hey there. its been years since we have spoken, for reasons so obvious to everyone but you. I'll never forget the last time I saw you walking towards me on the sidewalk, arms outstretched and a huge grin plastered on your face. time froze. I was suddenly 14 again, my room at my mothers house dimly lit by the television paused on THE STRANGERS. you said “hey girl, I didn't know you went here!" but all I heard was “come on, it's not that bad. everyone has to do it sometime. please? it can be our secret. don't you dare tell your brothers. its just you and me…" as you tried to hug me like an old friend, all I could feel was the tight grip of your hand around my limp wrist again. I snapped back to reality, nervously mumbling “umm yeah, its my first semester… gotta run." the rest of my day was spent in an anxious and terrified haze, and the next 2 years at that school was spent looking over my shoulder, avoiding you at all costs. but you know what? FUCK THAT, AND FUCK YOU. you should've known that any 14 year old girl who sees the world in her oldest brothers eyes would have trusted his best friend. you should have damn well known that using such a young, untouched girl to get your sick rocks off was wrong. wasn't there some 21 year old chick you could call, someone your own age? I'm pretty sure you knew, you fucking creep. When I told my friends, before I could utter that it wasn't what I wanted to do, they replied “OMG, hes so hot! you're so lucky!" the last thing I felt was lucky. eventually a friend's older sister told my brother about what you did. my brother confronted me in the same room that it happened in, “her sister told me that you did this with him and she said you liked it. is that true, rach?" I felt sick. of course I didn't like it, and I immediately denied all of it. I could not look at my brother, my father figure, and admit to him that his best friend had betrayed him in such a way. why? because I was terrified, traumatized, and most importantly, I was still just a kid. weeks passed, every time I came home and saw your car in my driveway I was terrified, wondering if it would happen again, and it did. multiple times, each time a new thing I never wanted to try with you. I'll never forget a time I rode up to the grocery store with my brother and you, and when my brother had his back turned on an aisle, you tried to touch me. in the fucking grocery store! I sneered at you, whispering “STOP. I have a boyfriend." you just smirked and continued trying to sneak a grab. for three years I lived with these memories, confused about what exactly had happened to me, eventually deciding it was my fault, I must have done something to lead him on… but that all changed when I was strolling down Franklin street with some of my best friends. We happened upon town hall, where Occupy Chapel Hill was set up. a long plastic table covered with colorful, free zines caught our eye, and we grabbed as many as we could hold. Later that weekend, I'm back home sitting on my mom's floor in a sea of zines, reading one entitled “On The Table: My Sexual Assaults." I broke down into tears. the woman who wrote this zine instantly became my best friend, someone who had been in my shoes, someone who understood how I felt. And most importantly, I finally understood what had happened to me, and that it wasn't my fault, and that I was not alone. it took me another year to tell my brother, and a few months after that before I could tell my mother. I wish I had told them sooner. they both want to kill you. I will always regret not pressing charges, not for my own sake but maybe to save another girl from your sick and twisted game. my mom says the day I told her was the worst day of her life, said she failed as a parent when that could never be farther from the truth. so another FUCK YOU for making my mother upset. my brother contemplated the ways he could have taken you out, but he is actually a decent human being (unlike you) so he never physically harmed you. for years, your actions impacted my life, my relationships, everything. but I am standing up, putting my foot down, and taking control. you were never powerful enough to ruin my life. I refuse to be a prisoner of my past anymore. I will proudly tell my story, as a survivor, as a warrior princess, but never for a second as a victim. you will never have that power. when I tell my story, and I hear comments like “you should have said no" “why didn't you press charges" “you were probably asking for it" I hold my head up high. these people may never understand the things I have endured, and I don't need them to. I am enough, I am beautiful, I am strong, I am in control of my own destiny, and I will never let another man make me feel small. I am so much bigger than that. so you know what? THANK YOU, ASSHOLE. thanks for throwing the shittiest obstacle my way, cause I proved to the world that I can overcome anything. and most importantly, I AM FREE.

never yours,



We Run the World

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