Early Sunday morning.
Brisk wind, no jacket.
Waiting for a taxi,
shivers in my bones.
Shameful looks from my mother -
she thinks I stopped out last night.
The whole school knows.
Taunts, laughter, names
as I walk through the corridors -
isn't school supposed to be safe?
I see the boys
- I hate them, I hate them, I hate them -
feel ***** rise through my throat
and the blood in my brain thicken.
Hear words that cut like knives:
"I can't believe she had a foursome".
I cannot walk into the canteen,
it's full of piercing lion eyes
searching for their prey;
I am called into the head of years office,
heavy footsteps echoing with sorrow
as I enter.
Concerned eyes break through my skin
creating bullet holes in my fragility.
The words I couldn't face
finally enter the wind.
"Was it consensual?"
No, no, no, no.
Cheeks wet with cascading tears.
The truth finally said,
spoken aloud like an oracle.
I wait for fifty minutes.
Fluorescent police uniforms march the halls.
And my mother.
She's crying, she knows,
she hugs me.
Tells me she's sorry.
In the small back office
surrounded by teachers and police and my mum,
words are exchanged.
I see moving lips but cannot hear the words.
My senses are drowned by the event leading up to this.
They gave me a name
in the bedroom that night.
"It", like an object.
The same Monday evening.
Next thing I know I'm at home.
Brought back to consciousness
with an assertive knock at the front door.
More uniforms, more police.
Mum explains that they have to take my statement.
I panic, cry -
I've done a lot of that today.
I hide some things from them;
I'm too ashamed.
They have cameras on their vests,
tiny eyes watching me,
recording the moment I recall my trauma.
My body hurts,
but my brain and my heart are in agony.
They ask me to take my clothes off.
How can they ask me that?
Explanations are given to my mother,
her face conveys the emotions that I'm too numb to feel.
they need evidence of any injuries, they say.
Choked sobs escape my mother's mouth
as I take my clothes off.
Shades of black and blue litter my body.
*******, thighs, stomach, *** -
my skin edited by violent hands.
My most intimate areas a part of a police file forever.
They take my ****** jeans, underwear, top all into evidence.
I am told not to go into school
by the head of year.
The boys are still allowed.
Motionless body lying in bed,
I stare at the wall for hours.
All of my energy put towards breathing.
Mum skipped work,
sitting outside my bedroom door
like a prison guard -
terrified I would hurt myself.
I can't speak.
How do you tell the woman who raised you
that you don't want to be alive anymore?
About a week later.
I still haven't been to school.
I've barely moved from my bed.
The physical marks have almost vanished,
but the sadness cripples me still.
I have to go to a police station today,
a forty minute trip.
My best friend comes.
I'm numb, I cannot feel the car moving.
I have been numb for over a week.
Isolation caves in on me -
I'm in an interview room with a policewoman and man.
They say three's a crowd,
but I still feel completely alone.
Just over six hours.
Recounting the event took over six hours.
The walls of the interview room painted grey,
or maybe that's just the only colour I can see now.
I didn't cry.
I haven't cried since the Monday that everything became real.
Fragments of the night flash through my mind,
it's becoming difficult to close my eyes.
I went into the interview room while it was light outside,
I leave and it's pitch black.
When I check the time on my phone before I hand it in as evidence,
it's almost 11pm.
Another week passes.
I'm still not allowed into school.
Most of my friends have given up on me.
They don't want to be associated with the girl who cried **** because she was embarrassed of her foursome.
But no-one knows what happened behind that door.
The horrors that occurred,
the venom in the insults they spat at me,
using my body as a human rag doll.
The police call, the detective assigned to my case.
My heart drops
as my mum tells me what he says.
"They're treating two of the boys as witnesses,
only one as a suspect."
I go to my bedroom as I feel my heart strings sever.
Try to sleep,
but I cannot close my eyes.
I see the room,
I smell sweat and shame.
I hear them calling me "it" -
a worthless victim.
I feel the poison on their fingertips.
Dead the second they touched me.
Less contact with the police.
I go back to school.
Adjust to life as 'that girl'.
Learn to sleep again.
Deal with the nightmares and flashbacks.
Stop panicking every time someone touches me.
Open up about the pain I feel every day.
Ten months later.
I haven't heard from the police since December.
When I ring
they tell me my case has been dropped.
They say there's a lack of evidence.
What they really mean is that no-one in court will believe
my story against the three of there's.
I expected this.
The blood on my underwear
does not count.
The pictures of my body painted with bruises
do not count.
The six hour recording where I describe every soul breaking ******
does not count.
The countless therapy sessions trying to fix the flashbacks and panic attacks
do not count.
The nights I planned how to die
do not count.
I used to be a person.
Now I'm just another **** case,
at the bottom of the pile.