Length: Super long
TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
finished rereading what I wrote just now and admittedly I’m a little hesitant
to press submit. For the record, the one and only person I’ve spoken to about
this (aside from my best friend, as mentioned in the story) was a college
counselor who helped me a great deal in processing everything. He was the one
who recommended I write all this stuff down—of course that was already a few
years ago and I’ve only now finally typed it out. To that counselor’s credit,
the act of writing has been therapeutic. I guess I could sit on this story for the rest
of my life and never share it with anyone else, but I don’t want to do that. I
think that relating this experience, semi-anonymously at least, in a public
forum would benefit me somehow. Maybe grant me a sense of “ownership” over the
whole thing, if that makes any sense. Also I know a lot of people visit this
sub so maybe my experience could serve as an effective warning to someone out
there, I don’t know. In any case it makes for a halfway-decent creepy read so.
Here you go.
for the record, the dialogue obviously isn’t 100% verbatim—it’s been more than
ten years since this happened. But, as memory permits, I’ve tried to
reconstruct everything as accurately as possible.
a male, currently in my late twenties, and this all took place back in the
early 2000s over the course of about two weeks.
grew up on Long Island in an affluent suburb. Typical American creature
comforts, iron wrought fences, Disney channel, you know. I didn’t come from a
wealthy family (my mom and I lived on the one street in town considered “the
slums”) but most of my friends at that time were filthy fucking rich, and
luckily I was able to enjoy all the fringe benefits of spending my afterschool
hours at any one of their absurdly large mansions—most of them complete with
swimming pools and tennis courts and deluxe basements full of arcade and
pinball machines. You get the idea.
My main point being: as a consequence of
all the money flying around, crime was virtually nonexistent in our area.
Regional cops were paid $200K+ a year (seriously) but they didn’t have to do
much besides mete out traffic tickets and occasionally bust spoiled teenagers
for weed and coke. There’d be rare incidents of streetside harassment here and
there, sometimes even a half-assed attempt at burglary in one of the “poorer”
zones, but that was it. The community was largely saturated in this sense of
safety and untouchability, despite all of this occurring not too long after
9/11. Oftentimes people didn’t even bother to lock their doors at night. Shit
like that just didn’t happen in my hometown.
first “incident” took place during midsummer, shortly before my 14th birthday.
getting lunch at the deli, my best buddy “Luke” and I were cutting through the
village green (a highly manicured local park) toward his house to play video
games. The sky was overcast and there were only a few people scattered around.
As I remember it in my mind’s eye, a boy and girl couple were holding hands in
front of us and a younger girl was playing on a jungle gym nearby.
we passed by the basketball hoops, I asked Luke if he wanted to play a quick
game before continuing on. He said OK, so I grabbed the basketball sitting idly
in the middle of the court and we began to play.
to this day, I really wish we hadn’t stayed for that game. I still fantasize
that maybe nothing would’ve happened if we’d just continued on our way in
stupid, blissful ignorance. I also sometimes wonder if that single basketball
hadn’t been left there purposefully, like some kind of lure or bait.)
and I were shooting hoops for maybe five minutes when someone tapped me on the
back. I spun around and it was the younger girl, maybe 7-8 years old, who I’d
seen playing on the jungle gym. She looked me in the eye and said, “you have a
very pretty smile for a boy.”
I don’t mean to be a cocky douchebag or anything but I was a handsome kid and
was used to this sort of thing. Girls fawned over me a lot and those kinds of
bashful compliments weren’t uncommon. I say this only because it’s relevant to
and I both laughed. I said thank you to the girl and quipped that she was a bit
young for me, but maybe in a few years.
“Not me. She wanted
me to tell you,” she said.
I asked, confused.
tall lady next to the tree.” She pointed across the basketball court to a large
tree about a hundred feet away. There was no one there, but I felt my stomach
drop just a little bit. I looked over at Luke and he was already looking at me
with a concerned expression.
that’s not funny,” I told the girl.
where she was. And she told me to tell you, you have a very pretty smile for a
boy.” She pointed again to the tree. Then she shrugged her shoulders and said, “bye!” and walked away.
looked over at Luke again. He was staring in the direction of the tree. After a
couple seconds he turned to me and said, “let’s go, man.” I nodded in agreement
and we instinctively hightailed it out of there—not quite running, but walking
pretty briskly. When we finally got back to his house several minutes later, we
headed immediately to his basement and spent a few minutes together in
was weird,” he said after a little while.
you see anyone?” I asked.
shook his head.
