By Julia Stark

 

Silk, a lightweight material

A beautiful luxurious substance held by those of great stature, from lords to ladies

No question why a child would want to see a fabric of this caliber

But this child did not want just a look

When no one was watching, he took the fabric into the washroom

He draped the shimmering cloth along the wall where he tugged at the edges

Stretching the seams, tense

The durable cloth remained strong but the pressing and prying was far too much

Small tears traced edge to edge

Rip… rip … rip

The tiny sewn on pearls fell delicately to the floor

One after another they dropped

But only until he was satisfied and finished did his prodding cease

The torn silk that was one whole, was dusted off, wiped down and folded messily

The boy ran before a seamstress could see what he had done to the silk

But the tear was still there

Episodically I remember the night

My body shakes, my eyes flood with tears, my chest tightens

Making it harder and harder to breathe..

But that’s only first period

Some days, more

Some days, less

Some days, when I am talking to my mom about my day

But most days I rely on the same procedure to get me through the day

I leave class a bit later,

To not run into him

I avoid taking certain routes,

In the chance he might be there

If I see him

I hide

I put my head down

I cover my face

I look away

I run

Anything

Anything to get away from him

Anything for him not to see me

Or look at me, with those eyes

Those invasive eyes that continue to watch me shudder with every cold touch

Those eyes that saw the tears drench my face

But my days are not unique or special

The truth is that many people live in this world of constant fear

The fear of reliving these nightmares

The fear of receiving more pain

The fear of not being believed

These fears are common

And may reside in someone near

Maybe even you

Because the inevitable truth is this

One in three women will be sexually assaulted within their lifetime

And one in five women will be raped

Those have been statistics for so long and yet nothing has happened

Society has created a false sense of safety

But I walk the halls in constant fear

Afraid that I will see him

But he

He still walks to class

With a smile