Estimated read time: 25 minutes
“Well, you could just go to one of those runaway shelters for teens,” she offers neutrally, as if just making a simple weather observation on a beautiful day.
“What!?” I practically scream. “Another shelter? Mom, are you serious!? What the hell’s wrong with you?” I can’t calm down this time, and the accusations fly rampant from the very core of my tortured soul at the horrible realization that my worst fears are coming true yet again. “I’m supposed to be your daughter, remember!?”
“I know, and I’m sorry, baby. You know how much mommy loves you, and you’ll always be my little girl,” she says so sweetly, sounding like a young child herself again. As always, I want so very badly to believe her, but I know I can’t.
Suddenly, her tone and demeanor flip to callous again as if someone had changed the station her mind was playing. “Look, I’m having a lot of fun with this guy, so please don’t ruin it for me, OK? Your brother can stay, but you have to go.” She can’t even look at me as she says it. “I can’t keep him from hurting you, ya know? Although I’ve tried to explain that it’s just his way of wanting to love you too, but if you don’t like it, then you just need to leave. He says you’re causing too many problems, and your brother doesn’t do that.”
“MOTHER! He’s molesting me! ” I scream at the top of my lungs. “”LOOK at this, Mother!” I exclaim as I rip my shirt open, buttons disappearing into thin air, just like I wish I could. “I can’t even wear a bra because I hurt so bad from the cigarette burns on my chest! It’s like he’s a sexual sadist or something! It’s Dad all over again!” I’m too angry this time to succumb to the sobs which threaten to choke me. “I saw you last night, Mom. I saw you peek around the corner of the door frame, and I reached out to you over his shoulder for help, but you left. You just left me there AGAIN, and I hate you!”
“Oh, grow up, Jessica! It’s not like he’s actually having sex with you.” she retorts in a huff.
I couldn’t believe it, although I don’t know why not. She really thought that just because a guy wasn’t penetrating me with his manhood that it was ok, just like when I was growing up. I told them, I think to myself, I told the therapists and judge this was only an act. Neither one of my real parents will EVER change!
I turn abruptly to leave, but am caught firmly and squarely by my shoulders. “Just where do you think you’re going?” Dan asks with a coy smirk. I feel the vomit rise in my throat once again as he leans down to whisper in my ear, “I need my sweet nectar today.”
“LET… ME… GO!” a voice I barely recognize as being my own spits through clenched teeth.
“Baby, just let her go. We don’t need her.” My mother says as she walks by me without even a glance, grabbing his arm on the way out. “You have me, baby, and I’m never going to leave you,” she coos. “Come on, you can do whatever you want to me… You sick f**k,” she baits him with an evil grin. At that, he lets me go and grabs a fist-full of mom’s hair as he drags her into the bedroom.
“Mama, please come with me! Mama!” I beg, as the door slams shut behind them. I know, as always, that my pleas are not being heard. She is in that crazy perverted cycle again of being turned on by everything evil in the universe. This time, I run outside and heave myself over the edge of the balcony, allowing the vomit to spew forth violently as sobs of anguish finally take over. I don’t even notice the vehicle pull up in the driveway. “Jessie!” I hear Adrien’s concerned voice as he races towards me, catching me as I collapse like an old beaten up rag doll, into his arms.
Years later, I would wonder if this was my mother’s twisted way of protecting me. She had a nasty habit of being with the worst of men, and she chose to put those men above her own children every single time. Being extremely co-dependent and seemingly addicted to abuse, maybe the only way she knew how to protect me from her own insane choices was to hate me and push me away.
On the other hand, the few times when she got the courage to leave a man so it would be just the two of us (or the three of us when she took my brother too) those were the happiest memories I have of her, because she became like a child herself again and even seemed genuinely happy sometimes. Unfortunately, those periods were far and few in-between. Living through her extreme highs and lows was exhausting and confusing. First she hated me, then she loved me and it always bordered on the extreme. Between her mental instability and all the drugs, I never knew from day to day which personality I might wake up to, and it sometimes changed frequently throughout the day.
“Adrien, just take me downtown, please,” I manage to say quietly over the roaring ache in my heart as I try to force myself to become numb once again. I am so sick of the hurt and pain.
“Are you sure that’s what you want, Jessie?” my boyfriend implores, silently begging for a different answer as he gently brushes the tears from my cheeks.