Truthfully I was a
little weirded out, but not overly so. I decided that it was probably best to
just forget about it and move on with our afternoon. I remember that we played
Warcraft III (which had been released a few days earlier) for the rest of the
day, and it proved to be an effective remedy for any lingering discomfort we
might’ve had. By the time I got home that night I’d pretty much forgotten about
what’d happened on the green.
next couple of days passed by uneventfully. Then, one afternoon, Luke called my
house, and the instant my mom handed me the receiver and I put it to my ear I
could sense something was wrong.
man, what’s up?” I asked.
didn’t say anything.
you want to hang out?” he whispered.
still remember, in an awful sort of way, how small his voice had sounded. Luke
was, and still is to this day, one of the bravest and most fucking awesome guys
I know—it’s an honor to be his best friend (and, just last month, his best
man). We’ve known each other since Pre-K and he’s always presented himself with
a certain air of coolness and confidence, even when we were little kids. And
because Luke and I have always been attached at the head, so to speak, it’s
particularly noticeable to me whenever his “alpha” facade falls away, however
he didn’t say anything.
are you… is everything okay?”
He paused. “I need to show you something.”
felt that upside-down sensation in my stomach again.
walk over in like 20 minutes—”
he interrupted, fiercely. “My dad and me can come get you.”
honk when we’re outside.”
you soon,” he said, and hung up.
slowly put the phone back on the charging station. What was the conversation I
just had…? My mind flashed through a few possible reasons for Luke’s weird
intonation, but I pushed them out of my head and proceeded to quickly gather my
electronics. When I heard the horn a few minutes later I wondered if it was
going to be tense or uncomfortable when I got into the car.
opened the door of their SUV and slid into the backseat. Luke flashed me a warm
smile from the front and said, “hey.” His dad greeted me cheerfully. Nothing
appeared to be out of the ordinary. We chitchatted all the way to their house,
but I noticed that Luke was quieter than he usually was, as if the air around
him was heavier or something. When we arrived at their place I thanked his dad
for the ride. Then Luke and I quickly descended into our usual hangout spot,
soon as Luke closed the basement door behind him, I blurted out: “What the
hell’s going on with you?”
led me to the computer desk across the room and he clumsily fished around
behind it with his hand, presumably for something he’d hidden. Once he
successfully grabbed it, he forcefully shoved it into my palm, as if it burned
him to touch it.
was a crumpled blue envelope with jagged letters written on the front. The same
sort of handwriting as when you try to write using your non dominant hand.
Scratchy and uncontrolled.
BEAUTIFUL BROWN HAIRED BOY
is blond. I have brown hair.
think it’s for you,” he said quietly.
flipped the envelope over. Luke had already ripped it open. I looked inside for
its contents and I pulled out an index card, which said:
YOU STILL HAVE THE PRETTIEST SMILE I
HAVE EVER SEEN
looked up at Luke and we held eye contact for a few moments without saying a
fuck with me,” I said.
fuck you,” he spat. “I wouldn’t joke like this.”
jammed the card back inside the envelope and threw it on the desk. I didn’t
want to touch it.
you get that?” I asked.
it, in the spokes of my bike.”
I didn’t bring my bike in last night.”
we were silent.
probably some asshole from school,” I reasoned. I rattled off the names of some
of our classmates.
looked down at the floor.
if it isn’t?” he asked quietly.
knot in my stomach tightened as the string of logic unfurled in my brain.
think… someone watched us come back here? The other day… from the green?”
didn’t reply and I could tell that he was struggling a little bit to keep his
you shown that to anyone?” I asked. "Your dad, or—?”
he said. “No one, not yet.”
don’t know. I wanted to show you first, see what you thought.”
