Girl Interrupted

I wasn’t always like this.

Once upon a time, I wore my heart on my sleeve. I was quite a silly girl, really. With each sunrise, I wondered if this would be the day I found him, the love to end all loves. I kept my eye out for anyone and everyone I thought had potential, and I was quick to become infatuated. One could say I was boy crazy, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. The crush was a rush in itself, addictive, and I loved the high I got off of it.

I miss that feeling.

I miss the fantasies, where love ruled and nothing was off limits. His kiss, touch, embrace, smile – thoughts of these and more sent the butterflies in my stomach on a rampage, and I succumbed willingly. I miss tuning out the world for a daydream, even if only for a moment.

I miss carefully planting his name in casual conversations, like a sleuth. On one hand, I hoped my friends would spill the beans, update me on his life. On the other hand, I just wanted to hear his name uttered out loud.

I miss the anticipation of knowing he’d be at the party, concert, or what have you. I miss the sleepless nights beforehand, imagining what lie ahead. As I tossed and turned in bed, the questions tossed and turned in my mind. How would I approach him? Would we kiss? Should I just ask him out?

I miss shopping for that perfect outfit, as nothing in my closet was seductive enough. I miss doing my hair and applying my makeup to perfection, all for him. I had to take his breath away, to be the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen, and only the best would do.

But mostly, I miss the hope. I miss the hope that (one day) he would enter the picture and become my other half. I miss wondering where he is, what he’s doing, and how we’ll meet. Is he a blond or brunette, short or tall? What does he do for a living? Is he lonely for me as well? So long as these questions existed, I had some hope to hold onto.

But I don’t hope anymore.

Something changed the night he raped me; a fire died. A hurricane swept through my existence, taking with it the heart on my sleeve. I would’ve looked for it, had I cared enough, but I didn’t, and I don’t. The school girl with her crushes is now a shell of her former self – an urn filled with the cigarette ashes she chokes on. I hate the smokes. They make me ugly and stinky, but no matter. I no longer desire to be beautiful, not for myself or anyone else. Beauty attracts…

All I want is to disappear.

I hate walking past men. It’s as though I’m on a battlefield, and their perverted eyes are the bullets. Modest clothing is my coat of armor, but it’s poor defense against the vile thoughts racing through their minds. Most keep these thoughts silent, and I keep my eyes to the ground. Some, however, choose to voice these thoughts in crude, pigheaded commentary, which makes my blood boil and erupt out of my mouth in the form of wicked, verbal counter attacks.

My hands clench, feening for a chokehold.

But I wasn’t always like this. They weren’t always like this. There was a time when men were friends, not enemies. There was a time when I enjoyed walking past them, and I enjoyed knowing they enjoyed it. There was a time when I willingly looked them in the eye, hopeful that a glance would give me goose bumps. My beauty was nothing to be embarrassed of, armored for shame’s sake. It was my treasure – a prize to be won by the man most deserving.

But I don’t feel like a prize anymore.

When he raped me, he violated more than my body. He violated my sexuality, the very essence of my womanhood. My girly laugh was silenced. My bright, hopeful eyes were dimmed. My vigor for life, friendship, and love was drenched in the tears caused by his betrayal. My appreciation of all things beautiful was replaced by apathy. My sugar and spice blew away with his hot breath down my neck.

I became nothing, a used dish rag.

He killed the lover I wanted to be, the mother I could’ve been. Those characters are now ghosts of my former self, and they haunt me still. Or maybe they aren’t ghosts, but rather, prisoners silenced and desperate for escape. Perhaps, one day, I can rescue them. How, I have no idea, but maybe I can. This is my hope, as I cannot bear the thought of never loving again.

It’s all I ever wanted.

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Special Interest
Woman and feminist
writing Brown_Eyed_Girl

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." - Cyril Connolly
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