“Yes,” I answer. “I mean, I don’t know what else to do or where to go, Adrien. I can’t go back to another shelter, and you don’t want your parents to find out about my family, right?” I ask with the hidden hope that he might get over his fears and bring me to his parents’ house for help instead. After all, his father was the chief of police and a top-ranking military official. Surely he would be able to do something or have some ideas.
“No” he offers sadly, shaking his head. “They’re just too strict and religious, you know that. They’re so judgmental and would never understand any of this and they like you, Jess. I don’t want them not to like you anymore because of your family.”
He was right, I knew. We had been together for over two years now and they seemed to adore me. I felt so lucky to have people like that in my life, and I didn’t want to lose them either. I knew what he meant though. They did seem like the kind of people who would hate me if they knew where I came from, out of fear if nothing else, and they also seemed to think they were better than everyone else. In their eyes, we both feared I could never be good enough for their son if they knew the truth. He was born on the right side of the tracks and I was born on the wrong side.
As we drive in silence to the city, I can’t escape the sadness and devastation I feel for what my mother is doing to me, again. The state had revoked her and my dad’s parental rights when I was 12 in order to protect me from them, but she was hoping to regain custody of me now, five years later. First, she would have to prove to be a fit parent, so I was sent on a home visit.
During the weekdays I was supposed to stay with her and my little brother in their apartment. But, during the weekend I had to stay back at “The Center for Boys & Girls,” a residential facility where I had been living for the past two years. The first week at home didn’t seem so bad, even though I had to run drug deals for her again. At least she’s not in the cycle of letting some man beat on us, I would think.
Much to my dismay however, I returned home from the second weekend only to discover our apartment was completely empty. The note on the refrigerator read, ““Guess what, angel – I met someone new Friday night after you left and we moved in together Saturday! J His name’s Dan, so call when you get back and we’ll come pick you up. This is gonna be great kid, I promise!” What choice did I have but to move in with another strange man my mother “hooked up” with over the weekend. It still seemed better than foster care, because the Center just couldn’t keep me any longer. Hmmm… I really don’t think THIS is going to be the type of loving environment, nor example of responsible parenting the judge said she needed to display though, I think with contempt.
Unfortunately, I was right. The guy turned out to be another one of those class acts she had a way of attracting, like bees to honey. I knew I shouldn’t feel surprised when she kicked me out again, discarding me like disposable waste, but it never ceased to crush my soul. Having nowhere to call home once again, the thought of my 18th birthday and the emancipation it would bring couldn’t come fast enough and I was certain that if I could just get by on my own until then, all of this would be over.
We are halfway to the city when my cell phone rings. It’s my girlfriend, Sabrina. She and I had lived together at The Center for the past couple of years, and she had been returned back into her family’s care as well. She was a bit younger than me, although she looked a lot older due to her gorgeous Indian heritage. “What you doin’ girlfriend?” she asks with a happy innocence, not realizing that I was on the run again. So I gave her the short, unemotional version. Much to my surprise she pleaded, “Come get me, Jessie, come get me! I want to go with you, please!” I felt responsible for her and worried, because she was far more impulsive than I ever was. Plus, I knew she had a good family, so I tried to talk her out of it. Secretly, I must admit I thought it would be a comfort not to be alone though.
“I have money that will help us,” she continued, “a couple hundred dollars. I just can’t stand being back here pretending to be one big happy family and all.” For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why she would want to keep running away from a warm, safe place to sleep where she got plenty of food and clothes. Because we had been in residential care together, I knew she had never been abused by anyone in her immediate family. They were very loving and protective of her. Why did she want to keep screwing up, I wondered to myself sadly. “Jessie, you know I’m just going to run away by myself again anyways, so you’d better take me with you. At least it’ll be safer if the two of us stick together.”
Feeling worn down yet, comforted at the thought of not being alone, I finally asked Adrien, “Can we make a detour, please? Sabrina only lives about 20 minutes from here and I’d like to go get her first.” So, we did and it was dark by the time the three of us reached the city.
“I can’t deal with all this, Adrien… I think I need a drink. Just drive around downtown and we’ll tell you when to stop, OK?” I wink at Sabrina who’s bouncing up and down in the back seat eager for whatever adventure awaits us.
“I suppose. If that’s what you want,” he replies with obvious disapproval. I begin to feel a bit better at the thought of letting loose for awhile, figuring it won’t be too difficult to find someone of age who will buy us some booze.