I thought…? I didn’t know what to think, at all.
wanted to convince Luke that this was bullshit, that we were just overthinking
some asshole’s dumb prank. I wanted to convince myself, too.
if this note was connected with what’d happened the other day, if the
worst-case scenario was true…? What, we were going to let some random girl, or
some “tall lady” who we never even saw, frighten us? No fucking way.
do dumb shit sometimes to protect our manhood. Especially boys who are just on
the cusp of it.
it away,” I said decisively. “It’s just a lame fucking joke.”
didn’t move, so I reached over to pick it up myself.
do it,” I said.
grabbed the envelope and walked across the room. I made a comically exaggerated
gesture of crumpling it up and tossing it into the trash bin, hoping to get a
smile out of Luke. He smirked and shrugged his shoulders in a resigned sort of
what do you want to do today?” I asked nonchalantly.
don’t remember exactly what we did for the next several hours. Probably played
video games, kicked around the soccer ball for a while, roughhoused, that sort
of thing. I do remember that when it started to get late and I went to put my
shoes on, Luke stopped me.
can sleep here tonight, man.”
we’ll take turns on event matches in Smash.”
appreciated that he was still clearly a bit concerned about the whole “stranger
danger” thing, but deep down I felt a twinge of irritation. I could handle
myself. I didn’t need to be protected. Not by him, or anyone.
good. I got chores in the morning anyway,” I said. (That wasn’t true, but it
seemed like an innocent enough lie.) “Thanks though, maybe tomorrow. I’ll call
let me get my dad and we’ll drive you back.”
I said flatly.
finished tying my laces, stood up and put my hand on his shoulder.
get it. But I’m good, dude,” I stated. “Don’t worry.”
he could offer any more words of protest, I bolted up the basement stairs and
turned the sharp right toward his front door. I twisted the knob and turned
back in time to see Luke emerging from the basement stairwell. I smiled at him
and did an intentionally stupid “jazz hands” gesture. “It’s showtime!” I said.
Then I quickly stepped outside, closing the front door behind me.
was dark. Pleasant and warm, but dark. It must’ve been around 11pm or so.
Luke’s neighborhood didn’t have many streetlights and it’d never really
bothered me before, but at that moment the absence of ambient light felt a
little bit oppressive. Despite myself, I felt a twang of fear in my gut. I
walked off Luke’s property and nervously glanced around at the darkened houses
and cars and trees, looking for any suspicious shapes or figures. Nothing.
laughed at myself. Where had my confidence gone? Not two minutes ago I was
scowling at Luke for acting like some mother hen. I shoved my hands in my
pockets (as I still do to this day—old habits die hard) and began to walk. The
whole trip, which I’d timed over and over in the past, would take almost
exactly fifteen minutes. It was a route I knew all too well, and I quickly
berated myself for getting worked up, for letting myself think that tonight
wouldn’t be exactly like every other time I had walked home from Luke’s house.
But a few minutes into the walk,
somewhere along the long deserted stretch of road that covered most of the
distance between Luke’s house and mine, I got the distinct, sinking feeling of
being watched. You know the sensation… it’s hard to describe. (Is it some sort
of esoteric sensory perception thing? A kind of intuition? It’s like you don’t
really “know” but you just fucking know.) It was as if someone’s
line of sight had materialized into spidery threads that tickled the back of my
head and neck. Sharp and fluttery, hot and cold, all at once. I became
hyperaware of the space around me, and the air itself was no longer just
“empty” but charged and full of potential, like lightning was about to strike.
shuddered and spun around. The road behind me was barren and incredibly quiet.
I couldn’t see anyone, but then again it was difficult to see much of anything
beyond the scope of those scant few streetlights.
turned back toward the direction of my house and increased my pace. I was in
that liminal headspace between “unnerved” and “panicked”—my composure was still
there, but barely. I focused my eyes on a lone streetlight directly ahead and
pictured myself getting closer and closer to it.
when I heard the sound of pebbles crunching about twenty feet behind me. It was
a low grinding sound that stopped unnaturally quickly, like there was an
immediate attempt to muffle it. Then just dead silence.
stopped moving for a split second, and I was about to turn my head to look at
the source of the sound when suddenly it was as if my body made the decision,
without any input from my brain, to just fucking book it. I broke into a
full-blown sprint and I’ve probably never run faster in my life than I did that
night. I didn’t look back once. I ran all the way home (in record time) and
burst through the front door and slammed it closed, locking both locks. My mom
was working another nightshift so I knew I was alone until around 2am. (And
though I wished she was there with me, to assure me that everything was going to
be okay, I was actually glad she wasn’t around to catch me in my unhinged
state—I didn’t need to give her a reason to be suspicious or to start asking
turned on all the lights on the first floor, grabbed a knife and a phone from
the kitchen, and stationed myself near the front windows to survey the street.
