She sneaks out of the house while no one is looking and heads to the bad side of the city. Her husband is upstairs reading to the kids, and she is supposedly catching up on her email. As far as she knows, no one realizes she is gone.

She strolls down the sidewalk under the dimming sky and watches the street lamps flicker as they come alive. She inhales dingy, urine-soaked air, feels cool wind on her face, catches a whiff of used cigarette smoke, and grins. She knows she could be mugged at any time, or worse. Her fear makes the experience more real. With every step her breath comes faster, her heart thumps harder. This is life, she thinks, pure, unadulterated aliveness.

She was only 11 years old the first time she snuck out. Her mother had kept her penned in the house, except on supervised outings, wouldn’t even allow her to play with the neighborhood kids without a babysitter. One night she climbed out of her bedroom window and basked in the moonlight, dancing through the yard like Julie Andrews on a high mountain. As she returned, she found her mother in her empty bedroom. She received the scolding of a lifetime. What did she think she was doing? Didn’t she know how much danger she had put herself in? A small girl, out alone in the middle of the night? Was she crazy? She remembered some arguing, but mostly a lot of crying.

Since then, she has been much more careful not to get caught. Not that she has never gotten caught. Once or twice, her husband and kids discovered that she was missing. She gave the excuse that she only went out for a drive, and she apologized for not telling them she was going.

A police car races down the street, lights flashing, siren blaring.

One time, shortly after her sweet sixteen, she returned to find a police car stopped outside her house and her mother sobbing inside. When she had turned up missing, Mom had assumed worse than the worst. She loved her mother and was very sorry for causing such anxiety and grief.

A man catcalls at her, and she beams but otherwise pretends to ignore him. He follows her, and she continues on, step by step. She accelerates her pace; he, likewise. Her heart races with suspense and enthusiasm and pleasure. She spies a shop just up ahead. She can enter and be safe. Then, a loud ringing, a sharp pain on the back of her head, and everything goes dark.

She awakes in the hospital, and her first thought is, How am I going to explain how this happened? She begins to think up a suitable story. Maybe she was in a car accident. No, that wouldn’t work. Maybe she was the victim of a freak car hijacking. Yes, that could work, if she can think of some reason for the hijacker to attack her and leave her laying on the side of the road. Maybe he just wanted to bring her to a remote place where he thought it would be safe for him to rape her.

It was nice of the shop owner to call the ambulance. Oh no: maybe he witnessed the attack. No, it’s okay. She can still make her story work. She tried to escape, and he clubbed her, presumably to prevent her from getting away.

This is the story she tells the police. The poor degenerate, they will find no evidence that he was ever in her car. Only the aggravated sexual assault charge will be upheld against him.

Her next outing will be even more exciting than this one.

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.


No comments yet.

Leave a comment