“Hey baby! Wait up!” clutching her bag tighter, the woman began to walk quickly, almost jogging. The man was still following her, he had been for a good ten minutes. She hadn’t noticed him at first, while she could have ducked into a shop or ran to a house to seek help, only when she entered the business district did she hear the heavy footsteps trying to sync with hers. She heard him making kissing sounds again, she prayed he wouldn’t catch up with her. Ducking her head down she tried to make herself smaller. The sound of her footsteps echod off the surrounding buildings, each one joining the others creating a cacophony that drowned out the sound of her pursuer. Her heart beat steadily in her ears. “Please, no, don’t come closer, please” she whispered over and over to herself. A hand grabbed her shoulder and forcefully spun her around; he had managed to catch up to her without her hearing. His face was obscured by shadows, but it was bright enough to see the leer he wore, he shoved her against the building and before she had time to react, he was on top of her, his hands invading her body, he moved her arm against her neck as she opened her mouth to scream, in the corner of her eye she could see the knife that hand held. She felt his hand between the fork of her legs, using his hand and foot he forced her legs wider. He removed his hand, she shut her eyes and she heard the sound of his zipper being lowered. His hand, once more between her legs, he pulled at her skirt, pulling it up, searching for her panty line, finding it, his thick, meaty fingers began to tug it lower. Her breathing quickened and she felt light headed “You’re gonna like this, won’t you slut? Yeah, this is what you want isn’t it?” his weight against her was crushing, she couldn’t breathe. The buildings around her began to swirl, thin dots of red and black flashed across her vision as darkness fell across her eyes, in her last seconds of consciousness she prayed someone would find them, stop him before he penetrated her.
When she awoke she was leaning against the wall, breathing heavily, she was in a different part of town. She tried to remember what happened as great gasps filled her lungs. Had she run away? Did she manage to wriggle free? Did he rape her? Did she hurt him? She looked down and moaned, her clothes had dark blotches, they were sticky and cold. A metallic tang hung in the air. Turning towards the wall she tried not to vomit, bringing up her hand to block her mouth. As it touched her skin she realised her hand was wet too. Shaking, she took it away from her mouth and, seeing it was dark underneath the glow of the streetlights, she vomited. Seeing the back of her hand was still clean, reflecting pale yellow light, she wiped her mouth with it. It came away with dark streaks. The blood was starting to congeal. She could feel it, gritty and thick beneath her fingernails. It took her a moment to register where she was and, recognising the area, she looked around furtively then started home, trying not to wretch as her nostrils filled with the smell of blood and her clothes began to stick to her skin.
Making it home without being seen she took off her skirt, then, used a scissors to cut away the top, she couldn’t bear to have the congealed blood scrape across her face. She went to the bathroom, stripping out of her underwear as she went. She noted that she still had her panties, as she waited for the shower to warm she looked in the mirror, her face was coated in blood, great patches covered her creamy skin which was startling in contrast, large clumps of her hair were stuck together with blood. One of her eyes had swollen, the surrounding area was puffy and bruised. She had a few shallow cuts on her arms and a bruise, slowly blooming on her neck. Grabbing a face cloth she soaked it in water and started to wash the blood off her face. Her face, cleaned of blood, still looked pale, she wondered if she was in shock. The bruise, dark purple, was a striking contrast. There was no way she would be able to hide it. She hissed as she prodded at the bruise. Then, with a shaky hand, checked to see if she had been violated. She couldn’t feel any soreness, but, if she was in shock, she might not realise she was hurt. She didn’t feel her eye throbbing until she touched at the bruise. She sighed with relief as she found no evidence she had been raped. Stepping from the mirror, she stepped into the shower, not testing the water. It was hotter than usual, but she ignored it and began to wash away the blood.
She watched as it swirled down the drain, bright pink along with darker lumps. She tilted her head back, not wanting to close her eyes, and rinsed her hair, checking for any cuts. Finding none she grabbed the soap and began to wash herself.
Her skin, already pink from the hot water, began to go bright, angry red as she scrubbed it violently, trying to cleanse herself of the event she could not remember. She wondered if she should go to the police, but tell them what? She blacked out and woke up far away from where she was attacked, covered in blood? What if the man was found dead? No one would believe she couldn’t remember. This wasn’t the first time she blacked out. It had happened before when she was hurt. There were long gaps in her childhood. Sometimes weeks would disappear in seconds. But as far as she knew she had never hurt anyone before.
The water in the shower grew hotter and steam filled the room, finally turning the water off she stepped out and wrapped a towel around herself. Going into the sitting room she sat on a large, comfy armchair and curled into a ball. Resting her chin on her knees. She could still vaguely taste vomit in her mouth, she wanted to brush her teeth but the adrenaline had worn off, she felt incredibly tired. Moving out of the armchair seemed impossible. Her throat began to throb. I’ll have to get a cold drink to sooth it, the thought flitted through her mind as she dropped into unconsciousness, tears flowed from beneath her eyes, soaking into the towel. She slept in the armchair, her eyes shedding secret tears, had she been awake she might have realised it was the first time she cried since she was five.
When she woke the next morning, for a few sleepy seconds she was surprised to find herself on the armchair, wrapped in a towel. As she tried to move, her calves cried out in protest, she swallowed the saliva in her mouth, feeling her throat tighten and burn, what had happened the night before came rushing forward. Slowly she stood and, moving carefully made her way into her room, it was Saturday, she was free from work. Carefully she dressed in pyjamas, then, grabbing a pair of thick, fluffy socks, she shuffled back into the sitting room. The arm chair had a large, damp patch where her hair had been. Sitting on the couch she put on the socks then moved toward the kitchen. The thought of events the night before filled her with nausea. Unable to eat, she went to the cupboard and grabbed out a packet of aspirin, as she was about to take some, she remembered the medication she had been given for migraines the month before, reaching deeper into the cabinet, she found the pack, and, taking one, she painfully swallowed it with a gulp of ice cold water. She sat on the couch, blanket wrapped around her, the night before running through her mind. Remembering the blood she could feel under her nails, she glanced down and was horrified to see that there were still some small residues left under the nail. She washed her hands three times, scrubbing them with a nail brush, when she was done they were a deep red, the skin painful to touch. She brushed her teeth repeatedly, worried that some blood had gone in her mouth at some point. The mint of the toothpaste replaced the taste of stale vomit and plaque that coated her mouth, beneath which was a faint coppery taste. Moving back into the sitting room she picked up the blanket and sat back down, the couch was still slightly warm. Grabbing the remote she turned on the TV, trying to take her mind off what had happened. The painkiller had begun to kick in as she stared blankly at the moving images, she slipped into another world, far away from the one her body inhabited.
Snapping out of her daze she felt a few hunger pangs, she smiled. Those painkillers were good stuff, she had the munchies. The need for food overpowered the desire to stay on the couch and she made herself a bowl of soup and a ham sandwich. She would have liked the sandwich toasted but didn’t want to hurt her throat further.
She watched the news, fearful of what might be on it. Halfway through a picture flashed on the screen, it was her attacker. She closed her eyes, unable to look at him, listening to the newscaster’s reports. The police had found his body floating in the river, a good distance from the business district. As the newscaster announced he was strangled, her hand twinged, then squeezed involuntarily. Before the newscaster could finish her sentence, she had picked up the remote and changed the channel. She couldn’t listen anymore. She didn’t think she would have been able to bring his body all the way to the river, but when she had regained consciousness, she wasn’t that far away from there. She started to breathe heavily, trying again not to vomit. Closing her eyes she felt darkness rushing towards her and with a slight smile tugging at her lips, she gave in and let it take over.