At that point, my wild panic was beginning to mellow into a slow, simmering
rage. Who the fuck pulls this sort of shit? Or was I just fooling myself this
whole time? My anger couldn’t find its target, and that in turn made me even
angrier. But I did know one thing: if anyone came even remotely close to the
house from the direction I’d come, then they’d be illuminated by the front-yard
and patio lights and I would see. And then I’d call the cops or stab a
motherfucker, or ideally both.
no one approached. I stayed rooted to that same spot for hours. I only moved
when my mom pulled into the driveway around 2:30am. When I saw her headlights I
hid the knife in the back pocket of my jeans—I figured I’d sleep with it for
the night, just in case. And though my mom was surprised to see me downstairs
when she walked through the front door, I made sure that there were no
indications anything had been amiss. I wasn’t planning on filling her in with the
details of the last few days. She already had enough stressors as a single
parent; I didn’t need her worrying unnecessarily about something that was
probably the result of my hyperactive imagination. But I made absolutely sure
all the doors and windows were locked before going to bed that night. And I
slept with the knife under my pillow.
called Luke the following afternoon to tell him about what’d happened after I
left his house.
didn’t you just fucking call me last night, dumbass?!” he screamed into the
don’t want or need people worrying about me,” I said, as calmly as possible.
you. If something happened…” he trailed off.
but it didn’t. And it won’t.”
didn’t say anything but I could hear him breathing in a ragged way, which he
always did when he was pissed off.
want to hang today?” I asked.
yeah.” I heard him trying to rein in his irritation. "Is your mom working
your place or mine?”
do your place. I’ll bring Sonic and Smash and stuff. And maybe we’ll booby trap
your house, Home Alone style.”
laughed. “Sounds good,” I said.
arrived about an hour later, his backpack full of video games and—true to his
word—several mouse traps, a spool of steel wire, and (Jesus Christ…) an
unopened bag of marbles, all of which he must’ve swiped from his dad’s toolshed
be crafty,” he said, smirking.
sighed dramatically and picked up the marbles.
my secret admirer has a weakness for shtick,” I said.
the circumstances, our hangout proceeded like normal—though I remember Luke was
somewhat subdued. He usually possessed the energy of a live wire, but he seemed
a little more restrained that day, more cautious, like he was constantly
scanning the house for anything out of the ordinary.
mom had to leave for work around 6pm and she called me into the kitchen shortly
before she left for the night.
been spending a lot of time with Luke,” she said.
been working on some projects,” I answered.
always makes me happy to hear you two. You laugh a lot together.”
my bro and stuff, yeah.”
you need me to order food for you?”
call me if you need anything?”
will. Love you.”
you. G’bye, sweetheart.” She kissed me on the forehead, grabbed her keys, and
waved through the window as she pulled out of the driveway and then I made sure
to double lock the door.
such a good boy.” Luke was watching from the top of the stairs.
up,” I said, racing upstairs to tackle him.
played video games until soda and tortilla chips were no longer enough to
satisfy our growing hunger pangs. At that point it was around 9pm and, after
some back-and-forth, we agreed on having sushi delivered. We put the order on Luke’s
debit card and the guy on the phone said that the food would arrive within the
the delivery guy know he should knock when he gets here,” I told him.
30 minutes later there was a faint knock on the front door—so faint that I had
to pause the game we were playing in order to make sure I’d heard correctly. (I
should add that my house was laid out in such a way that if you craned your
neck at the right angle, the staircase and front door were both visible from my
room on the second floor.)
hear that?” I asked Luke.
perked up our ears.
few seconds later there was another knock, only slightly louder this time—but
it sounded less like someone had purposefully knocked on the door and more like
a semi-soft object had thumped against it.
food got here fast,” I said. The words came out of my mouth but I didn’t quite
grabbed my arm and we looked each other in the eye. He didn’t say anything but
I knew what he was thinking.
stayed quiet for a few moments, straining to hear any further noise.
locked it, right?” he asked.
