Only when I get into the court room do I realize the gap in reality – my version of event as the girl raped that night, and everybody else’s’.
Even as people testify this way and that I see no connection between their truth and mine.
I saw I was raped.
They say I wasn’t.
His lawyer even goes too far as to say I enticed the man.
And I want to gorge the lawyer’s eyes out for that.
When I claim I didn’t entice anyone, the lawyer asks why I wore such a revealing blouse the night in question.
When I say I felt hot, he pounces on me with the question: “sexually hot?”
I sputter and the judge tells me harshly to answer the question, his eyes so cold dry ice would offer more comfort.
If I say “No, I wasn’t aroused that night,” I’m lying, if I say, yes, they’ll conclude I wasn’t raped.
I want to ask them how any woman can find companionship or love without being accused of enticing. Sometimes a man goes too far, farther than any woman wants.
Of course, I can feel the man who raped me staring across the court room at me, the monster who looked like an animal that night when he tore off my blouse and skirt and dove into me despite all I did to stop him, his heat still burning inside of me as if he had deposited battery acid there instead of semen.
He stares at me like he wants to do it again, his stare so intense and penetrating, he doesn’t have to move to make me ache.
His stare rips me open just as the memory has since that night.
I don’t know why I sit here like this, putting up with it all, taking the abuse as if I’m to blame when I know I’m not.
Even MY lawyer seems lame, unable to fend off the legal attack that is in someway as bad as the rape.
I ought to get up and leave, letting the son of a bitch go on his way.
But I also need to stop him, knowing that if I don’t, he’ll do the same thing to some other woman some other time, and I could never live with the guilt of that.
Only in the court room do I realize that I should never have charged him with a crime, I should have borrowed my father’s revolver, drove to the man’s house and blown his brains out when answered the door.
Then I would deserve this treatment in court – having at least the satisfaction of having seen justice done with him dead.
He could not hurt me or anybody else from a coffin.
But he just stares telling me with that stare that he not only will walk away from this, but that he will do it to me again if he can.
My friends have been no help at all, telling me how much worse it could have been, how I could have been hurt when I WAS HURT, Goddamn it.
Just not where it shows.
And even my friends seem to wonder about my story, whether or not I exaggerated everything.
I hate them, too.
The judge presses me to answer the question.
I tell him to drop dead.
I tell them all to drop dead.
And I see the monster laughing at me as if he has already raped me again, this time in public, right there in the court.
And I know, this time I AM going to get my father’s gun.