The story of a body, who it belongs to, and who dictates its uses. Your first (unofficial) preview of a much longer story, this is the beginning trimmed down to 1,800 words.
Out of the blue on a lazy Saturday, a call reaches her and a friend convinces her to swing by her cousin’s house cause it’ll be fun. So, later on, Aubrey DeGuinn lays down her reluctance and goes to hang out with the people her world revolved around when she was a full-time student. Her friends hug her warmly when she walks in the door but then the rooms divide: those are still in school, and those are picking up classes when they can and working as many jobs as they can squeeze into a day. The house has a den with leather couches where the people who have already graduated gather ‘round. Most of them work in corporate law, which is a peak she tells her parents she’s almost reached. She lingers in the kitchen for a while, chatting up a couple who used to be friends with her and her ex. Eventually, the social butterflies squeeze her hands in farewell and simply leave her in the dust on the linoleum.
So she wanders into the other room to find it hazy. She should’ve expected it at a house party but people have started smoking weed. She smoked with her old friends once but she had a bad reaction, so she gives up the whole idea with a sigh of surrender. No such luck- instead, a twist in the tale she didn’t realize how she felt about writing.
A guy she’s never seen before- a friend of a friend, or say he says- chats her up by the time she gets to the door. He has a broad smile and even broader shoulders and after a few moments of smooth conversation, he begins to touch her hands. It doesn’t take her long to work out he knows exactly what he wants. Usually she’d be all into strolling that avenue, but honestly tonight she’s not feeling it.
Or maybe- she would be open to giving it another minute before she runs away; after all, she feels awkward telling a handsome man who’s almost twice her size to buzz off so she can go snuggle with her cat, so linger does their conversation in air between two strangers pretending to be far more comfortable than they actually as she postpones the moment she will shut him down. Finally, though, her heart is groaning and it’s time to wave the white flag. She offers a polite goodnight, a nice-to-meet-you-nice-knowing-you goodbye. He insists upon walking her to her car and she is admittedly charmed when he offers her his arm.
So they get to her car just across the street and he backs her against the passenger door. In a motion quick like a snake rearing its head to lunge, bite, and recoil, he steals a kiss. It’s nothing more than a flash catching her off guard, so she pretends to be unshaken, unbothered, even flattered. Shaking her head, she wishes she knew how to do turn him down without hurting his feelings so she tries to keep it friendly. She chokes out a small laugh and gives him a gentle shove in hopes he is sensitive enough to pick up on that hint. He does not take kindly to this and now a switch has flipped- he decides to get really rough.
He slams her hard now against the side of the car and clasps his hands around her wrists to pin her against the steel. His legs are tree trunks and hers for their part have become twigs ready to snap as his pressure deepens. She barks some form of dissent- “stop it, let go of me”. Her words fall like raindrops to the ground and, unfazed, he neither hesitates nor blinks.
Incredulous now, she allows fear to set in. He releases her right arm, which has grown numb. As it adjusts from being held captive in that blinding force to lying limp against the car, it feels like her wrist is sprained. Useless and broken, she doesn’t move it against him, because how could she? The man notices she’s trembling and gloriously he soaks it in as he looks her body, his prize, up and down, up and down. Another move forward in his chess game before he takes a shot for the end goal. His tongue worms from between dry flaking lips to shove aside her dignity and thrust itself inside her mouth. Hot salt clouds up her retinas when his teeth scrape hers.
Even in this inferno… she’s drowning. Never in her most vivid nightmares could she ever have imagined such an affront to her soul. A coil of disgusted resentment writhes in her stomach as his tongue fills her mouth like a dog writhing on a tight leash.
“Stop it! Don’t-” her words are again cut off. Fresh hell has washed upon her shores, and what irony too because this is exactly the steam she dreamed of in school.
By the time he’s ready to move on, the heated cadence of his ragged panting has imbued in her a fear of dogs she will never release. His hands are on her chest now and his mouth is spewing saliva into her ear, teasing “You’re the one who wanted this.” And then he is a robotic gag, laying his hand over her mouth like corking a bottle. It reminds her of the kiss he just threw into her, only now she is truly afraid; he has ensured she cannot scream.
