She hung up the phone. She had called her Mother as soon as he left. She needed to make sure she called the school to have her sister ride the day care bus that day. It was too long for her to walk home alone, Plus there was a chance of rain.
He left for work at 2, taking the dirty towels with him. The ones with her blood on them. She sat silently on her floor for a few minutes more. She wasn't sure what to do first. She had about 3 hours to compose herself before her Mother and sister came home. She gathered some clothes and a few other items, and walked to the bathroom.
She placed her things on the floor and turned on the faucet. She twisted the HOT tap twice as much as the COLD. As the steam began to rise, she slid into the water. It took several minutes, but she was finally submerged up to her neck. She barely felt the tears falling down her cheeks. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the back of the tub.
"Why? she thought. Why? Why was this happening? What had she done to deserve this? She was a good girl. She made straight A's. She never got into trouble. Ever. She was good in her dance classes. She was polite. She was smart. She said please and thank you. She helped with her sister. She did everything she was told to. Everything. So why...WHY?! Many times he would tell her she was "asking for it." That she "wanted it." She couldn't figure how or she would definitely stop what ever it was doing. She did not want this to happen any more than she knew what IT was. Her whole body began to shake.
She felt dirty. Inside and out. Not just dirty, Filthy. Rotten. Ruined. Revolting and disgusting. Like fruit that had gone bad on the inside, but still looked normal on the outside. It was more than skin deep. It was down in her guts. In her soul. She felt like she was a part of something so awful, so horrendous, but she didn't know how to make it stop. How to get out. How to escape.
She reached into the manicure kit she brought with her clothes. She selected a few items and placed them on the side of the tub. She picked up the small scrubber brush and the soap. She began to scrub. Every inch of her body. From her face to her feet. Soap, scrub scrub scrub. Soap, scrub scrub scrub.. She scrubbed his saliva off her tiny, juvenile, breasts, She scrubbed his sweat off her stomach. She scrubbed his stuff off her inner thighs. His stuff that had mixed with her blood today. Her blood that had gone everywhere - looking like someone had been hurt badly. Or even killed. She scrubbed until her skin was pink and shiny. It should have been painful,, but she was on auto-pilot now.. As if her mind had created a barrier to the pain. She dropped the scrubber and picked up the next tool. Her Exacto knife.
Maybe she could scrape off the outer layer of skin The part that still had his scent. Even the hard scrubbing hadn't removed that smell. Wet copper pennies. That's what it reminded her of. She hated it. She had to get rid of it before anyone found out. She held the knife in her right hand and turned her left wrist upwards. Carefully she scraped the blade across her skin, trying to remove just the very outer cells. If she was careful, she could do it. Not too deep. - just the top layer. The knife slipped in her wet fingers and cut into her flesh.
It wasn't a bad cut at all, but there was some blood. She was a little surprised she had any blood left in her body. He had been exceptionally rough with her - she had bled a lot. Enough to soil 2 bath towels. She held her arm up and watched as the drops hit the bath water. Plink....plink...plink. It was turning pink where they landed. Making beautiful pink and red ripples. She couldn't tear her eyes away. Was this her answer?
She took the point of the knife and cut the wound a bit longer. Just a little on either side. Right on top of the blue vein. It didn't hurt much after the first pull. The blood dripped a little faster now. Fatter drops plopped in the water and made still a different pattern. It was so dark when it left her body - but the water washed it clear. Was the evil in her coming out with each drop? Could it be that easy?
She would start with a clean canvas and count the drops until she felt the majority of the evil was out. She dropped her hand into the tub...OOOWWW!! The pain was unbelievable! The hot bathwater seeping into the open wound brought her out of her trance. She screamed and flung her arm up. Water and blood flew across the bathroom. It splattered the tile and toilet seat. "What am I doing?! Oh NO!" She snatched a clean towel off the bar and jumped out of the tub. She took toilet paper and wrapped it around her wrist to stop the bleeding. She covered that with a dry washcloth to provide pressure. Oh no oh no oh no...what had she done? How long had she been in here? Doing nothing but whining and being a cry-baby? Oh woe is me, wah wah wah - ..that never worked for her. No one cared enough about her anyway to step in. Why should they? She was obviously damaged beyond repair. It was up to her to find her way out and keep everyone else safe at the same time. She had wasted too much time feeling sorry for herself. She had to clean the bathroom up, run the vacuum and get dinner started before her Mother got home. She was 12.