This post has been both painful and therapeutic to write. I wrote it only because Diana Abu-Jaber dared me to. It was her writing exercise in Write Now! (Fiction). The exercise was to write for half and hour about my first experience with it! It took me a little more than half an hour but when I was done, I felt good about it. Then I took it on over to Grammarly to grammar check this post, because, well, I love how smart I feel when it’s done!
So here it is, grammar perfect, and spelling mistake-free. I want to give you a quick heads up before you go on. What I’ve written below is something I have only ever told one person, who ended up using it against me. Hubby read it before so he knows, and now you will too! I decided to share this because I know I’m not the only person who has ever been through something like this. It’s painful and embarrassing to talk about, but there is healing in talking about it. (Okay, before I scare you away, keep reading.)
I was a little girl that didn’t understand the concept of not talking to strangers, especially when it was to lure me to his ice cream cart in broken Spanish. What did I know about perverts? I knew nothing. But I learned really quick.
I saw the man with his mustache and big straw hat stop his ice-cream cart at the side of the road, near the start of the path that lead onto our farm. I stopped in my tracks, curious, he watched me; I watched him right back. Then he began motioning for me to come to him. He pointed towards the top of his ice-cream cart and then held up his index finger. Although he was speaking Spanish, I understood free ice-cream. Joyful and giddy, I ran towards his ice-cream cart. Mama never let me have ice-cream, so if I were going to get it for free, I wasn’t about to let anyone stop me.
As I got closer to the big hombre with his yellowing teeth, I began having second thoughts. He smelled horrible too! But still I wanted to have that ice cream. I pointed towards the label of an ice-cream cone on the side. I stood back and expected him to reach in and get it for me. But instead he motioned for me to step on the step-type thing at the bottom of the cart. He wanted me to step up, and get it myself.
The present version of me wants to travel back in time to that moment, and prevent the younger version of me from being senseless enough to do it. But I can’t, I can only look back and watch in horror as the little me steps onto that little ledge, and reaches for the ice-cream. How was I to know that the smelly old Mexican with the mustache and straw hat was going to trap me against that little cart. I know I realized something was wrong when my dress was lifted up and his cold-smelly-rough hands began touching me.
He had the sense to leave my little girl panties alone while he grinded his hardened crotch against my back. By then I had lost my appetite for ice-cream. I looked around frantically hoping that, by some chance, someone would see and come to my rescue.
I want to say that one of my foster brothers saw me and chased the old Mexican pervert away by throwing stones at him, but I’m afraid that it might be my imagination. Truly, I don’t remember why he stopped, but when he finally let go – maybe God gave me the strength to push myself back hard enough to get the man off me – either way, I never went near the ice-cream cart again.
When I saw it coming down the road, actually most of the time I had heard it before I saw it, I would be overcome with dread. I would run into the house and stay there until I was sure he was gone. Sadly, it was only the first pervert I would encounter. Each would be just a bit worse than the last, leaving bigger emotional scars than the one before. To the point where, growing up, I was sure no man would want to marry me. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw a piece of used goods – trash that men only wanted for the moment – not the precious child that God had created to be cherished and loved.