*Mature content. May be triggering to those with sexual trauma*
Stacy had boyfriends in high school but her greatest love was math. Her relationship with math was a little different from her peers. Stacy never used a calculator and yet she calculated with ease. Her numbers had personalities and helped her through the problem. Three and seven were best friends and were a dangerous duo when put together to make the adventurous twenty one. These little stories helped her remember how numbers work together and made her a genius when it came to algebra.
Unfortunately, Stacy was not a genius when it came to interacting with fighting friends. Stacy’s best friends, Katie and Amanda, were always making up reasons to be mad at each other. Katie was annoying and Amanda called her out on it. Amanda said something that Katie was offended by and she would cry. It was always something but they always made up after a day or two. The fight that ended their friendship was about a boy. He was short with baby face and played the trombone but there was something about him that made Amanda and Katie’s hearts throb. Stacy figured that after a few days the issue would dissipate, as did most of their fights. Instead, it became more aggressive. Words that questioned character spewed from the girl’s lips while Stacy watched the trio’s friendship crumble. She was trapped between ‘She said this’ and ‘She said that.’ She refused to take sides and soon enough, there wasn’t a side to take. The girl’s fight ended in deadening silence; the end of the trio.
Amanda and Katie found friends in other circles. Stacy sat alone at lunch. She entertained the cliche of eating in a bathroom stall to avoid embarrassment. She sought refuge in her math. She joined math club and focused all her energy on the upcoming mathlete competition. She was excited for the Saturday all day meet and the chance to show her wealth of knowledge. She was the only girl in the carpool van but she didn’t mind the boy’s company. She loved hearing their squeals when they caught their oh-so-desired Pokemon at every rest stop. The drive was long and worth every second once they won 2nd place at the regional competition. It was late in the evening when they returned to the school. Stacy’s parents asked Stacy to catch a ride home. She asked Jacob who lived down the street. She never spoke to Jacob outside of math club but she knew that he was a decent guy. They awkwardly talked about music until he dropped her off in front of her house.
‘We’ll have to hang out sometime’ he said, as she climbed out of his truck. Her heart lept for the opportunity of friendship. ‘We definitely should!’ she exclaimed, a little too eagerly. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Seniors were allowed to leave campus twice a week for lunch if they were academically eligible. Jacob was that academically eligible senior that asked Stacy to go out. She hesitated to break the rules but she was desperate for a lunchtime companion, other than a toilet. They hopped in his truck and started to drive. Most seniors chose to go to the local Taco Bell or Mcdonalds. Jacob drove in the other direction where there wasn’t a restaurant in sight. Stacy gave him the benefit of the doubt and figured he knew where he was going. They pulled up to Jacob’s house. She thought maybe he was going to make her lunch. Hoping they would be finished in time for math class, she following him in to the house.
Jacob promptly plopped down on the love seat and motioned for Stacy to sit by him. She didn’t feel right. Her stomach twisted in a way she never felt before. ‘I must be hungry’ she thought. She sat down. He moved closer and said some words but all she thought about was her knotted stomach. ‘I must be really really hungry’ but she knew she wasn’t hungry. ‘I can’t ruin this.’ He brought her in for a kiss. It was a kiss that froze her. ‘Friends…with benefits? If that’s what he wants, I guess I can do that.’ She swirled her purity ring around her finger in a fit of anxiety. He kept kissing her until she pulled back. “Are we going to have lunch?” she blurted. “Oh I’ve got some lunch for you.” He unzipped his pants.
She told him. She told him over and over. She was a virgin. She was scared. She did not want to. At first he comforted her saying ‘You can do it! I’ll walk to you through it.’ then the conversation turned. ‘Come on, we’re friends aren’t we?’ She struggled to find the time. Lunch was almost over. She quickly changed the subject saying, ‘We better get going before we are late to class.’ She can’t forget the look on his face as he looked her dead in the eye and said ‘You aren’t going anywhere until you do this.’ He shoved her on to her knees and held her there. Up. Down. Up. Down. She gagged. He moaned. She cried. He said ‘look at me.’ She gagged. ‘oh you are so sexy’ he moaned. And then it was over.
They didn’t say a word on the ride back to school. He didn’t even say goodbye when he dropped her off out front. She usually sat in front in math but her spot was taken. The only seat was in the very back corner. If someone commented on her tardiness, she didn’t hear it. They didn’t need to say anything; she could tell that everyone knew. She could smell it on her. She could taste it. At least she wasn’t hungry anymore.
From that day on, she couldn’t even count on math to be her friend. Everyday she walked in to that class, it was a reminder of when she was late on that day. She didn’t tell anyone mostly because she didn’t think there was anything to tell. She was scum. Her purity ring split in half and started pinching her finger. She knew it was definitely a sign that she was no longer allowed to wear the sacred piece of jewelry. Her grades slipped simply because she stopped caring. She spent her nights reading, trying to forget or push it out of her mind. She couldn’t stop.
She made the choice to go with him. She could have pushed harder. She should have run away. It was her fault and she was so embarrassed by her actions or lack thereof. When she finally told someone she trusted they said ‘I thought you were stronger than that.’
She wanted to die. She sat in the bathtub for hours thinking she should just drown. Then one day, she decided to tell someone else. She couldn’t live feeling the way she felt. That is exactly what she said as she spilled her story on to her math teacher and mentor. Mrs R didn’t tell Stacy that she needed to be strong. She didn’t tell Stacy to forgive and forget. She told Stacy that it would be hard and that she has people all around her that care and that if they don’t care, they should start.
Stacy is now a teacher and strong advocate for those who have suffered from sexual assault and suicidal ideation. She used Mrs. R’s guidance to create a program for teachers to learn more about how to help the students who may have experienced a trauma like Stacy’s. Stacy leads a healthy sex life with her husband and is thankful that she never gave up.