not guilty

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 19, 2018

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Submitted: September 19, 2018

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He was found not guilty. But there was no judge. No jury. No verdict. No trial. No charges. I found him not guilty. He took advantage of my love. My willingness to give him the world if he wanted it. But that wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted power. He wanted control. Even at fifteen years old. He wanted me to be his pawn in the largest game that naivete can play on an adolescent.

Scent. The smell of his cologne lingers in my flashbacks. Back. Back against the wall, fear enveloping me even as I failed to fight him. Him. I loved him. His mouth said that he loved me, too, but his hands shouted that I was worthless. His coercion screamed that I was useless. His pictures called me a whore.

I was naked. He knew everything. He saw everything. He shared everything. With everyone.

Yet I found him not guilty. In the case of robbery in the first degree. Even though he cannot return what he stole. Even though he snatched my virginity away from me.

Rather, I gave it up. Virginity. Trust. Love. Sanity. Self worth. He wanted them all. I gave him my all.

Still, I found him not guilty. Despite the anxiety that digs its claws into my heart, and causes the pain in my chest. Despite the nightmares that don’t allow me to rest.

I unlocked his cell and I uncuffed his hands. Even after he enslaved me like the criminal he was. And after he had disassembled and reconstructed me into his favourite version. The one who couldn’t stand up to him alone. Even after that. I let him go. I thought.... I thought I was giving him a chance.

Chance. Luck. ‘Lucky’ Seven.

Seven times. Seven. The number of completion. Complete terror. He convinced me each time would be the last. Just like he convinced me the next time. And the next. I was an obedient servant to his lies and what he called ‘love.’ “If you love me, you’ll make love to me.”

It wasn’t until after that I discovered that he’d completely shattered me. Destroyed me. I am the glass of a broken windshield, the china that has been dropped. I am an owner of a dilapidated heart. I am the shell of the twelve year old girl that still belongs to me.

And he walks free. While I am bound by the memory of him on top of me. Or of him hitting me. Or paralysing me. Or screaming.

I always remember the screaming. There are dreams of the shouting. Of his terrifying voice reminding me of things I could never forget. “No one else wants you.” “You’re lucky I love you.” A broken record plays his favourite songs.

And I can see the hands. Perpetually raising to smack me again. Reaching to grab me again. To push me again. Rape me again. I rolled with the punches.

His friends were his defense in the trial that did not take place. They told me that I wanted it. That I let it happen. And you know what? They were right about the latter.

I found him not guilty of rape. I pardoned him. Even though he was guilty. He was not guilty of drugging or jumping me. He was not guilty of following me into my home. But he was guilty of manipulation. Self image mutilation. Murder of imagination. He was guilty of arson. He burned who I was alive. He was indeed a rapist. Yet he will never be found guilty of his crime.

You. Yes, you. The reader. You hate him. But that’s just it. I didn’t.

And sometimes I think I am the one who is guilty.


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