“Why this happen to me, Miri?” Jade moaned, sitting up to look her best friend in the eyes. “Um…Damian rape mi off! Him buss up mi pum-pum; ah was in pain for days! Him box mi inna mi face so many times; black an blue up mi eye! Swell up mi ears temple! An knock mi out! But, yuh know what was the worst part? Him discharge all over mi body like ah was some kinda slut-dog…like a pros’ on di street…Why, Miriam? Why him hurt mi soh? Ah didn’t do anything to deserve dat. Ah never ask for this…”
Miriam stood up and walked across the room to stand before the dresser. She looked at Jade’s reflection behind her. She knew she was not being true to herself; not facing the facts fully. Miriam knew she would never heal completely until she did.
“Tell me what happened…how did it start?” she asked cautiously.
“We did the restaurant thing an’ then he told me that he baked a special cake for mi an’ want mi to stay over his house for the night so we could cut it together and start celebrating as midnight strikes.” Jade spoke in an up tempo tone as though the memory made her happy. “So, we get to his house and I go to the bathroom and change into something more comfortable…”
“Something more comfortable?” Miriam tried hard to keep her tone emotionless.
“Yeah…we went to a fancy restaurant so ah wore the same dress that ah did wear to the Graduation ball…minus the train cause that mek it look too fussy…and dat dress is kinda tight soh when wi reach his house, I changed…”
“What yuh put on?”
“The little blouse dat him did give mi for Valentine’s Day and a skirt…”
“What kinda skirt, Jade?”
“A little P.E.-skirt-looking one.”
“A short skirt?”
Jade lowered her head and looked at her hands but not before Miriam saw her biting her bottom lip. “It wasn’t extremely short, just a little above ma knees…”
Miriam heard the edge in her voice and decided not to push her any further. “And, then what happen?”
“Ah sat down on the settee to watch TV and then he sat down beside mi. We were there watching “McGyver” and then he put his hand on ma leg and start telling mi that mi look sexy…” She trailed off and hung her head again.
“Yes. And then what happen after dat?”
“He started kissing mi…but he was kissing mi harder than usual…but it was nice…”
She trailed off again and didn’t speak for about two minutes.
“Yuh need to talk about it, Jade,” Miriam coaxed. “Just take your time. If you don’t want to talk about anything specific, just leave it out. Okay?”
Jade nodded and licked her damaged lip before continuing. “So, we were kissing and then he took my hand…and put it on his lap…”she swallowed hard and coughed before rushing on. “I felt him for the first time…I felt him growing hard in ma hand and…and…ah panicked!”
Miriam saw the tears brimming in Jade’s eyes and felt the growing lump in her own throat. She had had the premonition and she would have prevented it if she could. Jade had clearly suffered a traumatic experience but Miriam realized that she was not an altogether innocent victim in the whole sordid affair. Jade needed to acknowledge the role she had played in her own rape in order to get over it.
“Jade,” Miriam turned and went back to sit beside the silently weeping girl. “You went through a lot. And, yuh didn’t deserve it. No woman deserves to be treated like how you tell me he treated yuh. But, yuh need to try and put yourself in his shoes for a while.”
Jade’s head jerked upright. “What yuh mean, Miriam? Why I must put myself in his shoes!” Her voice rose threateningly. “Is him rape me! Is not me rape him! I was the virgin! I am the victim here…not him! That friggin’ bastard beat mi up an ram imself up inna mi like mi is a bitch dawg an’ you want me to put myself into his shoes? The shoes of a friggin’ rapist! Ah shoulda goh to the police an mek dem lock him up an throw weh di key…instead mi deh yah a keep secret fi him while him probably deh one side a laugh after mi! Ah can’t believe you telling mi this, Miriam…yuh suppose to be mi best friend…a same soh yuh did tell mi seh him only a treat mi good fi get what him want from mi…what yuh trying to seh now? Eh? Yuh suppose to deh pon my side!”
Miriam attempted to hug her but Jade flung off her arm and hopped up.
“Calm down, Jade,” she said instead.
“Don’t tell mi to calm down after yuh trying to blame mi for what that monster did to mi!” Jade exploded. “I blame myself enough already. I don’t need you doing it, too. He told me that before him lose control enuh…that ah owe him. After him spend so much money on mi an gi mi everything, him seh I don’t give him nothing in return and tell mi seh him a teck it now! Yuh tink I don’t tink bout that morning, noon and night? I know I was wrong; I know I played with him; I know I bit off more than I could chew but, Jesus Christ, ah never deserve this…ah never deserve this…”
She stopped in mid-rant and bent over at the knees; even before she heard the blood-curdling scream Miriam knew Jade was about to break.
“Ah never deserve this! Ah never deserve this! Jezas! Jeeezas! Jeeeeeeezas!”
Miriam felt the goose pimples jumping up and down on her skin and felt her own tears sliding down her cheeks. She rose and went to her friend and grabbed hold of her around the middle. Jade struggled but Miriam stood strong; she stood firm for her friend as the tremors rocked her body and the tears and snot flowed.
“Forgive mi, Laaawwwd! Forgive mi, Jeeezas! Give mi strength to deal with this, Lord! Ah never wanted this Lord…a baby, Jesus, by the Devil, Lord! Help mi, Jesus! Give mi the strength, Lord!”
And, Miriam stood firm as the Rock of Gibraltar with Jade and they prayed like that, huddled together in the middle of the semi-dark room of a Constant Spring Road Apartment.
“Jesus loves you, Jade,” Miriam whispered as she rocked Jade into silence, wiping her tears with the hem of her blouse. “He forgives you and he’ll never give you more than you can bear. You just trust in him, girl. Damian will get what him deserve; you just leave him to God…remember, what goes around comes around!”
Copyright © 2013 Mandisa M. Parnell