As I walked into the hospital, I could feel my anger begin to boil up inside. I wondered, if I had I made the right choice to come to the hospital and see the man that had destroyed my future. I struggled to move forward when all I want to do was turn and run away. I mustered all the strength I could find and decided to press forward. As I got closer to his room, I purposed to face the man responsible for stealing my innocence and casting my life into a pit of darkness. I wanted to stare into the eyes of the man who had robbed me of a life of joy and happiness and left me half dead with a void of life inside.
My mind began to race, as I drew closer to his room. What did he want with me? Did he care what he had done to me? Was I alone or was I just one of many that had the misfortune of meeting him? Why me? Why me? Are the questions that began to run across my mind, like an out of control tire running downhill. As I turned to enter his room, the years of anger turned to rage and the rage began to take over me. I started imagining me wrapping my hands around his neck and laughing as I choked the life out of him. I saw myself placing his pillow over his head and smothering him to death, stealing from him the very life he stole from me. I could feel tears running down my face, but they were not tears of sorrow, but tears of rage and anger. I tried to control them, be they it was too late.
I finally walked into the room, I saw his daughter weeping from a corner of the small room. What does she know? I wondered. Was she a victim too? At this point, I chose to stay silent, because my eyes were drawn to the figured that laid in the bed right in front of me. I struggled within me as i tried to compare the feeble man lying on that bed with the man snatched my innocence. I could not bring myself to imagine that this was the same person. I secretly smiled to myself, as I realized that time had done to him what I wish that I had done. Time had stolen his vitality. What was lying on that bed was a shell of the strong evil man and that shell was clinging to its life like a small child clinging to a blanket for security at night.
Suddenly, without warning, his frail almost lifeless arm appeared from under the cover beckoning me to move closer to him. I moved towards to him, torn between rage and fear. I felt the horror of that 15-year-old girl when her body felt like collapsing under the weight of his body. Considering the woman I am today, I had the power to snatch the life from his feeble grip. Once again, tears began to flow down as I tried to comprehend what he was saying. His breathless low voice said, “I am sorry”. Not once but he said it again, ”I am sorry”. My mind flew back to that night. The night that altered my life. The night that I not only almost took my life but was on the verge of losing my mind. Oh! That night was filled with so much pain, anger, and hate. ….That night…
The details of that day replaying in my mind over and over in the past, here I was having to deal with then replaying yet again. I felt as though I was in a scene in a horror movie and the movie would not move on to the next scene. It was continuously repeating the same scene. Once again I had to deal with relieving the pain and shame again. At this point, I could not help it as the whole scenario flashed back so vividly.
It was a warm summer night and I was babysitting for a family friend and her husband. They stayed out longer than expected and thus I had to spend the night as it was too late for me to go back home at that time of the night. So I stretched out on their couch in their TV room and began flipping through the channels before I dozed off. I woke up to Pam’s soft voice singing a song that she must have heard during her date night. I could tell from her the playful melody of her voice that she had enjoyed the date and that she was pleasantly drunk. I smiled to myself as I listened to her sing and dance her way up the stairs. A little later, I heard someone else enter the house. There was a lot of commotion and banging from the kitchen and then I heard the person say, “Pam I will be upstairs in a moment”. I did not pay much attention so I drifted back to sleep
I work up suddenly in fear. A fear I had come to know all too well. As I looked around trying to quickly assess what had caused me to be wake up overcome by fear. I realized that I had been stripped off my clothing and I had on was my bra and pants. As I started to yell, I felt Jack’s (Pam’s husband) hand tight around my neck. With one hand on my neck, he placed the other hand firmly against my libs. He said, “ Be quiet or I will snap your neck” and I did not doubt him. As I laid still, slowly losing consciousness, anger forced one sentence from my lips. I said, “This will cost you!” as tears flowed down from my eyes. He took his hand from my throat and reach down and grasped a $50 bill out of his pants that were lying on the floor. He balled it up it one hand and with the other, he forced my mouth open. He took the crumpled up bill and shoved it in my mouth. Then he said, “One sound and that will be the last thing you ever taste.”
So, I lied there, with tears running down my faces. As his cold dry hands violated me, as he forced himself on me, the smell of alcohol intoxicating me.
I feel myself being yanked back into the present moment, once again. I felt a familiar painful grasp on my arm as he pulls me close to his face. I can feel his hot breath on my check. I can smell death on him. Again he looks at me with a tear in his eyes and says, “I am sorry,” but before my mind can register his next word. My mind tells starts speaking to me,” You could do it now, no one would blame you.” I shake off the sound of my own voice and I hear my voice say, ”I forgive you.” I can hardly believe it so I listen a little close and again the voice, my voice says, ”I forgive you.” Then if that was not enough, I heard myself praying for his soul. After praying, all I could do to find the chair and collapsed into it for a while.
As I walked out of his room, I felt like all my strength had been drained. When I finally made it to my car, I threw myself into the driver side seat and raised all the windows up and I began to cry uncontrollably. The uncontrollable cry became a fit of rage. I screamed and howled. I smashed on the steering wheel and banged my head uncontrollably on the headrest. My fit lasted for what seemed like hours and drained what was left of my energy. When I was able to come back to myself, I just sat in total silence. For the first time in my life, I sat in perfect silence and even time seem to stop and sit with me. So we just sat there me and time, not past, no future, just now.
As I sat there, I began to hear a voice rise from the depth of my soul, a voice that somehow I knew, but had never met. Her voice was so calm, so peaceful and so comforting. The last name the voice called out, astonished me. I listened as that voice began calling out names. Names of people that I knew, names of people who had in some way offended me. After each name, I hear the voice say,” I forgive you. Lisa, I forgive you.”
Tears were the order of that day and this is another instance where they rolled down my cheeks yet again. I cried, but it was a different kind of cry. I was not angry, I felt no pain but I was at peace. My mind and heart had found rest from all the pain I had suffered in my past. I was standing in the light of my life alone there were no shadow to block the sun. There were no shackles to bind me to the past.
There was just me completely free.