A full moon was visible through the gaps between the buildings of New York, enlightening the dark streets of the city.
Illuminating the imperfection of the old neighborhood. Where the mothers’ chain-smoked and the fathers were unknown. Where the daughters forgot their age once in a while and the brothers loved nothing more than to use their fists at the first opportunity that arose.
The old, fishy, dangerous neighborhood where the drugs were sold for original prices. A breeding place for gangs and local drugs dealers.
Imperfection was the ideal word created to explain this neighborhood and that night, it was once again highlighted.
Her breathing was heavy and irregular. Every time her lungs filled with air, it took a while before she breathed it out. She was tired and every step was one too many. Her knees were shaking and she wanted nothing more than to fall down and never stand up again.
She was powerless due to the exhaustion she felt. Her bare feet were shuffling over the odd pavement. She had lost her heels somewhere this evening. But recalling where exactly was not her first priority.
She held her black leather jacket in her hand while the sleeves swiped over the ground. Her eyes directed right in front of here. Distant.
She normally never walked home, but she didn’t dare to pick up to phone. Her mind had made the decision unconsciously.
She was walking home. Walking through the streets of a neighborhood so dangerous, but not to her. She was known and nobody would ever dare to hurt her.
So why were her arms covered in bruises in the shape of long fingers? Bruises that were turning blue and red. Blood was drying on the inside of her tights. Her dress hanging loosely around her body. Everything was hurting. Her heart the most.
She could barely believe it. She was asking herself if her mind was playing tricks on her. Something like that wasn’t supposed to happen.
It didn’t happen, she said to herself over and over again. But the pain she felt with every step she took, was a contradiction to her beliefs.
She could yell the words, but the lies would be picked up by her own ears.
Her steps were echoing through the empty streets. She was almost home, safe. She heard her cell phone playing that obnoxious tune over and over again.
She could pick up, but the person on the other side of the call would be able to hear right away that something was wrong with her.
It couldn’t happen because whatever happened that night couldn’t come out. It might ruin her, but the ending would destroy so many more. So silence was a gift she was giving everyone involved.
Once again she asked herself the question: how was it possible that something like that had happened? It was supposed to be an unforgettable night in a positive way.
And it’s true she will never forget how she felt. She could never forget the different hands that touched or the laughs and the talks that had traveled around that single dark room.
Every party she had attended was filled with dozens of security guards watching her and only her. Where were they when they lured her into that room? Where were they when they covered her mouth when she screamed? Where were they when they locked the door?
They were never far away from her. They used to sit next to her on the couch. They checked her drinks before she could have a sip, but for one minute they were all gone.
Something was wrong. She had that much trust in the men that had protected her since she was little. They must have been hurt or killed. There was no other possibility.
Her feet were still pushing her forward out of their own. She wasn’t thinking anymore. Her mind wouldn’t allow it.
Her pain was great and almost unbearable and the only question was when was it going to break free? Like a zombie. That was how she was moving, mindless with a speed so slow.
She stepped out of the neighborhood and passed some streets with nothing more than trees around her.
Her feet were blistered once she opened the door of her home. Different men nodded their head at her with respect when she made her way to her bedroom. The purple, softy decorated room.
Her walls filled with pictures of happy moments, but all she forgot in a minute when the first pain had erupted all over her body.
She couldn’t remember ever being happy. Memories that were once bright and were dreamed about were now impossible to imagine ever feeling that way again.
Nothing was good in this world. The memories were short-lived, but the dark and painful events were the once we remember forever.
With shaking hands, she tried to lift her dress over her head. Her arms weak, but once the black dress dropped on the ground her eyes traveled to the mirror.
She wasn’t surprised when her eyes locked onto something that was once bared of any pain, was now colored with bruises.
Her eyes went slowly over her body. Filthy, dirty, unworthy, helpless and hopeless. Her eyes stopped at her hip. Something she once felt so proud of was now the reason why. A mark, a brand. ‘BB’ it said, referring to the gang she grew up in.
Her fingers touched the mark before her eyes were staring at her own in the mirror. Was this the price she paid for being in a gang? Was this a normal thing?
No, of course not. Slowly she dropped her hand back to her side and remember that her gang and family was everything in her life. She had faced many dangers and had seen a lot of violence. But this time it was different.
She was the victim. The one to face the violence and the pain and due of that she couldn’t face herself anymore in the mirror. She turned around and made her way to her soft bed covered with a white blanket embroidered with little pink flowers.
She forced her eyes closed, facing the pain and the trauma that evolved like a movie over and again, but every time her attention was focused on one thing only.
A pair of eyes.