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Stupid Girl

By´╝ÜCindy Miles

Wake up! Wake up NOW!

Inside I shook, and my teeth chattered uncontrollably as my body ignored my mental command to drag itself out of the fog I wasted in. My eyes felt glued shut; my lips stitched together. Instead of waking fully, my breath came out in short little puffs between clenched teeth. Not from cold. The air around me was warm, humid, and my fingers slipped against my sweat-dampened skin as I crossed my arms tightly around my body, knees drawn up against my chest. Where am I? I lay on my side, the soggy ground earthy, pungent and gritty against my cheek, my ribs, hip. A grinding ache, low in my stomach, was accompanied by a burning sensation between my thighs. I tried to sit up, to shake my head and clear the haze from my thoughts, but I couldn’t budge. Couldn’t remember, couldn’t speak. It was as if invisible fingers dug into my skin, freezing all movement. The taste in my mouth sickened my stomach, and it reminded me of when I was little and had hidden a handful of pennies from Kyle’s piggy bank in my cheeks. Metallic. Cold. Bitter.

Finally I forced open my eyes and blinked. Two beams of light shot over me through the darkness. A motor growled. Then, furious voices rose above the sound in angered yells.

“I’m gonna fucking kill you, man! What the hell’d you do to my sister?”

“What’d you give her, Evans? Where is she? Open your goddamned mouth and tell me!”

Recognizing my brothers’ voices, I peered into the misty light and tried to focus. What were they doing here? The images were blurry at first, but the longer I stared, the clearer they became. My oldest brother Jace held someone by the throat against the hood of the truck. Kyle, two years older than me, took a swing at the body on the hood. Knuckles crunched against flesh and bone, and the body slammed into the metal of the hood, then grunted and swore.

“Fuck you, Beaumont. Liv knew exactly what she was doing—”

Kyle punched the body again, and a grunt escaped Kelsy Evans’ throat. Kelsy? My brain worked furiously, scrambling to think past the haze inside my head. Kelsy Evans. My boyfriend. We’d been going out for almost a year. There was a party. At Lawson’s Lake. That’d been tonight. Right? My lips tried to move, my tongue pushed against my teeth as I inhaled and forced a shout from my lungs. “Jace!”

My brother let Kelsy go with a jerk and in seconds was on his knees at my side. Calloused fingers pushed the wet hair from my eyes. “Olivia? Wake up, honey. It’s gonna be okay. I’m here, I’m here. Kyle!” Jace hollered. “Let him go, bro. She’s over here and her lip’s busted.” Jace’s hand gently gripped my jaw, turning my face toward the light. “She needs stitches.”

“I ain’t asking again, Evans,” Kyle shouted. He grabbed Kelsy’s jaw and shook it. “What’d you give her, man? Look at her! Look what you’ve done!”

Straining my eyes to hold focus, I peered past Jace to where Kyle held Kelsy against the truck, forcing him to look in my direction. Kelsy’s gaze held mine for several seconds. What had he done? Kelsy wouldn’t hurt me.

“Ecstasy! Just a half tab, bro—”

Kyle swung, his fist connecting with Kelsy’s jaw. His head whipped back, and Kelsy sputtered. “I was drunk, man! Come on!”

My insides grew cold as my brain began to work, fitting the broken pieces of the past several hours back together. Grasping at Jace, I held onto him, pushed myself up. My eyes drifted down my body, and I noticed one of the spaghetti straps to my sundress hung loose and torn. Beneath the material, my bra was pushed up and over my breasts. My feet were bare; my panties bunched awkwardly between my thighs.

Oh, God. Jesus God, what did Kelsy do to me?

I needed no confession. I knew then, the burning pain between my legs a tell-tale sign. My body began trembling again, and sobs escaped my throat. The way my cries sounded in the night air, as if everything else around me had stilled to allow my voice to echo through the trees and off the creek? It was as though the world had died, and only I was left alone to shout and scream, praying for someone to hear me. Anyone. To save me.

No one had. Because I had only screamed inside my head. No one heard me.

Every muscle between my legs ached, but I drew in a lung full of air and forced my voice out in a long, echoing wail as the truth crashed over me. “Nooo!” I clawed at my dress, the one intact strap hanging limp over my shoulder. Yanking hard, my breath came faster. “Get it off! I want it off me!” It felt filthy, soiled. It was disgusting! I wanted it off!

“It’s gonna be okay, honey,” Jace crooned as he pulled me against his chest and held me there. With his palm, he pulled my head tightly to him, and I finally stopped clawing at myself and sobbed into his tee shirt. I blocked out the sounds of Kyle beating the bloody pulp out of Kelsy Evans as best I could, and my fists worked Jace’s shirt tightly between my fingers.

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