It was dark ... I was trapped in a gloomy place where I had to run. I was running and running all over that place. There was no exit. There was a man behind me, chasing me. I was terrified. I started to scream all over the place, but nobody came to rescue me. No one did. I was a prisoner. His prisoner. I saw my end coming. That man was him, the one who raped me a while ago, in my mother’s house. He was my step-father: Jim.
I had this nightmare almost every day when I dreamt of the same details, the same person and I had the same terrifying feelings I had on the day I was raped. I couldn’t get rid of his face ... no I couldn’t. It was so difficult for me to forget all he did to me on that evening. I was vulnerable. I thought he would consider me as his step-daughter and that he had to respect me, but he wanted more.What have I done wrong? Did I do something to attract his attention? Did I flirt with him without even noticing it? What did I do wrong?
Thousands of questions were tormenting me ... many rhetorical questions at which I couldn’t answer. I was lost in my memories.Then that detail of the dress. The green dress I bought. The one I liked a lot on the store, maybe it was the dress. I shouldn’t have bought that dress. That dress was the trigger of my misery. That dress drove him to me. Or was it something else?
I don’t know ... I really don’t ...But I have to think ... I have to. All I could do was to run.
I left Phoenix to go to a motel near Summerland. I needed to rest for some time before going back to university. I needed to think about what just happened to me on that evening. I spent four days in a motel. I didn’t want to come out of my room. All I did was sleeping, crying, and having a shower. I bought some fruit and two bottles of water. I needed to drink water. Sometimes, I obliged myself to eat some fruit. I needed water all over my body to purify my soul from what he did to me ... from what happened to me ... to be able to feel myself again ...I thought I was dead after the rape ... I thought I was no longer a human being ... but it happened that I was one because I kept hearing my heart beating in my chest and I heard myself breathing. I was seeing the whole scenario in my head all over the four days ... again and again ... my mother called me many times but I couldn’t answer. She wanted to check up on me because I told her that I was going to visit Lisa Richardson in Santa Barbara. She wanted to check if I was okay. Hopefully, she didn’t have Lisa’s number back then. After some calls, I dialled my mom’s number and called her back, told her that I was in Santa Barbara.
Of course I lied to her. This was what I did on the third day. I lied to her and told her that I was very busy and couldn’t call her back. She seemed very worried. She was happy for me though. I told her that I was with Lisa and was enjoying myself a lot.
Yeah I was enjoying myself so much ... to the point that I started to despise my body.
Along the weeks, I started to have a sort of habit, that of observing my body almost many times per day... Oh yeah! Something that I’ve never done before and I felt that...well
I felt the need to watch my body in a mirror many times a day. I felt the need to reshape my body. I started to dislike it and I wanted it to change for the better. I was a slim girl. My body was attractive to most of the boys. This was what they told me each time I dated one. I used to like it. Now, it is different. I don’t like it anymore. I started to feel myself like a burden and my body was the cause of my struggle. It was because of it that Jim desired me and was attracted to me. It was because of my fucking body that he felt the need to rape me right away without hesitation, without thinking for a second that I was, actually, his wife’s daughter. I was his step-daughter. That it was forbidden to desire his step-daughter. That he shouldn’t have done such a thing !
The only thing that attracted him was my body, not myself. He didn’t know me so well to like me. What he liked instead was my physical appearance: how I was dressed and how I walked.
If only I hadn’t a slim body ... If only my body was heavier ... things would be different ... but it happened ... what shouldn’t have happened that evening finally came to be a nightmare. He fucked my body, that very body that I was proud of, that I really liked for some time, that body which was mine.
Today, after only a few days of what happened in Phoenix, I felt the need to throw up. I was disgusted of myself, of my body, of me ... of being a woman because it was thanks to that womanly body that a man got himself satisfied. I was disgusted each time I looked at my silhouette in a mirror and each time I look at its shape. I didn’t want to be attractive anymore. I didn’t want to be approached by anyone after what happened to me. I remembered how Tyler Morrison worshipped my body ... how he desired me ... how I attracted him ... and now I feel sorry for myself for being a real idiot. I was being manipulated by Tyler and Jim ... and look at what happened to me: I was raped by my step-father, then I was dumped by my boyfriend.