My mouth felt dry.
it’s the food and no one answers, they’ll call the house,” he whispered.
stayed silent and continued to listen. The minute that followed stretched out
like an eternity. There was one more soft “thump” and then, nothing.
stood up and walked over to my bed, grabbing the knife that was still hidden
under my pillow. I put it in my back pocket.
nodded approvingly. “Nice.”
insurance, you know.”
are not opening that door for anyone unless we’re 100% fucking sure it’s the
food,” he stated.
ten minutes later there was a series of sharp knocks at the door. Luke and I
didn’t move. After a minute or so the phone started ringing—it was the same guy
whom I’d spoken to earlier, asking if anyone was home because no one was coming
to meet the delivery man outside.
and I went downstairs. I brushed my thumb along the knife in my pocket and I
took a deep breath. We opened the front door together.
nondescript man was standing on the stoop with a large paper bag.
he said. “Sign here, please.”
gave his signature, took the food and thanked the man. We watched him walk back
to his car and drive off, and then we closed the door and doubly locked it.
accomplished,” Luke said.
didn’t bother with plates or glasses and took the food directly to my room.
I was walking over to my nightstand (where I kept a stash of takeout utensils
and chopsticks) and I passed by my bedroom window, which overlooked the
backyard… that’s when I saw it.
black silhouette was standing next to the back fence, about thirty feet away.
Our backyard didn’t have any lights so I couldn’t make out any details, but it
was towering over the fence. It must have been at least six feet. It was on our
side of the property.
stared at it, dumbfounded, for a second. Then suddenly the figure seemed to
move its arms and wave rapidly at me. That, or the ends of its arms were
vibrating—it was sort of similar to the “jazz hands” gesture I had made to Luke
the day before, only much more frenetic.
I said softly.
stood up and walked over to where I was standing. He looked out the window and
when he saw it, his face dropped.
slammed his fist against the pane and shoved the window open.
CAN SEE YOU, MOTHERFUCKER!” He screamed into the dark. “WE ALREADY CALLED THE
it,” he said under his breath.
jumped over my bed and grabbed the phone that was lying on the floor. I dialed
911 and frantically told the operator that there was someone in the backyard
trying to break into my house. I remember Luke was shouting threats in the
background so loudly that at one point I was having trouble hearing the
operator. I gave my address and they said the police would be there shortly.
few seconds later Luke turned to me. “They jumped the fence,” he said. He was
went back to the window. The yard was empty. The figure was nowhere to be seen.
the cops arrived several minutes later we told them everything. They asked us
if we’d be able to retrieve the envelope we had found in Luke’s bike and we
replied that it was probably still in his basement. They made us call our
parents (of course) and said that they’d do patrols of my area and generally
keep a close eye on the neighborhood. They also recommended that we look into
getting surveillance equipment installed around the property.
really wish I could say that the story ended there. But it didn’t.
the course of the following week, Luke basically became a permanent fixture at
my house. The police hadn’t found anyone or anything connected to what’d
happened and I think Luke somehow felt it was his duty to stick around. He
slept over every night (much to his parents’ chagrin, I’m sure) and though he’d
go home for a few hours here and there, for the most part he was wherever I
he was a little different than the Luke I was used to. We were constantly in each
other’s presence but we didn’t talk or interact all that much. He was usually
the chattiest and most easy-going guy I’d ever met, but in those following days
he was much more irritable and uncommunicative with me—even prone to small
bursts of anger. I didn’t quite grasp it at the time (now that I’m older it
seems more obvious to me) but at that point I think Luke must’ve hated me, just
a little bit. It reminds me of the concept of daemons from the “His Dark
Materials” series. Luke and I have always seen each other as extensions of
ourselves. We were, and are, brothers—not by blood, but in spirit. And I think
that kind of connection (when you attach some portion of your wellbeing to
someone else) can feel both empowering and incredibly disturbing at the same
time. It’s like realizing that you let loose a significant part of yourself to
freely roam the world beyond your control. If it gets fucked up, so do you.
you have little (if any) influence over how that piece of you should protect
itself from harm. So unless you were a masochist, how could you not feel even
the tiniest twinge of hatred in that situation? You’re just waiting to get
hurt, basically. And I think that, in some upside-down way, the idea that I
might actually be in mortal danger… I think it probably made Luke resent me in
some small way.
particularly hot, humid afternoon his dad called and demanded that Luke stay at
home for the night. Luke was reluctant, but I assured him I’d be okay and joked
that he deserved the night off. Truthfully, I was looking forward to the alone
time—I needed some space to decompress. His dad came to pick him up shortly
after my mom left for work.
