Survival is not always about fighting to stay alive.
Sometimes survival is about doing nothing to get out of a bad situation. At least that’s what I learned that night.
While the thief who stole my soul slept off whatever he had (supposedly) taken, I dared not move. The last thing I wanted was to wake him up and chance him having another go at me. I lay paralyzed like a dead person next to him. In a way, Dex had killed me but he had also given life to something else inside of me – a calm raging hate that burned my heart clean of him for good.
What is it that people say? That there’s a fine line between love and hate? Well, I’m here to say that there can also be a very thick line between love and hate when you choose for it to be.
I won’t go into detail like I did yesterday. But I will tell you that when he finally woke and sauntered off to the bathroom to take a shower, he didn’t even look twice at me. It was as if I wasn’t even there and nothing had happened. As I listened to him humming in the shower, I pulled my pants on, checked that my cell was still in my hoodie pocket and sat on the edge of the bed.
No, I didn’t run for the door.
No, I didn’t call anyone for help.
And no, I wasn’t panicked enough to do either of those two things.
Somehow all of my fear had drained from my body. I was just totally numb.
I heard his heavy steps coming closer and then he appeared at the bedroom door with two steaming mugs of coffee, taking up like where we had left off months before. Without saying a word, he handed me a cup. The thought of throwing the hot liquid into his face crossed my mind but I didn’t. My hand was in the lion’s mouth so instead I refused to take it. He shrugged and set the mug down on the night stand. Then I observed him as he nonchalantly got dressed for work.
“You rape me and then offer me coffee?” I heard myself asking. My voice didn’t even sound like my own.
Without looking at me, he continued putting on and buttoning his shirt up. “You are crazy. I didn’t rape you. We had sex.” Dex wasn’t even fazed by my accusation and all I kept wondering was how I ever could have fallen for this criminal.
“You raped me. You forced yourself on me. What you did was sick and wrong.”
“I did what you wanted me to do Cara. You said that you wanted me, remember?”
Of course, I remembered being forced to say those words but like I already told you, I really had no choice.
“You made me say it. Otherwise you would have hurt me…”
By that time, Dex was fully dressed and gave me his full attention.
“Hurt you? You don’t have any bruises and I didn’t force you to say anything. If you didn’t want to have sex, you should have said no, right? If I forced you to do anything, why are you still here? Right now, I’m not forcing you to stay, am I?”
To this day, I still don’t know how I managed to have such a calm conversation with such a sick bastard.
“You didn’t use a condom.”
“You’re on the pill and I’m clean. No big deal.” Dex picked up his keys and wallet. “Lock the door on your way out.”
And just like that, Dex dismissed me and left, tossing me aside like the condom he hadn’t used.
It all sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
I know it does because when I think back to it, it sounds crazy to me too. But I’m telling the God’s honest truth. That’s how it all went down.
When he was gone, I went straight to the bathroom and dry-heaved the little that was left in my stomach into the toilet and then splashed water on my face. The eyes of the girl staring back from the bathroom mirror were vacant and hollow. My head was pounding and when I opened his medicine cabinet to find some Tylenol, that’s when I saw his Epipen staring back at me.
Do you remember when I told you that Dex had a peanut allergy? Well, I hadn’t thought about it in such a long time that I had almost forgotten too until I opened that medicine cabinet. I had argued with him once about being macho by not having one handy at all times. I remembered his stupid response about how very careful he was about what he ate and that I need not worry.
You won’t believe me when I say that both Abuela and that Epipen whispered to me:
“Camaron que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.”
So yeah, Dex violated me, left me alone in his apartment and I was not about to miss this opportunity.
You know what I was thinking. And you know what I did…
Because you would have thought and done the exact same thing as me.
You’re only human just like me. And when life hands you a lemon, sometimes making lemonade is just not enough.
Continuation: T is for “Therapy”
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