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Go online. You're sure to find it. You've heard about it; you're curious. Don't think twice, just do it. Satisfying your curiosity is a search away, and then a click. When you see it, you'll gawk, leer too. It's obscene. At least you can heave a sigh of relief; it's not you. You'd never do that. Oh no. How could she do that? What you see is awful, disgusting. That girl's a slut, a ho. She's nameless. She's drunk. She had this coming to her...
Lisa was in math class. It was the first week of school so she didn't know half of her classmates. Most of them kept to themselves. She had no problem doing the same.
The unknown girl sitting next to her, whose strappy shoes she'd been admiring, leaned over and whispered: "Hey, I think you should see this."
The girl quietly passed her an iPhone under the desk. On the cracked screen was a grainy, shaky video someone had taken on their phone. There were three guys. Lisa would see them hanging around school and knew they were in her grade. The sound was off, so Mr. Hubb didn't catch the girls disregarding him. Lisa didn't need sound to know what was going on. She knew full well, acquainted with the sordid goings-on. The guys were laughing, in various states of undress. They had someone surrounded on a couch, in a dimly lit basement, which was littered with beer cups, crushed chips and paper plates.
The figure lay sprawled out on the couch. The guys were taking turns.
Lisa broke out into a cold sweat. Here it was again, come back to haunt her.
In time, the video became less fuzzy. Increased visibility shed light on the girl's identity. One of the guys stepped to the side. Lisa could make out the girl's face. She knew that face. She was that girl! She was naked, vulnerable, passed out drunk.
She went stone cold in this classroom, instantly transported back to a sad, dark place. Math was obliterated. Lightheaded, she shuddered, her vision tunneling.
Mr. Hubb was looking directly at her; some concerned spiked in his eyes. They were on her, but his vision flitted away abruptly. He didn't call her name. He continued identifying properties of equations.
"No-no-no," Lisa could barely choke out. Her voice failed her like flickering flame from a candle blown out.
"I got it from Kate, but it's been going around... Don't know who originally sent it. Sorry," the other girl whispered. She took her phone back like she might get a disease just from Lisa's handling it.
Lisa stood up. She knew if she asked Mr. Hubb if she could use the bathroom, she'd break down. She wasn't one to cry in front of others. Crying while others watched was awful, belittling.
Risking detention, she ran from the room, leaving him speechless. Freedom beckoned her; she streaked down the hall to get away.
She'd attended that party. She'd gotten drunk, totally wasted. Memory was filtering back. She'd kissed some guy, then several. Would she have agreed to participate in filming that raunchy video? Absolutely not! She was...well, had been a virgin. She wasn't a prude, but she was no ho. But now, she was. People who saw this would judge her to be a freak.
She was seeing herself like that. Three guys had used her for sex.
How could she have let that happen? War raged inside her. She thought she knew herself better than that girl being treated as meat in the video. The Lisa she knew and treasured would never have done that.
Why was it that people saw what they wanted to see? Seeing was believing in the minds of most. The truth was, Lisa only remembered bits and pieces of what had happened. Had she consented? She'd awakened the morning after at the home of the friend, who had thrown the party, with her panties pulled down, and her shirt backwards. The ache between her legs had been horrendous, to go along with the massive hangover. What had happened that night? She wished she really knew. The events were all jumbled.
Most people seeing what had gone on would conclude she had asked for it.
Slut, swirled in Lisa's mind, her identity now.
That party had been during the summer. It was October already; the sweltering heat of the season no longer a burden. Lisa feared that this awful video would never go away. It kept resurfacing, like a bad penny constantly turning up, ever since it had been recorded. By now plenty of kids must have seen it. Everybody knew exactly what she looked like naked. The video was out there on the internet, garnering hits. Living this down? She would never be over it. The tempest brewing would leave extensive damage in its wake.
A friend of hers, soon to be ex-friend, Ginny, would hate her. One of the three lascivious predators was Ginny's boyfriend.
Lisa cringed, imagining what the next couple of days would be like. Wearing clothes would be a formality since nothing would be left to people's imagination now. Not a day would go by when some creepy jerk would announce, "nice butt" in her ear, or a rowdy group of losers would be laughing at her, tormenting her about her fat rolls and double-D boobs.
Unable to make the video disappear, Lisa figured that making herself disappear, while counting down the days until graduation was her Plan B.
She groaned, ducking into the Girls bathroom, relieved that the coast was clear. She had the smelly place to herself.
Too many days stood between her and leaving this hell hole behind.