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An open letter to the man in the alley

You’re lucky you never met this version of me. You’re lucky you met the one who was easy to scare and naïve and weak. She was easier to pin against the wall as you hoisted her above the ground and pressed your mouth against hers to stop all the sound. You were too broad and too tall so she grew meek because she was sure no one else was around. You’re lucky you met the girl I used to be.

The girl who knew you as charming and friendly and invincible because you were the son of the dean so it wouldn’t matter if I came clean because haven’t we all heard the story of silencing the girl while the guy continues to bask in all his glory?

The girl who shared your friends, although not even that many, but she was scared of the whispers and the gossip and the baggage that she would have to carry while you would continue to roam free. So she told those she considered family and shrouded the rest of the story in secrecy. She didn’t tell anyone how tequila now tastes like drowning inside his mouth; how those few minutes in that alley shoved her deep into a cage and now she can’t get out. She sat behind him in class for the rest of the summer, then set the memory on fire but the flames never went out.

You’re lucky you didn’t meet me. The woman who spent way too long fanning out flames of all the wrongs she never did but you made me believe I had to live with. You’re lucky you didn’t meet the woman who sees through your poor-excuse-for-a personality and the life you built with privilege and superficiality, as you continued to spew bullshit that you had dubbed ‘intellect’, from behind the guise of this ‘nice guy’. It’s always a nice guy.

How fortunate for you to have met me before I knew what lost hope meant really. Because back then, that’s how you made me feel – like the worst had happened already. That because you had chosen to ignore my ‘no’, you probably didn’t even know you had stooped that low, because I had been too scared to scream so when you chose not to listen in the first few moments, I had closed my eyes and slipped into a dream. This happens to all girls eventually. I didn’t want to make it harder than it had to be.

But somehow I got out before the worst and yet was sure my world had crumbled already. But that little girl didn’t know shit. And yes, your demon still exists deep in the pits of my being, burning me with memories of that night as you sucked out all my fight but now I look back with pity because aren’t you just so lucky you didn’t meet me? The one who’s so perpetually angry, so hell-bent on accountability, the one who’d rip you apart so ferociously, that finally we’d both have scars to show for eternity?

I hope for your sake you never run into me.

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