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I am a nursing infant—dependent, fragile as a silk ribbon bow. My first word comes later on: baby.


I am now a kindergartner, choosing my own favorite color because it's my favorite.


Mom is always on the outside of the bathroom stall and I can finally color inside the lines perfectly. 


I am now a fourth-grader, skipping in the field with my six closest friends during recess. We get invited to play kickball with the boys—we win.


I am now a middle-schooler, with handfuls of loyal friends to whom I tell everything. I giggle when the boys catch me looking at them. I sit on my parent's bed every night to tell them all that had happened that day. My eyes start to gently close and I fall asleep.


I am now a sophomore in high school, devoted to schoolwork and staying active. I can finally stay out until 11:30.


I am now a senior in high school and I have been raped. He calls me 'baby' and giggles when he's done. I cringe and I cry and I call for help in an empty home. My humanity, as delicate as a bow, taken from me with one swift pull.


My mother is now in the bathroom stall with me with a grocery bag of "clean up" supplies and the Morning-After Pill. I leave the bathroom, head hung low, shoulders turned in, cheeks tight from an episode of tears—resembling the losing team of a kickball game.


My self-confidence has been completely disassembled and both my body and heart start to mirror the effects of the internal demolishing. I can't seem to choose my favorite color anymore, because my voice that made those screams that day is seemingly unheard and the words of which I'm screaming are seemingly negligible. 


I tell none of my friends because he is one of them. I cower at any man who gets too close. I am now home, every evening, before the sun goes down.


And now when my eyes start to close at night, I see her limp body lying on a mysterious bed in a mysterious house, afraid to look her parents in the eyes and tell them that the lines she's so carefully stayed within all of her life were crossed, without her permission.



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