“Check out that group over there,” Sabrina points out, “on the other side of the bridge.” I follow her gaze, instructing Adrien to slowly drive us past them as Sabrina and I roll down our windows.
“Hey, hey pretty thing!” was one of the more subtle shout outs that flew our way. “Come over here, baby, we’ll get you hooked up,” followed by plenty of hoots, hollers and whistles.
“Stop here, stop here!” Sabrina squeals. I’m hesitant, because something doesn’t feel right. “They look like a group of gang bangers Sabrina,” I laugh nervously, looking over the crowd of African-American men. “But, they’re being really nice,” she pleads. “They didn’t even call us their b*tches or hoes or anything! Come on, I want to stop here.”
They might label us those things once they get an eye-full of what you’re wearing, I think nervously to myself. Sabrina often dressed like a slut, but I loved her to death. “OK, OK!” I agree.
As we approach the group, the oldest man, Darren as I would find out later, steps forward assuming the lead. His demeanor seems different than the younger, more obnoxious guys behind him. He is dressed well and is very polite when he speaks. I explained that I wasn’t looking to party with anyone or score anything other than a few beers and a bottle of booze for ourselves. He said he could hook us up no problem and called for one of the younger guys, Eric, to join him. I gave him some money and they went into an apartment building across the street. That’s when I realized that Sabrina had joined the younger group and was flirting heavily with all of them. Great! I think to myself, always the party girl. “Get over here, Sabrina!” I exclaim as I pull her along and we walk a ways down the bridge with Adrien, waiting for Darren to return with our liquor.
After what seemed like forever, Darren came back to us saying their man ripped him off. Of course, none of us believed that, but somehow they convinced us that they were genuinely sorry and would pay us back if we could just give them a ride to the bank in the morning. They suggested we all stay the night together, so we could be sure they weren’t trying to rip us off too. Darren even wrote a check out to Adrien after he called and told his wife about what happened (at least this is what we were led to believe and overheard on our end.) So, once we all agreed on what to do, Adrien drove us to the hotel, just as naïve as any of us could be.
“I love you, Adrien, and we’ll be OK. Quit worrying, would ya?” I grin in an attempt to convince myself, as well as to ease his troubled mind.
“I know, I know,” he says rather unconvincingly. “It’s just that I love you so much, and I wish there was more I could do.” We hug tight for a long time.
“Look, you’ll be back in the morning to pick us up. We’ll all go to the bank, have some breakfast and figure out our plans from there, ok? It’s so late. I just want to have a couple of drinks and go sleep. Besides, your parents will worry if you stay out any longer.” Adrien is glaring at Darren and Eric standing behind me now in the hotel lobby. “Look, these guys have been calling you sir all night for God’s sake, and that one’s married even – we’ll be perfectly safe staying with them, honest! Sabrina and I are gonna crash on one bed and the guys will pass out on another.” He lets out a low agonizing sigh.
“Be back by eight, OK?” I ask him, eyebrows raised expectantly. Sabrina and the guys chime in their own assurances now as he lowers his head in defeat, clearly outnumbered and walks toward the hotel doors. He glances over his shoulder at me longingly one last time before he exits. Much to my own surprise, tears threaten to spill over, and I try to blink them away. Why do I feel like it’s the last time I’m going to ever see him, I wonder, as I notice vomit rising in my throat again. I swallow hard.
“Let’s go party, honey!” Sabrina squeals as she pulls me along towards the elevator. Here we go, I think and try to smile although I’m unable to match her enthusiasm. “Ladies first,” declares one of the men as they make a grand gesture for us to lead the way.
“This is it!” Sabrina exclaims with excitement as we approach room #315. It’s a decent suite with mini bar, fireplace, a couple of beds and a sleeper sofa. Plenty of room, I think as the men began pouring us shots. An hour later the music is blaring, we’re all dancing, and there is a sequence of knocks on the door. Darren says he’ll be right back. When he returns, he makes four lines of white powder on the coffee table. “Ready for some real juice?” he inquires with a devilish grin.
“Hey man, we’re not lookin’ to score, remember? We just wanted to drink some,” I remind him. Completely ignoring me, Darren and Eric snort their lines then hand us the straws. “Sabrina!” I scold as she reaches for one of the tubes of destruction. “I have to go to the bathroom… NOW please!” I insist, anger flashing in my eyes. She giggles as she follows me into bathroom and I lock the door. “You didn’t really come to run away with me, did you?” I accuse her. I am both sad and furious at her deception.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she states matter of factly, while checking her makeup in the mirror.
