Editor’s Note: Please welcome Tillie Mush, whose short stories are a journey into mind and its need to find closure with its past.
She heard him whisper from somewhere in the darkness of her room. She felt his breath on her neck. She felt his hands on her. She felt his teeth on her skin and his poison in her soul. She heard herself gasp, cry out and struggle to break free. Climb out of slumber, find her way through the dark fog and find the light. She heard his slow deep laughter.
It was a night think and cloying, dark and heavy. She was bathed in fitful sweat and twisted in sheets. She sat silent. She rocked back and forth holding herself close and asking for silence. No more she thought..I just can not carry it, release me. He was dead and gone, or so she thought. He found her again, he always did…and he whispered in her sleep and laughed in her dreams.
She was just a little girl. Maybe she looked like a half woman, but she was just a little girl. Gawky, awkward and a pool of hormones. He kissed her lightly..and it felt so good. All these years later she felt those lips on hers, full, moist, gentle. The first real kiss delivered with desire..a powerful consuming desire. Even at 12 she felt it, felt the stir of it, the beckoning weak surrender of it. When he held her close and kissed her deep, she did surrender ,she did let go. It was like falling, like floating. She heard a whispered moan and knew it was hers. What it meant or why it was, she didn’t know. She didn’t seem to know anything anymore in that moment but she felt. With out thinking, with out any understanding at all..her hands reached..held him so close and kissed back with all the crazy unknown desire of a 12 year old girl..awakening to the world of woman. His lips on her neck, her skin on fire and she was breathless…what was this emotion what was this yearning and this fire. He touched her breast and she held her breath.
He was so strong, so big and so 17. There was in her a feeling of some kind of love maybe, more acceptance..of being desired, wanted and she didn’t want that feeling to end. She was 12 an ugly duckling in a world of beautiful swans, unloved, unsure..and really just plain 12. Powerless to stop it, and not really knowing what she doing or why or how, she let herself feel and let herself go. Her hands roamed, he held her close and she felt his heartbeat,she heard his low moans. The darkness surrounded her and she let the moaning lead her on. He was hard where she was soft, she was wet and weak. She just let it all go.
It hurt when he was on top of her, it hurt and she didn’t know why. But some how mixed with this unknown feeling of desire, there was the word no. She couldn’t say it, and if she had it would not have stopped what came next, but in her mind in her heart and in her little girls soul..no was all she heard. She twisted away as best she could, she turned her face from his and closed her eyes so tight. She heard him whisper from somewhere in the darkness of her room. She choked back tears and waited for this to end. Oh please she screamed in silence no, please, and end this.
“Its ok really” he whispered in her ear. She had her nightgown back on and laying in a fetile position, trying so hard not to cry and crying anyway. “Don t cry, and really its a good thing, you’ll see and this is our secret” There was a knock at the door, a little brother coming to her rescue. “Whats wrong, why is my sister crying?” In shame, in pain and in disgust she heard herself say “I had a bad dream, I’m ok go back to bed”. She turned to the wall, held herself tight and just drifted away from it. He stood over her and looked down..”go” was all she could say..and “just leave me alone.”
In the light of morning she knew she was different. She new she was flawed. Somehow not right. It was not a good thing, but she couldn’t really know what it was. She knew she wasn’t like the other little girls, she was bad and out of control. She shouldn’t have, she did. It was her. She didn’t say no. She told her mom that maybe she was old enough to babysit the kids, maybe they didn’t need the boy from down the street anymore. She began the process of denial and forgetting. She grabbed the mask of good girl sweet innocence and placed where the world could see. She was just a silly gawky awkward little 12 year old girl..almost half a woman but just a foolish child.
Its was a dark night. The thick air was full of tension and doubt. It seemed to just hang heavy on her skin..like she was a captive. She rocked back and forth. Tears in her eyes and no longer a little girl. Her innocence was long gone, a very distant memory. she understood now all too well what had happened. She didn’t hold herself responsible for the actions of a 17 year old boy. She didn’t hold herself responsible for the non action of a silly little 12 year old girl. She never said no, but she was a child..she shouldn’t have to. She told herself she had no guilt. She told herself it was a thing that happened in another life and it had no effect on her now. She told herself. Most times she believed it too.
She was silent. She was curious. She wondered why now. She had grown into a strong and true woman. She had survived the teens and twenties and thirties and mother hood and wifedom. She wondered why now on this dark dark night. She heard his voice..his murmur his moan and his whisper from the darkness of her memory. She heard the word secret, she heard it was a good thing.
Fuck you and fuck you all she spit out. She slipped out from shadow into the visible world, unmasked and open . In the light. In the mirror. I am not wrong she thought, damaged or flawed. I am not a secret. Little girls grow up, and hide in the hearts of women. Little girls learn to say no, and women keep them safe behind the mask. She kept on the light to keep the darkness from closing in. He was dead and gone years ago, and she wasn’t a child anymore. It was just bad dream and she couldn’t really remember anymore anyway, probably didn’t happened like that. She was fine, no more voices whispering from dark places, no more reliving what cant be changed. No more secrets. She closed her eyes and slipped back to shadow..under the bright light with the music on and knew the past was best let alone. The little girl would always be there, but someday the voice would stop.