It was going home that was the worst. I hesitated getting out of Becca’s car. I gripped the handle so tight I could feel it biting into my skin. The eight hours or so that I spent at the school was a refuge for me. My family life was less than desirable. I wouldn’t wish any of this on my worst enemy. And sadly enough, there wasn’t one person in this world I could talk to about it. Not even Becca knew. I took a deep breath and opened the door.
“I’ll see you at school tomorrow.” I smiled tightly at her as I exited her car and shut the door behind me. I walked up to my house slowly. I wanted to go for a run but I knew that my parents would punish me severely for it. I opened the door and stepped inside. I put my backpack down by the door. I hoped I could tiptoe across the house quietly enough. I didn’t want them to hear me. I knew what tonight was.
“LANA!” My mother’s shrill voice echoed through the house. I paused in terror. They couldn’t be ready for me already. “Get your ass upstairs now. You’re going to be late.”
In stark contrast to how I entered the house, I bounded up the stairs to keep my mother happy. When I got to her room she scoffed at me. She lurked around me slowly, and I just stood there, terrified. She licked her thumb and dragged it across my face. I was wearing too much makeup. But I had to. I had to cover up the bruises. Because they didn’t want to go to prison.
“Lana, go get dressed in something more appropriate so I can fix this atrocious makeup.” She paused. “Actually I have something in here for you. Strip.”
I took off my top, the heels, and my pants. When my mother turned back to me she rolled her eyes. She thrust a teddy at me. I took it and held it out. It would barely cover anything. But I took off my bra and panties and slid into it. My mother put her hands on my shoulders and positioned me in front of the mirror. My hair was straight, black, and it fell to just below my boobs. The teddy barely covered my assets, which sat at probably a C cup. It hugged my hips just right and ended just below my ass. The eyes that reflected back at me looked almost dead. I knew I had to put on a show though; mama’s living depended on it. I tried to tug it down a little further. There was almost no coverage at all. I felt completely naked. Mom walked me to her vanity and fixed my makeup. The bruises were hidden, but I couldn’t shake the sense of shame I had.
“Please don’t make me do this.” I begged.
“If I hadn’t just finished your makeup, I swear kid. Get your fucking act together.” She threw me a trench coat to cover up with, and put the heels back on my feet. It was entirely too hot for the jacket. “Now let’s go.”
I mindlessly followed her to the car and pretended that where we were going, wasn’t where we were going. It was almost instinct for my mind to shut everything off. I hated this. My parents owned an escort business. And as soon as I hit the ripe age of consent at 16, my life became theirs. The clients they set me up with were appalling. Tonight was no exception. It was Dave. Dave was a portly man in his forties who had nothing better to do than tie me up and abuse me. It took us ten minutes to get to his house, and when we got there I was booted out of the car. She would be back in an hour to pick me and five hundred dollars up.
I walked up to the door of his lush apartment and knocked forcefully. I heard him scurrying around trying to get to the door. I knew he would have either rope or handcuffs in his hands when he opened the door. And he would be half erect before he even touched me. The thought was turning my stomach and I wished I could just run. But that was a childish plea because I would have nowhere to go. Finally, he swung open the door and his stench hit me square in the face. This man always smelled like he hadn’t bathed in weeks. He dragged me by my arm into the apartment.
“How’s it, sweet thing?” He licked his lips as he looked me up and down. Right now I was glad for the jacket. “How about we take that jacket off?”
I stood unmoving while he unbuttoned the jacket and threw it on the floor beside me. He gave a low whistle and cupped one of my breasts, and yanked me up against him while he stood behind me. My nipples were hard under the thin fabric. He pinched one of them between his thumb and forefinger. I fought the urge to try to bolt. This man was disgusting. He let my breast go and gathered my hands up behind me. Carefully, he tied a knot and secured them behind me. I felt tears burning at the back of my eyes. Why? As if to continue my humiliation, he led me over to the pole he had installed and handcuffed my already bound arms to it. I fought against the restraint. He laid a firm slap across my face. I let my head hang. There really was no way out of this, was there?
“Just behave, hon, and this will go by quicker than you would imagine.” He gave me that sickly smile again and reached for the teddy. He ripped it in a simple motion and all of a sudden I was exposed to him. I trembled as his hand reached down to stroke the most intimate parts of me. I cursed my body as it reacted to him. This was not pleasure. Please, this was not pleasure. It was only a matter of time before his mouth replaced his fingers. I bucked against his face as the unwanted advance caused an all too real reaction.
“Please just stop!” I moaned. He looked up from me.
“You make this so much fun for me.” He left me standing there for a minute. And when he got back to me, he fastened a gag around my face. I tried to protest. I tried to kick. I tried to get away. The bondage was keeping me hostage. “Why don’t we make this party a little more fun, love?”