Automatically, her mind goes into drastic desperation in realizing he knows he can do whatever he wants to her before he walks away. When he confiscates her keys, it strikes her that she could have used them to defend herself. Methodically for he clearly isn’t used to this, he unlocks the car and opens the back door. When he drags her across the exterior of her own car so hard she feels every abrasive scrape scream its way into her skin she feels her every hair fly on end. He pushes her onto the seat and yanks her shorts down, fingers digging in like he was tearing into her flesh before leaning down to rip at her blouse. He yanks her bra straps down her arms and drags the cage down to her stomach. Mentally, she tells herself nothing is happening while watching her underwear step aside.
Still, nothing could have braced her for the nightmare that he puts his mouth inside her, smacking her tender left breast the instant she screams for help (a hard swoop, whack, thwack). Now she’s at his mercy and utterly frozen in wide-eyed terror, only praying for her life to be spared tonight or taken right this very second, before he can go any further. From this moment forward, all she can think is that God abandoned her to side with him.
The man who has laid claim to this girl tugs at his belt, a hunter maneuvering deliberately to perfect his aim at a trapped animal. When he finally manages to get it off, he laughs at the humor in his own sickness and grabs her by the shoulders, yanking her up and swiftly looping the black leather around her neck. His loose fingers dance down her collarbone before he has it as tight as it can go; so simply he binds it before shoving her again. Her shoulders bounce against the seat to send shock waves down a rigidly warped spine that isn’t hers anymore. In her mind, the version of her locked in a seashell down deep is screaming wildly. In reality, her eyes still burn in soundless surrender.
It doesn’t matter whether her voice could make a sound or not because he’s already rendered her effectively mute. He unbuttons his jeans and throws down the zipper, she stares at the ceiling, fixated by every inch of it while his meaty hands decorate her legs with bruises amounting to weeks of torment. Gleefully, he plunges deeper, penetrating her fortress completely. He does it more than twenty times and by the time he’s done, her mind is a cardboard box bouncing up and down inside her skull, eyes refusing to focus in the depths of their despairing descent into death. Finally, something wet shoots out and sprays her like a hose of acid.
All she can do is clench her eyes shut and lock her jaw, now weeping instead of crying out in utter silence.
From two steps back, laughing at her one more time, he jerks her up and kisses her lips, his tongue writhing around against the fearfully protesting moans of her pressed mouth and slapping her like the tides slap the beach. A normal gentleman concluding a normal evening, he pulls his belt from around her neck and puts it back on. He delivers a gentle nudge, she falls back- a cannon pulverizing a house of cards so fast air tussles hair. He walks away, whistling the song that was playing through her headphones when they walked out the door. Meanwhile, her body curls into the fetal position. All is still.
All is still.
It is three weeks after having secret sex with a scary stranger that a shameful Aubrey buys herself a pregnancy test and another three before her shaking hands wrench this dreaded contraband from its box. In the blink of an eye, one line appears. And then comes another, ever so faintly. She watches it grow more confident of its presence until finally, she is staring at a distinct figure: II and what her anxieties fear most is real: an intangible essence of the monster who turned her world upside down grows inside her with every passing day.
Aubrey bites her lip, her eyes are as salty as they are cloudy. It occurs to her that killing a piece of the monster might be enough to get rid of him altogether. She sees her life changing and all she can do is pray she gets to choose where it goes like she did before she ever met her monster. She lays her hands on the sink and leans down, head finding its way to press against the mirror. She can’t believe it, but at the same time, it is simply a fact beyond her touch that she is aware of without fully knowing: she is pregnant, she can’t believe it, she is pregnant, this can’t be real, she is pregnant, she’s sure of it now, she is pregnant.
Aubrey has never been much good at helping herself, but resolving a crisis she can do- this she knows if she knows anything at all to be true. It is not with emotion but logic that she sets the Planned Parenthood appointment. A regular Monday afternoon in the Bronx. She hates the Bronx.
Thank you for reading this story and remember to seek help if and when you need it. For more like this, read these recent works here on Medium:
Unsafe: a Hard Pill to Swallow
“The electricity bill, the phone bill, the water bill, the credit card bills- you haven’t paid any of these? Did you at…