Reflecting & Coming To Terms With My Experience Of Child Molestation
I was naïve, oblivious, curious, eager to please.
I was 9.
He was 16.
We were at church on a Sunday. The area was poor, mildly crime-ridden and predominantly black. You may think this bears discrimination or underhanded slight, however, the fact remains, and I’d rather not disclose my own ethnic identity, multifarious as it is.
It was about 15–30 minutes before service commenced. We were sitting in a room at the building’s anterior directly near the entrance. It was a rented space rather than church proper. A gift that my recently deceased grandmother would not be granted until twelve years later after a few odd years of using our home garage.
It was a little break room with a fold-out table, adorned by floral print cloth.
A medium-sized dry erase board with a painting above was mounted on one wall. An analog clock on another. Windows on the remainder that wasn’t the cutout for a doorless entry.
Several years later, he would be incarcerated on drug and murder charges. Charges unrelated to the inappropriate, underage engagements with a girl seven years his junior.
In broad daylight, he pulled me close.
Slipping two large, calloused hands under my dress, they creeped from back of knee to rounded curve.
He pilfered my first kiss.
Purloined the intimate touches that were meant to be reserved towards a mutual lover. Where youth and innocence wasn’t preyed upon, and experiences could be shared.
Age gaps didn’t permit that, and certainly not between a child and adolescent verging on young adult.
Of course, at the time, I didn’t know I was being groomed. I hadn’t an inkling to the sordid factors at play. I allowed the uncomfortable, tectonic shift of his lips against mine. The cold, wet transfer of saliva.
I knew it didn’t feel right.
He said it was okay and that he was just “teaching” me.
It didn’t progress past petting and awkward searching of tongues. The sickening heat of his hands left explicit impressions of pederastic whorls beneath my underwear.
My palms were lightly pressed against his chest.
If only I had been taller.
To push away.