gave me a brief pat on the back before leaving. “Be good, man,” he said.
was around 6pm at that point and I finally had the house to myself. I played
games, ate some leftovers out of the fridge, watched a movie or two. Around
10pm or so I decided to go to bed. I was pretty exhausted—I hadn’t been getting
much sleep that week and I figured I’d turn in early.
when I made the worst mistake of my life. I opened the window a bit before
climbing into bed. It was so hot that night and I needed some air. I was still
regularly sleeping with the knife under my pillow and I figured it wouldn’t be
a big deal.
midnight I woke up to something warm and wet sliding along the bottom of my
right foot (which had been uncovered by the blanket, and was dangling off the
side of the bed). The pressure of the warmth seemed to shift back and forth,
soft to firm to soft.
the first few seconds, in my semi-unconscious state, I had no thoughts—just the
experience of the warmth and a vague sense of confusion in my head. I’m pretty
certain that the first cognition I was able to string together was the
question, am I dreaming?
the warmth started getting stronger and narrower and it began running up and
down the middle of my foot. I crashed back to reality and I instantly realized
it was a tongue.
sounds stupid, but my next thought was that my mom must’ve brought home a dog
to surprise me, something I’d been pestering her about for months. Yeah. Even
to this day I’m not sure why, during those first few critical seconds, my brain
had been so slow to react to what was happening or why it first reached for
every conclusion but the actual one. I still beat myself up about it.
to get this out of the way: for those of you who are probably already
wondering, no, I can’t get through the “humans can lick too” urban legend
without dry heaving.
looked down and saw an adult-sized figure kneeling at the foot of my bed. The
figure was wearing a plain white sheet with two eyeholes cut out and a hole for
the mouth. It was basically what little kids wear on Halloween but so much
taller. Next to my foot there was a tongue and it was darting in and out of the
slit in the sheet. When we made eye contact it grunted. It sounded raspy and
older and vaguely female.
inhaled sharply but the moment I began to pull away two hands suddenly gripped
both of my ankles and held them firmly in place. I would have screamed but the
tongue started flicking and darting along the arch of my foot so rapidly that
I—and this still feels shameful to say—started laughing.
couldn’t help it. I was terrified and confused. I wanted to kick and scream and
fight back but my body wouldn’t listen. There was a physical stimulus and a
physical response, it was as simple as that. I couldn’t mentally override my
body’s reaction and I couldn’t outmuscle the laws of cause and effect. For what
it’s worth, I wasn’t a weak kid by any means. I played sports and was fairly
athletic. Had I been given a fair shot, or had I found myself in a different
context, I could have defended myself. But I wasn’t given a fair shot. And in
that particular context, my whole body was already convulsing beyond my
control. Before I knew it I was already crumpling up, buckling into myself,
maybe fifteen or twenty seconds or so the licking stopped and I finally had the
chance to breathe, and then suddenly I was being held down and all I could see
was white and it smelled like copper or metal, I felt a human body on the bed
crouching over me and a voice saying “I don’t want to hurt you” over and over
and fingers were crawling under my shirt across my stomach and my chest in my
armpits and I was laughing and laughing and a voice saying I don’t want to hurt
you I don’t want laughing and body saying pleasure laughing everywhere and
fingers on my neck laughing and mind screaming pain want to hurt you please I
can’t and tears running down my can’t breathe oh god please laughing I can’t
sobbing please I please it hurts it hurts it weeping oh god please help me
some point I passed out from lack of oxygen. Everything just went dark. I don’t
don’t know how long I was out. It might’ve been less than a minute or much
longer, I still really have no idea. But when I came to, I was on the floor a
few feet away from my bed. I was alone and naked. The T-shirt and boxers I had
been wearing were gone. (I never found them, nor the knife that was under the
pillow.) I remember that the window on the far wall of my room was wide open
and a breeze was coming through. I thought about getting up and locking it but
I didn’t or couldn’t move. I stayed in that same position on the floor until
morning. I don’t think I ever fell back asleep. I honestly don’t recall much
about the rest of that night. I do remember hearing crickets chirping outside
at some point and thinking that they’d never be aware of what’d happened to me.
