It’s 3:35 am. Around this time seven years ago a man climbed into my bed and molested me. It has been so long and I have come so far yet I’m sitting here trying to keep myself from going to sleep. I’m scared of closing my eyes tonight because I don’t want to remember. I don’t want to see his face. I want him to know that I forgive him but I am still scarred by his sins that night. I make choices based on those events and it’s like I have no other choice. “But it’s been seven years!” I guess time can’t heal this wound. That or I just keep cutting it deeper because I feel that it’s what I deserve. I don’t say this to get your pity, I say it because it’s a thought that constantly floats in my mind. “It’s not like he penitrated you.” No he didn’t but he wanted to. With hunger in his eyes he wanted to. When I started to stare, it went from a hunger to a lustful anger. After that I knew I wasn’t going to see the sun the next day. But God saved me with one beer too many and a door that couldn’t lock. But my mind still has yet to come to terms with what was taken from me and to understand the why’s. Even if I could ask those questions, I doubt my mind would ever be able to restore what was lost. I don’t think I’ll be able to use less than 3 dead bolts. The answers would only break me even more. Feed into the thoughts and fears, add to the number of hours that I can’t fall asleep. Fortify the wall I built to keep people away from me. But if I wanted to risk it, I could find him. He lives 2 hours from my home, same as my cousins. I bet he still looks the same. Bald with a beard. White t-shirt, dirt stained jeans, and a regular black leather belt. He need it to keep his pants up right below his beer gut. I still remember the smell of the beer. Seeing my cousins short blonde hair lying next to me. She slept through the whole night. She lives in the same town as him. Her hair hasn’t changed, but she’s grown into her adolescent angst. I wonder if she remembers that this was the night it happened. To her it is the night he finally got arrested. But I don’t think she wants to remember any of it. I don’t want her to. I don’t want her to feel this painfully numb and this overwhelming panic. I notice that because of it I pick at myself. My face, my neck, my head. Not feeling makes me nervous. Like the worst possibilities are set for me. I’m always waiting for the next thing that is going to happen. An eye on the world treating it as only an enemy because I’ve only known how to endure it’s evil not embrace its gifts. I don’t want this for my cousin. Seven long years of fighting a memory. That’s all I do is fight a memory of my past that has been long over. Not only that, I fight anything that could potentially bring me to that point of pain again. Relationships, lonely public outings, and a good night sleep. I hope that one day I will find my way through. That fear wouldn’t be this crippling. Maybe it will take seven more years and maybe even with all of these things, I am on the right track.