“This isn’t about me being safer with you or that you’re having a hard time at home. You just needed to get another fix, didn’t you, Sabrina? You want to party don’t you?” My gut turns as a smile forms across her lips, and I realize her own hidden agenda. Suddenly our situation doesn’t look so innocent anymore. I try a different approach, confessing that I don’t like doing drugs, and I have a really bad feeling about this. “We just shouldn’t do it. Besides, we don’t even know what’s in that stuff,” I plead with her.
She tries to calm me down by saying she does cocaine all the time, and there’s nothing to worry about. “Besides, I promise not to leave your side,” she says, a wicked smile forming on her lips.
“But, I’m scared and I think these guys might try do something to us if we go through with this. Something doesn’t feel right Sabrina and I’m not having fun anymore,” I complain.
“Geez, would you grow up!” she snaps, sounding like my mother. Finally, I give in, but only after making her swear that we’ll stay joined at the hip all night and even go to the bathroom together. Still not feeling any more secure even after her constant reassurance, we rejoin the guys.
After all, where else was I going to go? I had given these guys the only money I had to buy us booze while Sabrina had paid for the room and probably the blow, too. It will all be OK in the morning, I try to reassure myself.
The guys obviously sense my hesitation now, because they keep insisting they will take good care of us. Finally, pushing all reservations to the back of my mind, I take a swig of JD and lean over my line. Sabrina and I snort at the same time while the guys cheer us on.
“Keep the lights off, b-tch!” He reaches around me to flip the switch off for the second time while the room’s only light flickers from the fireplace and TV. I grab for the door handle, but he slams his arms against it and over my head, his frame clearly overpowering my own. I clamp my eyes shut taking a deep breath. He allows me to duck under his arm and I quickly back away, recoiling from his harsh whispers as the fear rises inside of me and ties my stomach into knots even though Darren hasn’t touched me yet. In fact, he’s been a perfect gentleman all night, keeping a respectful distance from me while Sabrina and Eric seem to be hitting it off. But then Sabrina broke her word to me and disappeared into the bathroom with him. Now Darren keeps asking me to “just sit” beside him on the bed, but I won’t. Even though I did a line and drank my fair share earlier, I quit while everyone else continued to party, and the reality of our situation really began to sober me up.
I hear obvious sexual overtones coming from the bathroom. Really Sabrina, I think, thoroughly pissed at the idea of what must be going on. I knock on the door, and when there’s no reply, I walk in.
I can’t believe what I am seeing. My best friend has done more than break her promise to me. She is completely naked and straddling Eric on the toilet seat. They don’t even bother to stop as I stand watching them in disbelief. Instead, they both smile at me as Sabrina reaches out a hand, “Come join us, gorgeous.”
Suddenly, I am yanked from behind by my hips. “Get out here and give me some of that, you little tease!” I back across the room shrinking under Darren’s dark, lustful gaze until the back of my legs hit the window sill. I allow my trembling knees to give way as I sit down. I am terrified yet, remain defiant of this man who perches himself on the edge of the bed across from me. I watch with growing trepidation as he kicks off his shoes and removes his shirt. My God, I think noticing how ripped he is, he’s huge! His physical build becomes much more intimidating, reminding me of my real dad who used to compete in body building championships. “Look, I’m sorry for what my friend is doing, but that doesn’t change my mind. I have a boyfriend so I’m NOT having sex with you, and I don’t think your wife would appreciate it either.” I assert with all my strength and clarity.
“Oh yes you are, baby doll,” he growls hungrily while rubbing his crotch, the growing bulge obvious now. I can’t understand his sudden shift in demeanor from nice guy to attacker. He reminds me of all the other bad men I’ve known in my short life. “No, I’m NOT!” Are the last words I remember speaking as I bolt for the door one last time.
My eyes flutter open, my head hurts and the room is spinning. Why is the TV above me, I wonder, confused. Sabrina…? I question, trying to remember. Am I on the floor? Then the darkness overcomes me again.
I can’t hear anything. Why is everything so quiet? My eyes flutter again as a dark figure looms above me. There is a gurgling sound and I roll over. A liquid river of heat pours from my mouth and I realize it must be me making the noise, because I can’t breathe. I’m choking, I think as I drift off again.
