Dedicated to those who have lived through the

storm, and those who have not;

you are not alone.

Young Minds

By J.L.L.


Young minds are fascinatingly malleable. This is something that I didn't know until fairly recently. It amazes me how one bad experience, one simple catalyst, can ruin a happy child's life and make him or her completely miserable. From something as seemingly innocent as an accidental peek into your brother's porn stash, to something as serious as being raped by your next-door neighbor can cause serious and long-lasting mental and social detriment to a child's psyche and cause serious future social and sexual confusion.

If a boy is raped, he can grow up to be homosexual, bisexual, a womanizer, or someone who subconsciously seeks the type of people who would rape him again. Rapists themselves have most likely been abused in their childhoods, giving them a sort of sixth-sense towards others that they are able to victimize.

If a child grows up around parents that violently beat him, he becomes desensitized to it, and in a way, brainwashed. He now grows up associating violent and abusive behavior with signs of affection and belonging. To the victim, abuse is now the norm.

It's scary, really, how easily the young human mind can be infected by "evil" people. However, these people are not truly evil. Sexual abuse, and all other abuse for that matter, spreads like a computer virus. If, unbeknownst to you, you send me an email infected with a virus, are you evil? Is the computer evil? The only truly evil person is the creator of the virus. The source of the pain.

The source which, by reason of some sick enjoyment, contaminates an innocent young mind. This is written in honor of those young victims.

Chapter One.

My sixteenth birthday was, in a word, disastrous. I awoke and put on my clothes. I decided to wear a thin, lace T-shirt, a short, pink skirt that seemed more like a thick belt, my white boots, and my black, furry jacket. I left the house at 6:15 AM. From 6:40 to almost three o' clock, I sat alone in an alley, leaning on a dumpster and smoking a joint; the ride sucked.

At 4:02 PM, I went to Russ' house. We got fucked up on his dad's bourbon and he did me on his kitchen floor.

Later, after we'd sobered up at around nine, we lied on his bed smoking cigs and staring at the ceiling while his kid-sister's Disney movies played in the background. We talked together. Talked about school, which would be starting up again in a month. Talked about our friends. Talked about politics; yes, surprising for kids our age. Me and Russ talked about everything. He was my best friend.

At 12:24 AM, Russ gave me my present - a lighter with a big gold peace sign on it - and I thanked him, hugged him, and left. I forgot my bra on his kitchen floor, so if I were to open my jacket, I'd expose my C-cup breasts to everyone staring in my direction. Later, Russ' dad found it and blacked his eye. Russ shrugged it off, snagged my bra, and would give it back to me tomorrow.

I checked on Allie next. I got to her house at exactly 1:14, as she finished a shot of Jaeger on her front porch. She was hammered. Allie chucked the shot glass at me, but was so fucked up that it missed totally and shattered on the sidewalk. I scooped up the shards - cutting my fingers - and threw them back at her. One cut her cheek.

Fuck the bitch, I thought, and left.

2:30; I bought some bud, planned on blazing it later.

3:01; I got bored and blazed half of it away. It was better this time.

5:46; I blew some old guy in a park bathroom. He paid me twenty bucks and a pack of cigarettes.

Hey, I got to use the lighter Russ gave me.

6:00 AM; I climbed back into bed and passed out.

And that was my sixteenth birthday.

I was born Meghan Rhys Brooke on January 12th, 1991, to a happy couple by the name of Pamela Lewis and Markus Brooke. Rhys, pronounced "Reese," was my grandfather, mother's side. Twelve years before my birth, at 12:45 AM on August 28th, 1979, my brother Sean was born. Four days after Pam and Mark brought me home, we were evicted from our suburban town home. That brought me to the apartment that I still live in today.

I was a cheerful baby, bright brown eyes and darker chestnut hair. It was a trait that was shared throughout my immediate family. My mother, father, and brother all had the same hair, eyes, skin, and cheerful demeanor. I remember sitting on the sofa, snuggled up between Sean and Pam, reading Dr. Seuss books and waiting for Mark to come home from his third job of the day. Three jobs (janitor, fast-food worker, and bus driver), and we still barely had enough to eat.

It wasn't until I was old enough to attend school with Sean that things began to look up.

With me out of the house, mom had time to get a job. She filed papers for some hot-shit company that seriously underpaid her, but we didn't care. As long as we had food, a roof over our heads, and each other, nothing else mattered to us. Hell, I don't even think the first two mattered to us.

Because we were happy.


Holy shit.

I fell out of my bed, my face nearly colliding with the shit-stained boots that were ruining my bedroom carpet.

"Meg, I said wake the fuck up!"

It was Markus.

That fucking asshole.

"What do you want," I shouted.

"I told you to wake up an hour ago," he yelled, yanking me to my feet by my bra-strap. It snapped and I fell to the floor, my tits hanging out.

"What the fuck!?" I grabbed my ruined bra and threw it out the open window. That wasn't supposed to happen, but whatever.

"I said get up! And get your ass dressed!"

I stumbled to my feet, holding my tits in one arm, flipping Mark off with the other. The back of his hand caught me in the face, sending me sprawling back onto my bed like a rag doll.

Yeah, that's what Mark is now.

"And wear something decent!" Mark turned around and slammed the door, then shouted through it, "I'm tired of you looking like a fucking whore!"

Mark's slam had shaken the door off its hinges. No, the fucker wasn't that strong, he had just done it so many times that the door couldn't handle the constant abuse.

I tore the sliding closet door open, and it flew off its tracks and slammed to the ground. I grabbed each of my pieces of clothing and yanked them off the hangers, looking for something Mark would accept. Finally, I found it; a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt.

Mark was in the kitchen, leaning on the counter, gripping his balding, graying head. He probably had a hangover, which explained why I hadn't seen him last night.

I blew past him and opened the fridge, grabbing the Orange Juice. I twisted off the cap and drank it from the bottle.

Mark looked up.

"I told you to use a fucking cup, Meg."

I just looked him in the eyes and poured the rest down the sink.

"Well, looks like we're out," I replied coldly.

He got to his feet, stalked over to me, and put a vice-grip hand on my shoulder, his sausage-fingers actually digging into my skin.

"I'm not in the mood today, Meg. Just quit right now."

"Or what," I sneered, not backing down.

Mark released the grip, sighed, adjusted the bag hanging from his shoulder, and headed to the door. He stopped, looked down at the blue, porcelain bowl on the coffee table, and picked it up.

"And I told you to clean this place up!" Mark chucked the bowl at the wall. It collided with a crooked, framed photograph. They both shattered. Mark slammed the door, and was gone.