He released the handcuffs and led me over to the coffee table. I tried to groan through the gag, but it only choked me. He forced me over the table and I took the opportunity to kick him. The heel connecting with his shin caused him to scream out. He reached forward and grabbed a fistful of my hair.
“I’m not going to give you the chance to try that again, bitch. I’m bleeding.” He slammed my face into the table and grabbed the length of rope on the other side and bound my feet together. It was only a matter of minutes before he pushed himself inside me and everything in my being died, again.
When he was finished, he untied me and handed me the jacket. I put it on trying to ignore the feeling of being so intimately violated. I wanted nothing more than to go home and shower.
“Goodnight, sweet tits.” He moved forward to kiss me, and I let him. And then I spit in his face.
“You’re a fucking filthy bastard. How can you live with fucking a teenaged girl?” I looked him square in the eye. And that was the last thing I remembered before hitting the ground.
I awoke in my bed. My face was aching as if a bone had broken. And there probably were a couple. But it was my alarm waking me up. It was time for school and I didn’t know how I was going to face anyone. I still felt like a used garment. Kind of like I was worn, deemed unworthy, and then thrown in the trash. And I was expected to go to school like nothing had happened.
I picked myself up out of bed to survey the damage. When I looked in the mirror I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what I saw. My face… it was all different colors of black, blue, purple, green. No amount of makeup would cover this. I wasn’t even sure if I should try. My hair fell limply down around my face and my body was bruised as well. An errant tear worked its way down my blackened face. I quickly brushed it away and stood to go shower.
While the shower made me feel less dirty, nothing could wash away the emotional pain. I really wanted to talk to someone about this. Maybe the bruise on my face would spark some conversation. But I knew I would give them the same excuse as I always did. I fell down the stairs. I got hit in the face with a ball. I was a little too intense with my exercising. You name it, and it’s been an excuse over the last six months of my life. I stepped out and dried off. I decided against trying to primp today, so I just scrunched my hair and threw on one of my track suits. I wasn’t in the mood to be ‘pretty’ today.
I kept my head down the entire walk to school and until I reached Coach Williamson’s room. I don’t know why I thought to go to him, but it felt right. I softly knocked on his classroom door and kept my head down until he acknowledged me. I lifted my head up and walked in. He looked at me in shock, those beautiful amber eyes widened and he stood up from his desk. He walked over to me and put his hand on my shoulder. I fought not to jerk back, but the reaction was immediate.
“What happened to you, Lana?” He asked. Concern laced his voice and he squeezed my shoulder in reassurance. I couldn’t look him in the eyes. Tears flowed down my face. I shook my head and sobs began to shake my body.
“Nothing. Nothing. I shouldn’t have come here. I’ve got to go.” I said between sobs. I made a move to leave, but his grip on my shoulder kept me from going anywhere. I knew it was out of concern, but I didn’t know what I was thinking.
“Clearly something happened! And it’s okay, you can talk to me. I promise you can trust me.”
I wanted so much to believe that. I couldn’t risk a lot of things. If I landed my parents in jail, they would find some way to make me miserable. I could count on that. I would be sent to live with other relatives and that would take me out of this school away from someone I actually did trust- Becca. But right now I wanted to trust the man I ran to.
“Why don’t we do this, Lana. Talk to me about anything you want. I know you came to me for a reason, why don’t we start there?”
I shuddered and began speaking, “I don’t know why I came here. For some reason it felt like the right thing to do.”
“That’s a start. Now I know you didn’t get this from falling down the stairs. Someone hit you.” He was concerned. That I could clearly tell. He wanted to help me, but I didn’t know how to tell him what was actually happening.
“I just really feel safe in here. I want to just sit here.” I looked him in the eye. He looked at me not with pity, but with concern. I felt like he would protect me.
“Lana, I have to notify the police, you know that right?”
My back stiffened, “Please don’t. It’ll just make everything worse. Please, please don’t!” I pleaded with him. “It really was just an accident, I’m clutzy. I was working out and the band snapped back in my face.”
“You can’t walk around the school like that and expect everyone to believe it’s an accident. Lana you have a healing bruise and a broken nose that hasn’t had any medical attention. You need help and I want to advocate for you.” He rubbed my shoulder and squeezed it.
“It was an accident.” I said dryly.
“Well regardless. I believe you need help. And I’m willing to help you. Go get comfortable in my chair; I’m going to let you sit here for a while. I’m going to go talk to the principal and I’ll let you know what’s going to happen, okay?”
“Okay.” Tears fell down my face. I stood and walked to his desk and sat in his chair. I leaned over it and put my head on top of my arms. Whatever he told me next would determine my life. I did trust him; I was just wary of going to the police. Because it was an accident, right?