Authors Note: Please, do not read if situations about rape and just morbid thoughts disturb you. Rating: Strong R

Title: Express Yourself

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"You should express yourself," you tell me. "Write something. Poetry." You're not prepared to get a response. You watch me carefully. I know what you're waiting for, lady. You want me to open up and crack and let out all my beautiful little secrets. Ain't happin', bitch. Sorry. Try again tomorrow. "Courtney," you say, "I think it would be good for you to get your emotions out there. So I'm going to assign you something." You rummage around in your desk and then hand me a pad of paper. "Write down your emotions every day after each meal. Okay? Then we'll read it and discuss it later." Then you frown. "Well, in your case, not discuss it. My apologies."

I take the notebook, give you a nice, fake smile and leave, punctuating the departure by slamming the door hard enough to make that wonderful mirror you're always looking at yourself in fall off the wall and shatter into a million little pieces.

Wonderful.

You know what I think of this, ahem, deep, dark poetry you want me to write? I think it's bullshit. Whiney, typical, melodramatic teenagers and their angst-filled middle class lives. So they have to write about their boyfriend leaving them or something else along those lines. I'm valley girl. Gag me with a spoon.

Okay. I'm not better then them. I was one of them, as you and my lovely parents would be so quick to remind me. I wrote the poems, I listened to the music. I played the part. And you know where that part got me? It made me mute. It made me wind up in a place like this diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. If it wasn't for bullshitting American teenagers, I wouldn't be here right now. Come on. I know you're curious. I would be to. What happened to this girl? You see my scar, the one on my neck? You used to be able to see my bruises. You used to be able to see all of it. Every mark he left on my body.

Now all that's left is scars. Reminders if him. You want to know the whole story. I know you do. C'mon. It's part of the act, part of the bullshit.

Don't tell me you don't want to suffer just like I have. That you don't, somewhere, in your deepest, darkest dreams, see the violence and the rape and the blood and long for it.

Oh, I know. I'm crazy. I'm out of my head. Yeah, probably. But you know what? I'm right too. We all knew it, my friends and me. And when we all went, willingly, into that club? You know the ones I'm talking about. With the old biker men and the tattoos and the X and the chains in the back that no one's supposed to see?

We went in. We thought we were cool, fake Ids, and so fake it was painfully obvious. The guy at the door. Teeth capped with gold. He smiled at us.

"Come on in, ladies."

We're getting close now. You want to know what happened. It was the press of all the bodies around me, getting lost, ending up near the back. He took my hand. He said he would show me the way out.

I believed him. I didn't believe him. I knew what he was going to do. And I went with him. It was my own fault. Took me out to the back, his knife. It was engraved with his name. Axel. "You like this knife, girl? The lady bought it for me."

No, no, no. I don't like it at all. I opened my mouth, I was going to say no. I was going to say- He cut me. Before I could scream. I jerked back, and he laughed.

"Might have gone a bit to deep there, sweetie. You probably won't be able to talk ever again."

I felt the cloth of my pants being pulled down. I heard his zipper. He grunted, and he adjusted himself to fit into me. My eyes went to the knife, the one with his name engraved into it. I watched it, I watched it as if it was the only thing safe in the world. As if it was the only thing that could save me. It didn't.

I felt my body react, the way I knew it would.

"Good girl," he hissed. "Good girl, you like it. It's not rape if you like it, is it?"

It's not rape if you want it.

His hands slid up, beneath my shirt and beneath my bra, and he squeezed as he climaxed inside of me. He came inside of me, then picked himself up. Zipped up his pants. Dusted himself off.

"Good girl," he said, watching me lie on the ground, eyes still on the knife. "That didn't hurt, did it?" He picked up the knife and left.

He left me there. That was wear the cops found me two hours later. Turns out, my friends had left hours ago. They all saw me, but no one wanted to call. I don't have any memory of it except for lying there, willing the knife to come back so I could take it, and insert it inside of me, and get rid of this stinging, stinging pain.

The cop report said I was raped multiple times. I only remember the first. I guess they gave it to me as they were leaving. It was common, I guess, to find girls like me there. They picked me up, stitched up my cut and brought me here. Somehow, I had managed to get a few slices on my wrist, and they used it as an excuse. I was crazy, raped, and suicidal.

Only one of those is true.

I wasn't raped.

The thing you don't understand is it felt good. I enjoyed being used. I enjoyed the suffering. You're not raped if you want it.

And you know you want it.