Fruit of Desire

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short essay about the moments after a traumatic experience with a man

Submitted: January 16, 2019

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Submitted: January 16, 2019



It was the sullen look of death in my eyes that made me realise how quickly I had succumbed to guilt. It filled my lungs with dread and brought my brittle steps to a breaking point.

That’s the thing about rape – it doesn’t just happen once. It happens over again in your head every time you see your swollen eyes staring blankly back at you. It happens each time the peppermint scent of his deodorant disperses through the air. It happens each time you lay your head against the soft touch of your pillow and remember how it was once used to muffle your screams.

And no matter how much I scrubbed the blood from my thighs that night, I would never scrub his face from inside my mind, inside of me. Not even the water could boil hot enough from within the safe confines of my shower to burn away the grease of his skin against mine.

As if my bones had been painted black with the letters of his name, I succumbed to the idea that I was no longer entirely me. I was reborn. I was a child whose only memory was the taste of a man forcing his breath into my ear.

Just like an innocent child would, I wailed on the bathroom floor until the only sound escaping my bruised throat hardly sufficed as a whisper. In that moment I was thankful I could not scream. The idea of my parents slipping from their sleep to find me stripped of my own skin terrified me.

My mother would never forgive herself if she felt the solicitous breaks along my back where his fingernails opened me. As though my spine was a ladder, he climbed – reaching further into my soul as he ascended.

There, where everything was beautiful. Where the world was made of sandcastles fending off harsh voices. There, in the depths of flowerbeds filtering my nostrils (I always liked the golden tulips best). He ravaged. My kingdom was torn apart. My flowers mutated into oozing filth at the hands of a man with a tender voice.

And my soul was made crooked. So I limped across the passageway with my gnarled soul dragging on the course ground. With one unsteady foot after the other, I forced myself outside through the stench of my memory. It must have been dreadful, for it was enough to send me plummeting to the floor yet again.

The dirt tasted better than his bitter lips. How was it possible for him to overpower me without even being present? Perhaps his strength still lay in the grunting that rattled my bones.

Even now, I struggle to fathom how one moment, one inhumane connection can seed its way into every waking hour with the same vigour. I cannot help but wonder if, in that moment, I became dependent on the phantom of his blood-scented breath.

I rolled over so that my back could at least feel the comfort of damp soil soaking my flesh. From behind my eyelids, the world was red. In an unfamiliar way, it was soothing compared to the dark outline of his wicked smile.

The gentle howling of wind made me crack open the crust of dried tears around my eyes. And the blue of the sky peering into me brought peace. It flowed like a river into my open crevices and unwound the knot along my soul. I let everything in. The birds cheering from branches, the rays of light warming my skin, the apricot smell wafting from branches. And then it happened.

My vertebrae dug into the ground, rooting me where I lay. I bore the fruit of desire and donated it to God. I left myself and the memory I had made and suddenly I could no longer taste the lies I was forced to swallow. The child within me grew once more. Relentlessly.

© Copyright 2019 K. Wayland. All rights reserved.

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