So every now and then, I look up people from my old neighborhood, just to reassure myself of where they are, what they’re doing. Oh by looking up, I don’t mean Facebook or any of that, I mean the jail. Arrest record. Time served. Stuff like that.
Today’s excursion started innocently enough. I was working and happened on one of those unusual names. You know, not Bob or David or Mary, but different. Benita was the name today. The mother’s name of one of the boys who “had his way with me” one New Years night when I was 16. I hesitate to say rape. I mean, I know now that it was rape but back then, it seemed like drunken sex, just not of my own invitation. I mean, one was my boyfriend’s older brother and the other one was the older brother’s best friend. I couldn’t tell. My boyfriend would’ve gotten mad, his brother would’ve beat his ass, you see how that goes. And my best friend was my boyfriend’s little sister. It would have been a giant mess.
I wasn’t supposed to be out drinking, for one thing. I was allowed to go out to a “babysitting job” that night. But I went to my boyfriend’s house and his mom was mixing Harvey Wallbangers for all of us almost old-enough kids. I got commode hugging drunk, as I had never drank that much before. Vivian was kind and patient. She held my hair, walked me around the yard until I could walk upright. Everything you would expect a good woman to do, I mean if you consider letting your son’s underage girlfriend drink at your house on New Years eve something a good woman would do. And wouldn’t you know, Benita was her best friend. Very tight neighborhood community. Then she asked her oldest son and his best friend to walk me home, make sure I made it safe. Very responsible thing to do. She didn’t know they would rape me. I asked Steve to go with us because the other two were not boys I liked but he was in a snit about something and said no.
We cut through a trailer park and instead of the left to my house, they went straight to a field next to the woods, needing to “show me something”. Okay. Field trip! I saw quite a lot of a few things actually. Then dutiful sons that they were, they took me home, saw me to my yard, asked me not to tell their girlfriends, who were also friends of mine. I was so relieved it was all over, I would have agreed to anything. Never told a soul about that night, until right this minute. I didn’t tell my boyfriend, nor his sister. I didn’t tell their mom, or the Old Lady. Not a soul. And then today, Benita’s name comes across my desk, prompts me to look them up.
The older brother is a chronic in-and-out of jail guy for drugs, paraphernalia, petty theft. I didn’t find the older brother’s best friend, maybe I don’t know his real name. We called him Rusty. But I found his little brother, Shane, who’s been arrested for drugs, paraphernalia and prostitution. Shane was five when this happened to me. And I moved soon after. I wonder now if his older brother moved on from me to raping him. I mean, rape is about domination, not who you’re dominating, not what sex you’re forcing yourself on.
So this morning I’m wondering – if I had of told, pissed off the whole neighborhood, pushed the truth down everyone’s throat, took the ass-beating for being out drinking, stood up for myself, withstood the embarrassment and shame, the ostracizing from my friends – would Shane still be listed in the jail system? Would he have went to drugs? Prostitution? Of course I don’t know that my silence caused any of that, for certain, but we all know that events lead to other events, that things fall into place from previous situations, that what will happen often depends on what has happened. That for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and so on and so forth. Would Newton be proud that I am part of his statistical theory? Hopefully not.