“…gonna teach you… lesson b*tch…” fragments of words are seeping through the pounding in my skull and I can only catch confusing glimpses through my shuttering eye lids. Darren is on top of me now, his weight crushing me on the bed. I cough, spewing more hot liquid from my mouth and see his blurred black face sprayed with red. He lifts himself off me enough that I catch a little breath, but he’s angry and yelling something at me. I feel his savage claws ripping away my undergarments. I look down and realize he’s naked on top of me. “Nooo…” I try to mumble, but my mouth won’t work. I began lifelessly grabbing for my pants which are still dangling off one leg over the edge of the bed, but he easily pins my arms above my head. Suddenly, there’s an insistent knocking on the door and I think I’m yelling for help, but once again my mouth won’t make the words and blackness engulfs me as he hits me again.
I can hear her laughing now in the distance. Sabrina, why are you laughing when it hurts so much?
“Wake up b*tch!” My eyes fly open and I scream at the unforgiving sting of liquor being thrown on my raw flesh like rubbing salt into a wound. Someone’s hand clamps down over my mouth immediately. This time, all the pain I feel surges into an adrenaline rush and I begin fighting although, against who or what I’m still unclear. People are cheering and laughing, and very quickly all my limbs are pinned. I am held down spread eagle on a bed. Then it registers… I am surrounded by a group of men. Oh God, PLEASE NOOO… “Shhhh, shhhh, be a good girl now. We’re gonna have us a little party, aren’t we boys?” one man taunts, as he kneels next to me filling a dirty syringe from a blackened spoon. It is Darren. Then I feel the needle penetrate my left arm, filling me with liquid death.
The pain is so excruciating and overwhelming that I continue to drift in and out of consciousness. I know only flashes of nakedness and my body being pounded relentlessly until I cannot pinpoint the source of it anymore, and pain becomes me.
My eyes open for the last time. I hear many voices and sirens that echo without any understanding within the confines of my own head. I am being carried down a flight of stairs on some sort of platform now. There are so many people and lights, and everything is blurry. A chaotic mess surrounds me, but I can’t move. I can’t talk.
Then, a familiar voice… Adrien? Yes, it’s him! He is at the bottom of the stairs screaming my name and crying – he’s trying to come to me, clawing at the air, but his dad holds him tight. What’s wrong my love? I wonder ever so briefly as the lights go out for the last time.
Thick walls of pain… I’m so thirsty, but I can’t move my tongue. I can make out two doctors in white coats through the tiny slits of my swollen eyelids. I cannot move my head. Why can’t I move anything, I wonder and I begin to feel frightened. The tears burn and an agonizing groan escapes from deep inside me as I remember my last coherent thought. Where’s Adrien? The worry and shock I feel must be apparent, because the doctors try to reassure and calm me down.
“Jessica, can you hear me? I want you to squeeze my hand once for yes or twice for no, ok? Can you do that for me? Once for yes, twice for no.” The doctors authoritative yet gentle inquiry doesn’t help sooth my soul any, but I squeeze his hand once.
“Jessica, you’re in the ICU at the hospital. Something really terrible has happened to you and it’s going to take a long time for you to get better, but I promise, you WILL get better, OK?” I nod slowly, grasping to make sense of what was happening to me and feel the wet warmth of a tear trickle slowly down my face. I try to give him a questioning look and am grateful he seems to understand. “Jessica, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but they found you in a hotel. You’re jaw is completely shattered and you have fragments of loose bone imbedded within the left side of your face. We’ve already operated twice and will have to at least one more time very soon.” He glances at his colleague and I begin to panic, feeling my chest tighten around the sobs that are quickly rising. “Jessica, it’s important that you stay calm, do you understand me? You have to stay calm.” He states firmly.
I reach for my face, but am unable to recognize what I feel. I notice how many tubes and cords are coming out of me and it feels like the inside of my mouth is being shredded by barbed wire. I taste blood. The doctors step back as a couple of nurses race to my bedside. I clamp my eyes shut, horrific images flashing before me now. Blood, naked men, sex, drugs… oh my God, I think, I was raped! Complete panic strikes me causing the alarms on the machines to sound their warnings. As I struggle to flee what I am feeling, many hands try to hold me down until finally I welcome the blackness that washes over me once again, providing relief from the horrible truth, as one of the doctors administers medication through an IV.
