Beauty Raped I

by Alexandra Green

CAUTION: This story alludes to sexual assault as well as menstruation, which may not be suitable for all audiences. Reader discretion is advised.

I feel like a dog consuming its vomit. Numb, and forgetting that what I ate had originally caused me pain. Except that I could never forget, how could I forget that night and its rain? How could I forget myself splayed out on the oily pavement. Standing here staring at the thick black pavement I remember. Things do that, in their presence they remind us of how they were used.

This pavement was supposed to be my burial ground, but apparently I wasn’t stuffed far enough into it. Because I am still here alive, remembering and trying to retrace the night I was raped. I came to collect my thoughts. Hoping that something here will point me to something that can vindicate my mind. Or at least something substantial to try in court. Too much had happened in the hours after my wake that the assault examiner could not prove I was abused. I had laid out there all night and it rained. By the time I was given the courage to move it was too late. The water had already washed me clean. Despite the many bruises there was no evidence. No proof that interlocked me with that man. But as I stand here in the presence of my memory, what I know to be true. What else could they need? Even a blind man could believe me. Don’t they hear it in my voice— see it in my walk that I am not the woman that was? If they had known me then before it happened they would see that that woman was not standing in front of them. How could they not see?

I see it every time I catch my reflection in the mirror. Creases under my eyes that were not there before. A slight dip in my cheek hallowed from my missing teeth. The feeling I no longer feel in my hand because of the nerves that were severed under his boot. I think of all this and how my life has now been divided between two eras. Before that night the most blood I had seen was at my sister’s period party. Young, beautiful, and bold she wasn’t ashamed like me to be ushered into womanhood. Rather she was captivated and inspired to celebrate the hope of new life that her body could produce. I, on the other hand, was unforgivably timid and horribly bitter about my early bloom and the pain that would ensue from it. I was always trying to hide the evidence of it from my naive and painless friends. The morning of the party we decorated the house with red crepe streamers. Running wild through the halls laughing about the pretend bloody streaks on the wall. I remember those streaks and how they rippled from the wind that was coming in from our open kitchen window. As I turn to the brick wall in front of me I see the memory of those bloody streaks too. They did not ripple in the wind, but instead crept down the wall like spilled honey. The metallic blood that I tasted on my tingling tongue was nothing like the blood red frosting I bit into at that distant party, but it stained the same.

I remember after having been thrown against the wall and drug across the pavement that I couldn’t feel the pain anymore although I knew it was there. I could see it, I can see it now. Women, you know, are inundated with pain and the evidence of it is everywhere. I can hear it running down the street. I can feel it swelling within me. Ushered into the world through our mother’s pain and taught to endure it each month for the better half of our lives. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t surprised when I was asked to endure this. The request didn’t come from the doctor, or the police, or the man who had come out of the night’s shroud, but from my only witness. Its blood orange rays reflecting the dye of my blood on the pavement. I remember the moment it shined with what I thought could only be moral confusion. It had illuminated my dignity, showed it splattered across the pavement. Its light beckoned me up then. I stood in the street that dawn soaked from the rain, aching and tired. I suppose that’s what brought me back here.

Beauty Raped II
Alexandra Green
Image for the story Beauty Raped II