10am the next morning, I redressed (though in retrospect I don’t think I even
showered) and went downstairs for breakfast. My mom was already bent over the
stove and there were three places set at the kitchen table.
Luke go home already?” she asked.
got back early last night. I heard you laughing—you two must’ve been having
alright, love? Did you have a fight or something?”
Yeah, I’m fine.”
wasn’t. But I didn’t say anything about what had happened the night before.
this is getting long and I should probably wrap things up.
night in my room was the last “incident.” I wasn’t targeted again after that. I
guess what had been needed was finally taken from me, so I was left alone. Of
course I still locked my door and window every night and I often slept with a
knife under my pillow. I still do sometimes.
I became deeply depressed in the months that followed. I began spending more
and more time alone, locking myself in my room to play video games for days on
end. And when school started up again in the fall I mostly avoided the other
kids. My grades began to slip and I stopped playing sports. I felt estranged
from everyone, including myself. I was an alien in my own body. Most days I
found myself thinking of suicide. It all just seemed so fucking empty, like
some kind of sick charade or puppet show. And the only feeling I was ever able
to actually connect to was anger. I wasn’t all that sad, really. Just gray and
numb, and sometimes angry.
back, though, what I regret most during that time was how I pushed Luke away.
He was such an incredible friend throughout everything I’d been through. But,
despite everything, I just doorslammed him. I stopped hanging out with him or
taking his calls. I never even gave him a reason why. He kept trying to get
through to me, of course, the guy that he was.
was sometime around New Years, about six months after everything had happened,
that he unexpectedly showed up at my house and stormed into my room and forced
me to confront him.
a fucking coward,” he hissed. “If you have a problem with me or if you don’t
want to be my friend anymore then that’s fine, but you can at least fucking
tell me to my face.” I remember how tightly his fists were clenched while he
made me so angry (something that was an all-too-common occurrence at that
point), so incredibly angry that I shoved him—not too forcefully, but not
gently, either. He shoved me back and suddenly I realized it was the first time
I’d had any real human contact since that night in my room. I had pretty much
stopped hugging my mom and, as I mentioned before, I largely avoided everyone
that moment something in me just, broke.
started sobbing. I couldn’t stop. I collapsed on the floor and actually curled
into the fetal position. And I think that Luke somehow instinctively knew what
was wrong because he dropped down next to me and quietly rubbed my back and
just let it all happen.
hardcore sobbed for what must’ve been at least five or ten minutes. But, in the
midst of all that pain, I was finally able to feel the glimmer of things I
hadn’t been able to feel in so long: sadness, fear, relief… paradoxically, even
the waterworks eased up a bit and I was able to talk, I told Luke about what
had happened six months ago on the night he couldn’t sleep over. Actually
forcing those words out of my mouth was, to this day, one of the most fucking
difficult things I’ve ever had to do. Luke and I sat on the floor of my room,
both of us crying on and off, for probably about an hour.
When I eventually told him that I
thought I was ready to get up and move again, he hugged me so tightly that he
didn’t let go until I assured him I’d be okay. I don’t know if he was
consciously aware of the point he was making, but that hug—long and solid and
protective—was the exact opposite of the way I’d been tortured that night in my
room… and somehow he proved to me then that it truly was possible
to be touched in a loving way again.
That’s pretty much the end of my
story. But one more thing, and I’m not going to mince words here so forgive me
if this last bit sounds overly direct or preachy. There’s a ton of shame
involved with admitting that you were abused, particularly if it was sexual in
nature—but even more particularly if you’re male, and then even more particularly
if your abuser was female. Sometimes people don’t believe you, or they don’t
want to believe you. But it happens more often (and is usually more complex)
than some people realize. It’s just that no one really talks about it and as
men we’re generally taught to suffer in silence. So this goes for everyone, but
especially for any guys who’re reading: if you’ve ever been taken advantage
of—by someone of any gender—don’t suppress the “fallout” and bottle it up. It
eats away at you from the inside and dissolves you slowly, makes you hollow. I
know. Please open up to someone about it. Someone who will listen to you and
won’t judge you.
Lastly, I know Luke visits this site every once in a while, and at some point he’s probably going to read this. So I
just want to end this with—Luke, you are the best goddamn friend and brother
that a guy could ever ask for. Thank you, for everything. I love you. You’ve
saved me more times than you know.