I woke up in the bathtub. With the shower running. My socks were on. My underwear between my legs. The alarm was going off.
Something was wrong.
Besides the socks. Besides the underwear. Besides the shower and the tub. Besides the pain. Don’t think about the pain. Something was wrong.
I was late for my flight. Get on the plane. Don’t think about the pain, get on the plane.
So I did.
I don’t remember actually getting out of the shower, turning off the water, drying off or getting dressed – I assume it happened because the next thing I remember is tossing my room keys onto the hotel front desk and checking out. Something’s wrong with my eyes. Why can’t I open my eyes all the way.
Why do I hurt.
Get on the plane.
C calls – her driver’s license is missing; is mine missing? do I have hers accidentally? Do I remember last night? How did we get to our rooms? I don’t remember. I don’t have mine. I don’t have hers. I have to get to the plane.
I get through security because I have a passport, so I do. I can get to the gate, so I do. I can get my seat assignment and wait, so I do. I’m also missing my debit card, so I call the bank to report it. “My debit card is missing and I can’t remember last night.”
Something in the way he says “…wow” slaps me in the face. I just said I can’t remember last night. Is that true? Focus. What happened last night. Badness. Something flashes. Pain. Something else flashes. Nightmare. Something else flashes. Darkness. I recoil physically and mentally from the flashes. I call P.
“Something happened last night.”
I’m crying now. In the airport. Curled into a ball in one corner of the gate. “Were you raped?”
I choke out, “Yes.”
He repeats, “Were you raped?”
“How do you know?”
“Cause it hurts. Down there.”
“Call the police. Now. Get to the hospital.”
I approached the desk, “I need to report a rape.” And then I fall apart.
I remember the supervisor’s name. But I don’t know if I’m allowed to say anyone’s name. The hotel’s. The airline’s. The rapist’s. I wasn’t allowed to say anyone’s name for so long because the cases were ongoing. They’re no longer active. Have you ever noticed that there aren’t any pictures of me with alcohol? No pictures of my child? Because the cases were ongoing.
And, after years of censorship, silence became normal.
Except the cases have been over for almost a year now.
The supervisor took me to the airport police. And I told them what I could remember. And they took me to the rape center. I told them what I could remember. They took pictures and samples. They gave me medicines. And took blood. They took my clothes.
The city police met me at the rape center and took me to the precinct. And I told him what I could remember.
Then he drove me back to the airport. And on the way, “How long have you and your partner been married?”
“Good. This is really tough on marriages. It will be hard. You can do it.”
And it was.