If it comes to the very thing I really hated about myself I would say my body. I felt the need to throw up each time my own eyes were looking at my body. I felt well each time I threw up. It made me realize that my body won’t be slim any longer. I could eat then I could throw up in order not to get fatter. I was becoming thinner with the days passing by...
On the fourth day, I received a call from Lisa and she came as quickly as she could. Even though I could move on with my life, things were very hard for me. Everyone noticed how thin I was. I was glad to know that I fulfilled my dream which was, of becoming thinner in order to become unattractive in men’s eyes.
Then Marvin came into my life unexpectedly. I wasn’t prepared to feel myself lovely for someone else. I didn’t think that any man on earth could look at me the way he did even though I was dating Kyle at that time. Marvin was the light in the darkness I was living in. The candle I needed to lighten up in order to be able to see the path I was walking in. He was the person who gave me, implicitly, the desire to love myself again ... the desire to reconcile myself and my body together ... the desire to feel better ... He was my forbidden love. He was the man I shouldn’t have fallen in love with ... but it happened. I have never thought he could be attracted by a girl like me ... a thin, if not to say a skinny, girl. It appeared that my body is still appealing to men. A thing I haven’t considered. I thought I would be disgusting and undesirable, but the opposite happened. Being next to Marvin was such a relief in my life. I liked how he was, how he talked to me, how he looked at me, how he pretended not to care about me, I liked being near him ... it made me feel alive again.
The unexpected happened. I have never thought that my mother would come to see me. I have missed her so much. I haven’t seen my little sister since the day she was born. Thanks to my illness, I could finally be reunited with my family.
Unfortunately, he was with them. He came with them. He came to see me. Jim was there that morning. He came to my room and looked at me. The same look. I felt terror invading my body once again. I don’t know whether Marvin has noticed it or not, and honestly, I wish he didn’t.
All of a sudden, I felt all myself being shattered. I was afraid of him. I was still afraid of what he did to me. He was only some inches far from me. I couldn’t imagine him touching me again.
I felt myself paralyzed. I couldn’t look at his face any longer.
It was her face, Lily’s face, that overwhelmed me with tenderness and love. I liked her already. She was the cuttest little baby girl I’ve ever held so far. I was holding my sister in my arms for the first time. I wished it was in another circumstance, but it couldn’t be so bad because I was enjoying her tiny hand grabbing my thumb. It was her manner to say hello to me. I liked the way she greeted me and smiled at me.
What I didn’t like, instead, was being examined by my mother and Dr. O’Brian. I anticipated some questions they would ask. I was pretty sure I was anorexic. I was sure that they would ask me questions to know why I did so on my own body. I wasn’t prepared to answer and I didn’t want to share that secret with both of them. I decided to remain quiet and don’t answer. My mother seemed very worried about me. I was looking at her the whole time thinking about how she would react if only she knew the truth. Of course, I couldn’t tell her anything. I couldn’t tell her how her husband enjoyed penetrating my body. I couldn’t. It was impossible for me to do it. She was my mother and I loved her.
I loved my mom more than I have ever thought. I couldn’t tell her such a thing. I didn’t want her to feel any sorrow or pain. I didn’t want her to feel herself betrayed another time. She was once betrayed by my biological father; her first love. I didn’t have all the details, but I knew it each time she told me how having me in her life was the best thing she has ever had.
I had to keep my mouth shut and never tell the truth. Lisa knew it as well. I forbade her to tell the truth to anyone. It was our secret. I didn’t want my mother to suffer. I could suffer by my own. I could handle it because I was stronger than she was. What I didn’t expect coming was when she told me she was willing to take me back to Phoenix in order to take care of me.
No. No. No. I don’t want that. I want to stay at Marvin’s house. I don’t want to leave Lisa. I don’t want to leave Marvin. I don’t want to go with my mother. I don’t want to go to Phoenix because it will be hell. I couldn’t stand being in the same house than him. It was killing me to know that. I couldn’t. Please mom, I can take care of myself. Leave me alone. Lisa was as desperate as I was. She couldn’t think properly for some time. She was feeling herself stuck, helpless, and powerless when suddenly he came into my room.
