All My Fault

Charley McKinley had it all, she knew what she wanted in life and would stop at nothing until she got it. She had the world in the palm of her hand. That is, until one night with her ex-boyfriend turns her life around.

(C) November 2015

NOTE // please if you or anyone you know has ever been raped, TELL SOMEONE. It's okay to tell someone and it's okay to get help. I know it can be hard, but it's what's best. Also, IT IS NEVER THE VICTIM'S FAULT. lack of the word "no", being unconscious, being drunk, and silence DO NOT MEAN YES. only YES MEANS YES.

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3. Chapter 3

Three months.

That's how long I went without Alex or my parents finding out. I was starting to show a little bit more but I kept it hidden by wearing baggy sweatshirts all the time. I knew I couldn't keep it hidden much longer and I knew it was better my family and boyfriend heard it from me before they heard it from anyone else. Bailey and Avalon were still keeping my secret, and I was forever grateful. Although Avalon kept pushing the rape, they realized that I wasn't going to accept something I don't believe ever happened. 

"Alex...I need to tell you something and honestly it's better I tell you now before or anyone else does. And before I do I just want to say I'm sorry." Alex and I were sitting across from each other at Panera Bread. I grabbed on to his hands and my vision was getting blurry. My knee started to tremble and my voice was getting shaky. 

"Are you okay? You're not pregnant right?" Alex half joked but I just nodded my head. Tears started falling and Alex pulled his hands away, his goofy grin completely falling apart.

"I'm sorry," I whispered "I am so so so sorry." 

"Is it...mine?" This was the question I dreaded the most. Alex and I have been together since the summer. Although we were "young" we have slept with each other. For us, it was just a natural thing to do. Except, Alex and I were always careful and safe. Of course it wasn't his. I shook my head in response to his question. 

"Three months ago," I took a really deep, shaky breath before continuing "I uh, I had sex with Dylan. We were at his house and it's my fault, I didn't do anything to stop it. I never said no." Alex nodded his head slowly, trying to make sense of what I had told him. In a way it made me a cheater and I could accept that. What I couldn't and wouldn't accept would be if Alex completely deserted me. He put his hands over his face and took a deep breath. 

"I'm gonna kick his ass." 

"No, Alex don't. Please it's not his fault, it's mine."

"Look, Charley, I love you but what he did isn't okay. If you didn't say no, then he clearly took advantage of you." Here we go again.

"Oh, my God. No, not you too. Please, I'm already getting crap from Avalon about this being 'rape'," putting quotation marks around "rape" "but I don't need this from you. It wasn't rape."

"Alright, if you say so. Well what else can you tell me about this?" I told him I found out about two months ago and I found out that I was having a son. Surprisingly enough, Alex was being really supportive. Unlike Avalon, he let the rape thing go as soon as I told him. We continued eating our lunch as if nothing happened. I felt slightly better, now that Alex knew, and even better knowing that he wasn't going to leave me. 

The next person to find out was my sister. Alyson was 18, she was a senior in our high school and one of the most popular girls in school. Everyone knew her name and I was treated like royalty just by association. She was captain of the cheerleaders, homecoming queen, and a shoo-in for prom queen. In short, she was perfect. Something like this would never happen to her. 

I was in my bedroom, observing myself in my full length mirror and holding up my shirt so my baby bump was showing. The door opened and standing in the doorway was Aly, "Charley!" 

"Aly!" I jumped and pulled my shirt down. I ran to the door and pulled Alyson into my room, shutting the door behind us. "You saw nothing, got it?"

"Charley... are you... pregnant?" I paused and looked down, avoiding eye contact.

"I uh, I think you already know the answer to that..." My sister didn't say a word, she just leaned over and gave me a hug. We sat in silence for a while, letting everything sink in. "Please don't tell anyone, especially mom and dad. Alex isn't even the dad, Dylan is."

"Dylan? Dylan your abusive ex boyfriend Dylan?"

"He wasn't abusive, okay. Just... misunderstood. Everything he's done to me is something I deserve."

"Charley, no one deserves to be hit, pushed around, or taken advantage of. What happened the night you went to his house a few months ago? Besides the obvious." She pointed to my stomach. I rolled my eyes and groaned. Dylan wasn't abusive and he wasn't a rapist. He would never intentionally hurt me. He's hit me a few times, yelled at me, controlled me, but it's stuff I deserved. If I didn't put him first he would yell at me and tell me not to see my friends. He's only hit me when he lost control during our fights and he got angry. But he would always apologize and promise he'd never do it again. He's not that bad of a guy. I only ended the relationship because I realized there was more to life than being with only him. He accepted that and he apologized to me. He hasn't really laid a finger on me since, except for the whole he-got-me-pregnant thing.

"Nothing I swear! I just didn't do anything to stop him and I let it happen, so it's my own fault."

"Charley, you're delusional. You were sexually abused. That pig deserves to be in jail for everything he's done for you. Thank God you're still alive."

"Why does everyone keep saying that?! God, Aly, if you're not going to be supportive then just leave me alone." 

"Maybe because it's true? Whatever, when you're ready to grow up and accept the truth and face whatever happens, well you know where my room is." Aly rolled her eyes and got up.

"Wait, you're not going to tell Brayden or Mom and Dad, right?"

Aly leaned against to door way with her arms crossed, "Why would I? It's not my job." She turned around and walked to her own bedroom. I sat on my bed and groaned, falling backwards and landing on my pillows. I knew I should tell my family, before Alex or my friends got to them. I just didn't want to. I didn't want to see the looks on their faces when they learned their angelic little daughter was going to have a kid in less than six months.

That night at dinner, I came clean with my parents. I told them everything and needless to say my dad looked like he was about to go kill Alex. "Guys, please don't do anything. It's all my fault, I was stupid, it's my responsibility." My brother, Brayden, got up from the table and walked out of the kitchen.

"We'll support you no matter what, okay?"

"It's fine. I'm not due until August so I can hide it perfectly fine until May when we're done school. I'll have the kid and then I can just go back to school in September in time for junior year."

"And whose going to take care of it?"

"I am. For the most part. I was hoping everyone could pitch in though. If not, again I get it. It's my fault, my responsibility."

"Charley, you're sixteen. We're not going to make you take care of a kid all by yourself. Of course we'll help." My mom got up from her seat and went to give me a hug from behind. 

"I just don't know what I'm going to do from now until May when classes are over. This is a small town and I'll be the first teen mom in the district's history. Honestly, I'm terrified." I started to cry again and my entire family came to give me a hug. I wished more than anything that I could go back to that night and maybe do something more to have stopped him.

But I didn't.

I wasn't raped.

I was just stupid.

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