The following drabble is technically Hope-centric (from the Dalton universe), but I wrote it purposefully non-specific, because it’s something that i think a lot of girls can relate to. It’s a personal piece for me and so I didn’t edit it. I’d stifle it if I did, or i’d lose the nerve to post it. Nothing graphic or anything, but the subject matter is still PG-13ish.
Everything just got out of control. Doesn’t that happen to everyone? Nobody can handle every situation that life throws at them, especially if life is moving very fast, and she was no exception. Still, the ifs eat her up. If she had been smarter—if she had spoke up sooner—if she had stuck with her friends—if on that day she had simply stayed in and done some homework. These questions will never go away. They stick with her just like the taste of him sticks in her and his hands always cling to her skin. She feels his nails, digging and marking her, claiming “This is mine and will always be mine.”
If she had pushed harder or screamed, maybe those words would not be true. If. But things are the way they are. Her kiss belongs to him. Her whole body does. She will never be the way she was before, untouched, with skin beautiful in its childlike purity, belonging only to angels. Now, she hears him—“This is mine and will always be mine.” Sometimes, she’d rather be dead.
The thought is fleeting, but it comes often enough.
Other thoughts come and go too. Her girls, they say things like “Not your fault” and “Oh, you’re not a whore or a slut—no, you’re beautiful.” And these are the things she knows, and she chants over and over, but these are also the things that thunder inside her. Those are the storms so brief and fierce, which exhaust her, because they are both true and not true. How can that be? How can it be that the words ‘whore’ and ‘slut’ are both lies and revelation, ugly and horrible demons, but also familiar and comfortable friends? They lie all over her as she sleeps and she listens to their lullaby—yes she was a slut, yes she was a whore, and yes, it was her fault because she didn’t think or act or speak up.
It’s probably twisted and unhealthy, but it’s only when she finally lets those happy demon friends devour her in her bed, that she feels, ultimately, free (from what she can only guess—herself, probably). Maybe, like Hester Prynne, they are her scarlet letter, her damnation and redemption, her little Pearl that brings the sunlight and reminds her she is not alone; only by loving them can she possibly love herself again. It’s a hopeful theory, and that is something she will always cling to, no matter the conflict in her head. There is hope for her. She will be okay, in the end, even if she is not pure and untouched, even if it was her fault, even if she’s not in control 100% of the time. Even if she is a slut or a whore or just a stupid girl. As long as she hopes, she’ll be strong enough to bear the weight of those words.
She’ll be okay.