Some things are for certain. For instance, there is always the chance for sickness, illness running rampant, but there are other certainties in life, some less nefarious than others.
The seasons change, the sun inevitably rises, but violence is also an inevitability.
Violence like a lightbulb swinging at a dorm party, those red plastic cups tossed every which way, footprints scuffing the hallways.
Violence, stinging the air like smoke as an individual stood on his own, watching for a most inebriated young woman. She wasn’t so out of place, but the fact of her being alone at this party made her an easy shot. Violence, inky tendrils of immaterial destruction found her.
He handed her a drink, the cup’s tacky red mimicked her lipstick. He didn’t even like her, it was the conquest. How much would she be in the mood for?
He encouraged her to drink more deeply with playful jesting, her eyes rolled around in her head like marbles as she finished, wiping her wet lips with the back of one hand. She laughed, an uncertain sound.
Violence pervaded his own laughter, his smile looked like a sneer in the ever dimming lights of the dorm. He slung one arm around her, murmuring complementary things into her ear, too eager to even wait to grope her beneath her shirt. He had handed her a drink just earlier, liquid bubbling with the remnants of a small white pill easily dissolved by golden fizz. She would forget and this would be his. Her rapidly glazing eyes were of no consequence. He led her into the bedroom.
Grunting, clumsy hands eventually held down an unprotesting body, limp from lack of consciousness. Temporarily vacant, she gave no motion outside of her shoulders shaking in time with the assault. He couldn’t help himself, it was the drink, it was his social programming, it was in his biology, his chemistry, it was any number of things. These things don’t matter, not so much as power itself. Even his grunts and heavy breathing were meaningless. When he was finished, he shoved her away from him, lighting a cigarette as he used her panties to wipe himself down. Red staining white, the pattern of violence, the air heavy and muted with crushing destruction. He was an ancient relic, some subhuman thing violating another without any second thought.
In the morning, sometime before the sun rose, she would cry and try desperately to remember the night before. Scratches and bruises seemed to shine up at her from her aching flesh. She remembered peering up into the face of some tall, shadowy faced douchebag as he murmured down at her. She didn’t remember telling him to fuck off. She had lost her underwear. Fury and fear boiling over, she was afraid to look down at her legs as she fought the compulsion to check her body for the source of the pain she felt throbbing somewhere pulled within, back from her extremities. The source of the pain distressed her further. Bruises in the shapes of fingerprints littered her thighs, her shoulders were sore and mimicked the same as down below. She pulled her skirt down. The room had been deserted. A dozen or so plastic cups had been left on the desk in the corner. She heard nothing as she tried to locate her sweater, hadn’t she arrived wearing one?
She left, dismissing the idea of a lost article of clothing she wasn’t even sure existed. A disconcerting trickle found its way down her leg as she stood and walked across the room and out the door. Her nerves devoured themselves, a dead feeling struck her in the chest as what felt like a muted rage brimmed dangerously close to the edge of her consciousness, suffocating her. She walked to her apartment, a tiny one-bedroom not ten minutes away. The sun was rising, she now knew the source of her ache, letting go of the pain as she breathed. She fought something resembling panic, somewhere beneath a heavy blanket of nothingness. Perhaps there were people still walking, up and about at this hour, but she saw no sign of them. The street was all silence and lack of movement, the leftover heaviness of violence had infected her, crawled up into her. She locked her door, shaking all over from then on, too terrified to think of leaving her room. She lay on the bed, silent. She should be crying but she was not. She should call the police or something, but she couldn’t. She should move and shower the filth of his touch from her body.
She could remember nothing of his appearance but knew his smell: cheap cologne, cigarettes, and vodka. His hands had left imprints on her. She should change her clothes, she should, but she would do nothing. She lay in bed until long after the sun had risen fully.
He gave it no thought. Another sick night. He lived for this shit, he lived for the parties and meeting girls that were literally up for anything.
“Nice,” complemented some vague acquaintance of his, flipping his hat to the front now that he stood in the light of the sun.
It wasn’t so rare. Get a girl drunk, give her a bit of something extra, and she wouldn’t even care about what hit her in the first place. He was so smug, he had rolled off of her, pushing himself away from her motionless form as he tucked her ruined panties into the waste bin. He left campus, he didn’t even go there anyway, it’s just that the parties were the best.
He bumped knuckles with his peers and turned to leave before someone else clapped him on the back. He carried on with his day, some inconsequential thing after the other. Drive around, pick this up, get that, work this out, drink this, eat that. He was comfortable in his usual routine, not having to think for a moment about anything too dramatic. He smoked, pinching his cigarette between his fingers, deciding he would shower.
He turned the water on, setting the cigarette in the bathroom ashtray. He disrobed, pausing between movements to puff away, ash not escaping very far once steam had filled the air. He ground the stub into cinders and stepped into the shower. Everything as per usual minus a strange tingling sensation he felt somewhere below his waist. He lathered himself in soap, hot water coursing over him. He was a careless trog, too busy to cut his grubby fingernails. Shaving consistently was, thankfully, unnecessary thanks to his pale, wispy beard. He had no shampoo left in the bottle he had stolen from some other party he had been to, somewhere else he had his way with some other girl.
Eventually, he shut off the water and exited the tub, towelling himself off from the top down. He paused around his groin, puzzled by a slight lack of feeling below, it usually reacted to the warm pressure of the shower and the moisture in the air. He felt no usual arousal, something bizarre after his tour de force from the night before. He usually found himself rubbing one out, revelling in the usual fashion of someone so dim in the head and depraved in morality. He went on thinking about his dick until he gave it a tug with his hand, just to make sure he wasn’t losing it. Like some two year old who has just discovered their genitals, he fiddled around with it, pulling back his foreskin and pushing it back up once he felt satisfied there were no unusual blemishes.
Maybe that bitch gave me something.
The thought nagged at him, so easy to blame her when she was barely a person to him. He didn’t think about it to that extent, however. If it looked alright on the outside then there was no reason to get all fucked up over it. He let it alone, slipping into his clothes.
She eventually showered, the heaviness didn’t allow her the wherewithal to report someone whose face had somehow slipped entirely away. An everlasting shriek filled her bones, grinding away at the marrow, but it didn’t give way to manifesting as sound. She was silent and still on the surface of it all.
He was drinking at ten o’clock in the morning. No, it was still nine-thirty. Time crawled like his senses in the absence of getting his fill. He had grabbed someone else’s beer from a communal table, surprisingly still half full, and he downed its contents before anyone would notice. He belched, tossing the glass bottle into a shattering pool of shards and yeasty room-temperature liquid.
She was in pain. The feeling of bruises rippled across her insides and winces accompanied her movements as she walked to her classes. Professors tended to ramble on. Her thoughts strayed. She curiously felt little to no need for biting back tears. They simply didn’t exist. Instead, a hard feeling polished itself deep within her, somewhere that motherfucker’s touch couldn’t possibly infect her. The numbness was now almost a hundred percent departed and in its place grew something sharp and crystalline, glimmering within the shine of a hatred that took her by surprise. Almost.
He snorted, collecting phlegm and general distaste near the back of his throat, spitting the foul miasma out onto the sidewalk as he walked past an elderly gentleman crossing the street on shaky legs. Backsplash stuck to the old man’s shoe. He found himself back at his own place, sipping at another cold one he cracked open, far away from the company of the boys, whoever they were. He couldn’t form any solid bonds with anyone. The boys were an idea that came into his head each time he transcended to the point of uninhibited drunkenness, clapping his hand to the nearest shoulder in a show of sloppy affection he would pretend to forget the day after when his mind froze over in its usual state of laddishly homophobic paranoia.