terrified of being home alone, not because you’re afraid of the supernatural, but because you’re afraid of something so much worse, so much more terrifying
every creak in the floorboard and you think it’s over and it’s funny, isn’t it? because you’re safe and you’re in your bed in your room you’re fine, everything is fine, but
IT WASN’T fine when you were in your own bed in your own room for two whole months three years ago, and two months is sixty days and sixty nights and one thousand four hundred and forty hours and eighty-six thousand and four hundred minutes and
out of all this time, you don’t even remember how long it hurt and how hard he touched you, but you know he did and you know its three years later and you’re home alone
[Read Related: Poem: ‘Sincerely, #MeToo’]
so you think about your exam that you NEED a hundred on, but you also think about if he saw you crying and it ignored it or if he was enjoying himself too much, and then you think
but, ok, you only fought back the first night and the second and the third but two months is a long time
its sixty days and sixty nights and one thousand four hundred and forty hours and eighty-six thousand and four hundred minutes and if you only fought back three times
well the other fifty-seven, he probably thought you were into it
and wanted it
which is weird because people tell you that’s not how that works
that’s not how rape works, if he knew you didn’t want it, it’s rape, but I made excuses anyways and I still do because what else do I possibly do? does anyone have the strength to fight back every single night?
who can sit there and say no for so incredibly long? two months is so long, it’s long, it’s hard and it hurts, everything hurts, and you know you can still trace his scratches on your thighs and sometimes you do but it’s the worst thing you could do to yourself, so why do you do it?
and you think about two years later when it was him and you alone in that bathroom, two years after he left you alone
and your blood drains
this is what death fees like
and he comes so close to you and punches the wall next to you and his fist misses your face by three inches
and why would you do that? why was I alone in that bathroom? why did I decide to study there?
why why why why why why why why?
[Read Related: Poem: ‘My Body’]
but there will always be some why’s that remained unanswered and some questions always hurt more than they heal and can you imagine your bed is the one place you can escape from the world and it’s taken away from you
so you heal in other ways instead of curling up on your bed, you get a tattoo
and then you get two
and you’re proud of yourself because you have made it so far, three whole years far, and then one day your ma sees your tattoo and she’s upset and she asks you why you got it and you almost tell ma
I was hurt, he hurt me so much, but instead, you cry
and you let your mother think the worst of you and you tear up but you don’t tell her the truth, not your mother who can’t handle the word “rape,” so how would she handle her daughter being raped? so you sit there and you take it all in, you come back to school
and his name pops up on your phone and your heart stops because you blocked him
but the world is just as small as it is big and you take a deep breath and you come back from two months and one thousand four hundred and forty hours and eighty-six thousand and four hundred minutes
and you breathe and you live and you live and you live and you live.
Isha Das is a sharp-tongued, big-eyed, Indian-American woman with dreams larger than life itself. She enjoys writing, learning about animal rescue stories, and aims to pursue a career in defense law to help the underprivileged and fight for those who can’t help themselves. Her dog Simba is her lifetime companion.