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by Shelby Larsen 5 months ago in feminism
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The Life of a Woman

Photo by Yura Forrat from Pexels

TW: Rape, self-harm

He can’t help but get on you in the middle of the night. He knows you’re not okay. He knows you can’t handle this right now. It’s nearly two o’clock in the morning though, and you’re sleeping peacefully beside him. Your nearly naked body is so close, so warm. You’re asleep on your stomach, and your long blonde hair is strewn across a pillow. He touches it; it’s soft and damp. The subtle scent of your conditioner wafts up to him. He wants you. Later, he rolls back over, and you know he’s pretending to be asleep. You get up and put on a t-shirt before going to the bathroom. You splash cold water on your face, clean yourself up. By the time you come back, his breathing is deep. His snoring starts back up. He’s asleep. You crawl back into bed and curl up into a tiny ball on the right side, shivering – only partly from the cold.

It burns. At first you hate it. The heat. The sensation. But then the pain shifts. It brings you into a world that is black and white. Good and bad. Hot or cold. Hurtful or not. It’s simple, no longer complicated. You can feel something. You can feel alive - not numb. Why does something so bad for you feel so good? You choose not to think about it too much. The fire is better than the cold.

You’re going to sleep in the middle of the bed, not on the right side or the left up against the wall. The middle. He never touched this bed. He never touched these sheets. But for two plus years you’ve made myself smaller and smaller on the right side of the bed. Sleeping on the side is suffocating. Just like he was. So tonight. Tonight, you’re going to sleep in the middle of the bed. Wrapped in a soft blanket he never touched to keep away the cold. You’ll sleep in the middle of the bed and remember that every decision you make, good or bad, takes you one step farther away from him.

Remember that your parents adore you, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and it seems like they don’t want you to have rights. Not even rights to your own body. Even if the whole world thinks you don’t own your own body. You believe you do. Never stop believing that. Even when he touches you when you asked him not to, kisses you after you turn away, and fills you up even after you scream no, holding back tears of pain. Emotional and physical. Remember, you have rights. Even if not one other single human on this Earth believes that. Your feelings are valid. Your opinions are important. Other people might never tell you that. So, you need to remember and remind yourself. You’re not alone, even when it seems like the entire world is against you. There are others like you. Feeling similar emotions, fighting the same cold world. Invite them in. Listen. Let them help you, and then help them. Stick together.

The sun hits you. You don’t remember the last time you felt warmth like this. Warmth throughout every inch of your body. You squint into the sun. The world is still dull. Cold. But at least you are finally warm. Your eyes water. You tell yourself it’s just the brightness. The wind maybe. But you know better than that, or at least you should. The wind blows your hair in your face. It’s soft and yellow. That’s one thing you love about yourself. Your hair. Your eyes glint a beautiful green. Your pupils shrink to tiny dots as you continually look into the sun. Does it hurt? You’re not sure anymore. People walk by. You pretend not to notice. If you make eye contact, you’ll have to acknowledge them somehow. A smile, a nod, a wave. Whatever you feel is right in that tiny moment you have to decide. The bench you’re sitting on starts to hurt your back. You shift slightly, relieving the discomfort for just a moment. You know you’ll get up soon. Stand. Walk to your car, drive home. This warmth won’t last forever. The world will grow dark and cold once again. It always does. But right now you enjoy the warmth. Ignore the cold - just for now.


About the author

Shelby Larsen

Warning: I love messing with your favorite fairy tales.

I've loved writing most of my life. In college I made it my passion, but once I reached the "real" world, I stopped. I'm here to find my creativity and get back to my passion.

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