“Jessie? Miss Jessie, can you hear me sweetheart?” I open my eyes to an oversize African-American woman leaning near my ear, beckoning me with gentleness and warmth. I squeeze her hand once for yes. “Honey, the doctors have some more to tell you and I know it’s gonna be real hard to hear, but I’m here with you OK, hun? I promise, I am not leaving your side, so you just trust Big Mama D now won’t you, sugar?” I squeeze yes again although, with some trepidation this time trying to build the courage for whatever I was about to hear. “You got a real tough road ahead of you dear, but I promise we’ll do it together OK? You are not alone. And when these doctors say their piece, you just squeeze Big Mama’s hand as hard as you need to, alright? But you gotta try to stay calm this time and breathe slow. It’s real important now, you understand me, child?” I squeeze with more assurance now, embracing every ounce of this beautiful woman’s courage and motherly kindness. The same caring doctors who stood before me previously, step up alongside us now to deliver the rest of the news.
“Jessie, you have my word that you’re going to be OK, so please try to find as much comfort in that as you can. They found you bloodied in a hotel suite more than two weeks ago. It seems your boyfriend, um… Adrien,” he says looking at his clipboard, “told his father, who I understand is the chief of police, what had been happening that night. It is thanks to him that you’re here now. You owe him your life.” He looks at me tenderly, “I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but you are one very lucky young lady.” Another tear trickles down my cheek, but this time Big Mama gently wipes it away. “Like I was saying before though, your jaw has been completely shattered and must be wired shut for at least a month, so that is why you can’t talk right now. We nearly lost you to a drug overdose as well.” He pauses, studying my reaction “Shall I go on?”
Big Mama squeezes my hand in quick succession and I squeeze back once signaling that he should continue while drawing on a special kind of calmness and empathy from the woman sitting next to me who is gently stroking my forehead now. “When the police got there, they arrested eight men and each of those men have been tested. I’m so sorry, Jessie, but you were gang raped by most of them.” The sobs immediately rise in my throat threatening to choke me once again as Big Mama lays her head next to mine and I feel the wetness of her own tears mix with mine. No alarms this time as I try desperately to focus on the words being whispered in my ear, “Breathe… breathe, child. Slow and steady. That’s it, baby girl, just breathe.”
The doctors take a seat and wait patiently for the ideas to settle into some form of acceptance. Finally as the tears subside, I squeeze Big Mama’s hand to let her know I’m OK now. She gives the doctors an imploring look and they nod their approval as she delivers the rest of the news to me. The internal damage to my body is so extensive that combined with damage done by obvious previous assaults, I will never be able to have any children. They still administered something for prevention of pregnancy as protocol required, and all the STD tests had come back clean. I was a very lucky girl indeed. Then Big Mama D wept once more with me, as the doctors solemnly exited the room – a place I would call home for the next couple of months.
Charges were pressed and I was able to testify against Darren. It appears that while in the hotel, he punched me after I told him I would not have sex with him. He hit me as hard as he could and I never even saw it coming as I tried to bolt for the door that last time. It was difficult to see the crime scene photos. My blood was everywhere, but mostly pooled on the floor in front of the TV where I fell after receiving his first blow. Then it trailed across the room only to be pooled and splattered across both beds and even the headboards. We later found out from my assailants it had all been planned. A group of his buddies, who indeed proved to be gang bangers, showed up at the hotel and they passed both Sabrina and I around like sex toys – one of us a willing participant , while the other was beaten and choked into unconsciousness. My shattered jaw required a total of four surgeries.
I don’t know what happened to Sabrina after that, but I never saw or spoke to her again. I think some people held me responsible for getting her into trouble and rather than rat her out, I just accepted it, because they were right. I never should have picked her up in the first place nor, taken us all downtown.
The men who sexually violated me were only convicted of the rape charges and received minimal time in prison for testifying against my main attacker, Darren. That man, who shattered my body and my soul, was found guilty and sentenced to many years in prison for rape and attempted murder. He had a full-time job, a wife and three small children at home during the time of his vicious attack on me. However, six years later I would receive a letter and phone call informing me he was being paroled and released from prison for good behavior.
Adrien and I remained a couple although, his parents absolutely hated me after that and tried to keep us apart. We moved in together instead.
- The Scars of Who We Are Chapter VII (authorjcooper.com)
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- Neighborhood’s quiet safety shattered after boy’s shooting death (posttrib.suntimes.com)