One Rape Victim's Trial Towards Justice
Facing The Problem
Work is my reprieve. Home is intolerable. The side-long glances betray their questions and doubts of my innocence. The loud whispers aim true for my aching heart, stabbing me sharply with such insensitive gossip masquerading as first hand gospel. As if they were there. Those who are not blasting the horns of hostility are tip-toeing around me like I have leprosy.
Stubborn strength eventually breaks under the enormous weight of false accusations. This weekend was longer, they were louder. My self-induced hermitage does not satisfy their idle mouths. I wait until two a.m. to take my showers in the community restroom. It is Monday again tomorrow. Everything is quiet so I risk sneaking out the back door for a mind-clearing walk in the chilly wee hours.
Security spots me. He inquires to my welfare, I lie. He can tell. We talk for a little while, I seek his opinion as a third party 'friend'. Again he is not fooled. He is very thoughtful and kind. As the sun begins to paint the sky pink I silently slip back to my room and sit awake. With my curtains open I watch the sun continue it's journey over the adjacent building announcing the arrival of another day. This day will be very long. I am okay with that.
Still unable to say the words, I write it down and timidly place the letter on my supervisor's neat desk. My head hangs low as I twiddle my thumbs and fidget nervously until she arrives and finishes reading. I can hear her put her hand to her mouth as an audible gasp escapes her parted lips. I can feel her tearing eyes turn sympathetically towards my cowering figure. I do not know what I expected but the hug was not one of them. Our boss walks in and immediately rushes to my side. "I am so sorry" she whispers in my ear. She did not read the letter until after she called for the police. It seems she figured it out that day but felt I should heal in my own way.
An investigation is launched that hour. After four grueling months his guilt and therefore my innocence is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Though vindicated by the judicial system, my relationship with those amongst whom I live and work has been irrevocably damaged. The word fair is no longer in my vocabulary. Nothing changes there, they just talk about it less often and quieter. Eventually I moved away to move on. All is well that ends well, or so they say.