Surprisingly enough, Dylan didn’t spread anything at school. I thought for sure he would start saying something, going around telling people. I don’t know why he decided to keep it to himself, but I’m glad he did.
The school year was coming to an end, there was maybe a month and a half left. Girls were starting to wear shorts and t-shirts to school, but I didn’t want to risk anything and just stuck with baggy shirts and leggings. People didn’t really ask questions, they didn’t seem to care and I was okay with that.
After class one day, Dylan pulled me aside. Panic washed over me and I flinched when he grabbed my arm. “Don’t touch me.”
“What is your problem, Charley?”
“You. You are my problem,” I adjusted my backpack and leaned against the wall. “What do you want, Dylan? I have to go to class.”
“I need to know. Are you keeping it?”
“Him. Yes I am keeping him. He’s mine and even though I’m 16 and the circumstances were what they were, I love him.” I smiled down at my stomach, but my smile fell as soon as I made eye contact with Dylan again. “Why did you want to know? It’s not like you’re going to be involved in raising him.”
“Yes I am. He’s my kid too. He wouldn’t even be a thing if it weren’t for me! So if I want to be part of his life I will.”
“No. I swear to God I will go to court to make sure you are never around him.”
“Charley, you cant keep a kid from his dad. He needs a dad.”
“And he has a dad. It’s just not you.”
“Who, Alex? But it’s my DNA and my sperm.”
“Being a dad is a lot more than blood and biology. You couldn’t give two shits about him or about me. As soon as things get hard you’d leave. I know you, Dylan. And I know Alex wouldn’t abandon me. He hasn’t and I know he’ll be a good dad. Better than you, at least.”
“You’re a psychopathic bitch, Charley. You know that?” Dylan shoved past me and walked away. I clenched my notebooks to my chest and stood there as students swarmed past me. I wanted to run so badly. I wanted to be anywhere but there. I slid down the wall and tried to hold back my tears, but I couldn’t do it. Breathing became hard, I started shaking and hyperventilating. I squeezed my eyes shut, but all I saw was the memory of being tossed around like a rag doll. The smell of alcohol imprinted in my brain. The tears came and as hard as I tried I couldn’t make the vision go away. Thankfully, Alyson walked past me and saw me mid panic attack.
“Charley!” She dropped her stuff and fell to the ground next to me, wrapping both her arms around my trembling body. “Shh, it’s okay. I’m here. You’re okay.”
“H-he w-wont g-g-go away,” I sobbed. “It h-hurts s-so b-b-bad.” My teeth started chattering and I was shaking really bad.
Aly exchanged looks with her best friend, Samantha, “I should really take her home. It’s only lunch so do me a favor and if I’m not back for Dunback’s class tell him I had a family emergency and I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Sam nodded in understanding and laid an apologetic hand on my shoulder for a second before she went to lunch. Aly helped me up and grabbed our things. We made our way to the nurse and explained what happened: I had a panic attack and I needed to go home. She agreed to contact my teachers and Aly took me home. Once we got in the car, I was starting to calm down a little and my usual post-panic sleepiness was starting to wash over me. “So, can you tell me what happened?”
“I don’t know. He came up to me and told me he wanted to be a part of the kid’s life and when I said no he called me a psychopathic bitch and shoved past me. Then I got overwhelmed with memories of that night and well, you know the rest.”
“Do yourself and everyone a favor and report him. This anxiety and these panic attacks cannot be good for the baby.”
“No, Dylan cannot be good for the baby.” The rest of the car ride was silent with only the radio playing softly. As soon as we got home I quietly thanked my sister and ran up to my room. I collapsed on my bed and fell asleep after some silent sobs.
I don’t know how long I was asleep, but when I woke up I was surrounded. My parents, my siblings, my friends, and my boyfriend crowded around my bed. “Wha-? Why is everyone here right now what’s going on?”
“We just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
“I’m fine, the baby’s fi-” All of a sudden I felt something and my eyes widened. I placed my hand on my stomach and just sat there for a minute.
“woah, are you okay?”
“Guys… I think the baby just kicked.” All of a sudden, everyone surrounded me even more and took turns placing their hands over my stomach. Everyone started talking at once and it was overwhelming. “Guys, I just need a minute. Alex can you stay?” Everyone nodded and left me and Alex alone.
“Did you make a choice yet?”
“I did. And I’m going to keep him and I’m going to fight for full custody. I don’t want him anywhere near my kid…” I looked at him and grabbed his hand “our kid.”
“Huh, our kid. I like the sound of that.”
“Me too.” Alex smiled and leaned in to kiss me. We stayed like that for a minute, just kissing and being in each other’s presence. It was in that moment that I realized I never wanted to be with anyone else as long as I lived. Alex was all I needed, he was all I wanted and that was all that mattered to me. I know our little family was going to be far from perfect, the kid is gonna grow up with a lot of issues once h’s old enough to realize I’m a lot younger than his friends’ moms. But as far as I was concerned, we were going to make it work and we were going to be happy, even if it hurt.
The next day at school Bailey and Avalon confronted me once again about the rape. "So are you ready to admit that it was a rape? You literally have PTSD"
"It's not PTSD, it was just a poorly timed panic attack." I was getting annoyed that everyone was pushing rape. I was slowly starting to believe it, but at the same time I refused to believe that anyone else except me was at fault.
I wasn't raped.
I was just stupid.