it wasn’t me.

I don’t think I was wrong.

It took me a long time, almost a year, to get here. When it first occurred, things were different. I spent nights crying about what happened on that goddamn train. It was all my fault. I talked to him. I responded to his questions. He asked if I was single. He asked if I was a virgin. He asked if I drank, smoked, partied. He pushed me. He gave me his card. He told me I was hot. I believed it. He said he cared about me. I believed it. He said he had a wife, a daughter. I believed it. He said he wouldn’t hurt me. I  believed it. He did. Inside. I didn’t speak up. I didn’t stop him. She did. She saved me. I didn’t know her. I still don’t. She said she worked at Yale. I told her my dad went there. She didn’t know him. She hugged me. She kicked him off the train. She got him arrested. She helped me talk to the police. She told me it would be ok. It wouldn’t. I was 15, he was 42.

You wouldn’t think someone would actually have the power to forcefully shove their lips onto yours in a public space. I didn’t. Not on a train headed from Wilmington to Boston. Then there was him. He had muscles, big ones, and I was the girl who hadn’t played a single sport since the day I was born. He claimed to be an actor, that part was true. I googled it later. The movies he had acted in were small, but had a huge following. Of course, none of the fans know what he’s really like. I watched his movie. He was the hero, ironically. It was all about a zombie apocalypse and he saved the world. He can act, that’s for sure. He’s a villain after all. Not just any villain, my villain. I was scared as fuck when I saw his movie, I never wanted to see his face again. But I still watched it. I just wanted to know that he was somewhere else, somewhere he couldn’t hurt me. I’m still not sure of that. He knows my full name, where I go to school, where I live. He asked me. And me, being the naive 15 year old I was, told him the truth. To this day, I still think about him every day. Will he show up at my school with a gun? Will he remember me one day and track me down? Was I the first or just one of many?

I used to think that I turned him on at first. Maybe my makeup was excessive that day. Maybe my clothes were slutty. Maybe I was too easy of a target. I changed after that day. It lasted all of six months. I stopped wearing leggings and crop tops, I went back to wearing my ugly glasses, I cried every single day. I sent a guy to jail for a whole month. How could I ever screw up someone’s life that much? What about his family, his friends, his daughter? What had I done to him?

He was the one who spoke to me. It’s illegal to even talk to a minor without consent. If I didn’t initiate anything, I couldn’t have caused the outcome. I did what most girls my age would do when confronted by someone triple their age. I listened. That’s all I am guilty of- responding to questions an adult constantly fired at me.

I learnt he was doing drugs later. That’s why he had those massive muscles in the first place. He was an alcoholic, an addict, insane.

He had fucked up his life before I even came into the equation.

I don’t think I was wrong.

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