Marvin came into my room. He was just standing there looking at me, crying. I saw a gleam of light in his eyes when he came in. I saw a ray of hope emerging throughout the despair I was trapped in.
AI wanted to believe that he would fight for me to stay near him. I would have given anything just to make it appear. I wanted to hope that he would tell me everything would be fine as long as he was here by my side. I couldn’t let myself sink into an ocean of unachieved hopes. I had to prepare myself to go to Phoenix soon. I had to prepare myself to leave Marvin ... to leave this welcoming and loving setting I was living in for some time now. I had to prepare myself to come back to what I was living a year ago. I was so dreamy to think that such a man like Mr. Marvin Richardson could do whatever he can to keep me in his house. It was unthinkable to happen because after all, I was just a girl, a thin one, whom he desired and wanted to fantasize on. That’s all. That’s what I would be for him.
Surprisingly, the unexpected happened that day. We kissed, he revealed to me what he feared the most that of letting me go, and the way he felt about me. He cared about me more than I expected. He promised me he wouldn’t let anyone take me far from him.
Should I really trust this man? Should I trust him? Should I trust his seemingly trustworthy words?
I was afraid of what would happen that day. I was expecting the worst to come.
How could a man be attracted to an anorexic girl like me? How could a man desire a young woman like me? How could a man kiss the girl I was?
How could he? How dared he? How could it be possible to happen? How?
I couldn’t stop asking myself these questions when he left my room leaving me with Lisa and Kyle. Kyle was sitting next to me. I was happy to see him around. But I needed to stay alone. I wanted to have some time for myself to think about all what happened between Marvin and I ... to daydream about that kiss ... to think about what he did ...We kissed. It was not a dream ... it really happened. It really happened to me. That man on whom I had a crush had just kissed me on my lips. I couldn’t believe it. Why did he kiss me? Was it because he liked me for who I am? Or was it because he wanted something from me? I could not tell. The truth was unknown to me and probably will never be revealed. It was a mystery. He was a mystery.
The day I left Mr. Richardson’s house, I felt sad because I didn’t tell him good bye. That day, he was working with Mr. Philip Johnson in his office. We said only goodbye to Mrs. Richardson. She was quite sad about me leaving her house so early while I was accompanied by my mom and baby sister. Jim left Santa Barbara and was off to Phoenix early morning, so I hadn’t to see him.
The motel was quiet and had a nice view on the beach. We booked a room for a week. My mother called her boss and explained the situation; that it was an urgent family matter.
She had extra days off just to stay with me here, in Santa Barbara.
I was happy because I was going to spend some days with her and Lily only, without Jim Carlson. She took care of me. I started to feel better and I wanted to eat only salads and some fruit, but she obliged me to eat some meat and other kind of food that I usally don’t even think of eating. We had the whole day for ourselves. I told her about my friends and about my studies. I told her about my training in Mr. Philip Johnson’s company. She seemed pretty thoughtful, if not to say worried as well, and I couldn’t understand why. She was kind of relieved and somehow calm when she knew that I didn’t meet the big boss in person. I enjoyed spending time with my little sister. She was only a few months old and she seemed to like me already. She had my mother’s eyes. Lily was an angel. Even though I was having a great time with them, I missed him ... I missed Marvin. I kept thinking what he was doing all day long.
I wished he missed me the way I missed him. I was waiting for next week. I was going to come back to his house.
Lisa and Kyle came to visit me. I was happy to see them. I was happy I was surrounded by people I liked. I couldn’t stop thinking about that kiss we had the other day. I couldn’t stop feeling his lips on mine. The taste of his lips was still on mine.
Each time I remember that, I started shivering out of excitement and joy. I didn’t expect him to kiss me...but he did it which proved that he wanted to. He needed to feel me closer to him. Knowing that made me happier and happier. I was feeling myself special to him. I was feeling myself desired by that man who was, as well, so special to me. I let myself being desired another time after all what I experienced so far, and all what I had been through, it was the first time I enjoyed feeling myself desired by not any kind of man, but by him only. Only him and no one else.