East Side Academy

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Chapter 56 - Let’s Talk About Sex

“Let’s talk about sex baby / Let’s talk about you and me / Let’s talk about all the good things / And the bad things that may be / Let’s talk about sex” – Let’s Talk About Sex, Technotronic

Arya

“So I heard that Henri left West Side Academy and moved to the West Coast,” Diana says to me at our lockers.

“News travels fast,” I say.

“Small town.” Diana says, “How’s your sister?”

“Henri came to the house on Saturday to talk to her,” I say.

“No!” Diana says with surprise on her face, “That bastard. Did she kick him the nuts?”

I laugh. “No.” I say, “I think she killed him with her words instead.”

“I knew that guy was trouble when he came up to me at the party. If I ever see that boy again…” Diana says.

“No need.” I say, “He’s far away now, thank goodness.”

“That must have been hard for her,” Diana says. “How’s she holding up?”

“She’s strong on the outside,” I say, “but I think she’s still hurting on the inside. James told me to just let her know that I’m here whenever she needs me.”

“He’s right.” Diana says, “She’ll come to you when she’s ready.”

“I just get so mad that something like this happened to my sister.” I say, “And then I think, it’s probably happened to many other girls as well, but no one says anything. Guys just get away with everything.”

“Has it happened to you, Arya?” Diana asks me seriously. “I mean, I know about Eric, but…”

“No,” I say, a little surprised with the question. “I’ve had more than my fair share of harassment from guys and then what happened with Eric, but that’s the worst of it.”

“My uncle tried to.” Diana says, “When I was 8 years old.”

“Diana.” I say softly, “I’m so sorry.”

“He’s gone now.” Diana says, “I have no idea where, but he’s out of our lives.” Diana takes a deep breath. “A lot of women have gone through a lot of trauma and there’s a lot of men you walk around unaffected. They don’t think they have done anything wrong. They rarely receive repercussions for their actions. Women are the ones left behind to suffer.”

“Men don’t think they have done anything wrong because no one has taught them that what they are doing is wrong.” I say, “No one teaches anyone about sex and consent. We are left to figure sex out on our own through the media, the internet, and our peers. We don’t learn anything from our teaches or other adults that could help us. I love my parents, they are the best parents you could ever ask for, but even they don’t talk to me about sex. It’s like an unspoken subject in the house and as long as we aren’t having sex, it’s okay.

“I don’t understand this mentality that if they don’t talk about it, if they don’t teach it, everything will be fine.” I say, “It’s such a lie. It’s like if they don’t teach us about sex then it won’t happen. People are going to have sex! We should be educated on it so we can protect ourselves from unwanted pregnancies and diseases. We should be educated on consent and maybe, just maybe, another Henri won’t be created. Maybe, if we teach girls and boys at a young age about sex and consent, things like this won’t happen. At least not as often.”

“Maybe there will be fewer women that are traumatized for the rest of their lives.” Diana says, “Maybe there will be fewer women with traumatic stories they keep silent. Just because we don’t hear of it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It’s not easy to share these kinds of stories. Some women are assaulted by people that are a part of their everyday lives, people that they can’t easily escape from. There can be serious repercussions with that. And some women don’t want to be looked at differently, which is completely understandable. We should work towards a preventive society, not a reactive one.” Diana says and then stares at me. “You want Sexual Education taught in school.”

“Pardon my language,” I say, “but fuck yes.”

“I agree.” Diana says, “Ignorance is not bliss.”

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