The sound of the glass shattering on the floor was deafening. The shards scattered in a hundred different directions, their shimmering complexion catching the light and gleaming up at us. Beautiful. Fragile. Dangerous. Breath held, nothing moved for a moment. Everything was still, and almost parading as calm. And then the world crashed down around us, like the glass that had just coated the floor in a glimmering weapon. I fell- or was I pushed? At this point I couldn't tell the difference. My hand landed in the glinting mesh of glass, the shard scratching through my skin, digging in further as I struggled to move away. Breaths came faster now, panicked. Fear pounded through me, adrenaline digging its claws into veins, screaming at me to run. To get out of here, now, it didn't matter how-I just had to go.

I had to leave.

I couldn't leave.

I had to leave.

Blood was spilling out of my hand now, I could smell it in the air. The metallic tang of iron hit the back of my mouth, as I screamed. A sharp crack resonated through the air. My cheek was on fire. The scream was cut short. My voice caught in my throat. It seemed to be swelling, I couldn't get the words out, I couldn't breathe. I couldn't breathe- my throat was closing in on itself. My own body was betraying me. The hand that fell on my throat seemed to free up my voice again, somehow, and I begged- I begged. And I begged.


The singular word choked its way out, pathetic and so underwhelming feeble. I wanted to scream and thrash. Kick my way free, dig my nails into his eyes. Blind him, since he was already blind to his cruelty. Or perhaps he just did not care. Instead I simply begged; that same word spilling out, over and over and over, until my voice didn't work any longer. Until I ran out of tears to cry.

Until my body betrayed me again, and the physical pain didn't seem so cruel any longer, because this was far worse. The hot breath on my neck drove bile up my throat, the grip on my throat forcing it back down. The fear did not ebb.

He didn't need to hold me there any longer, I was paralysed. I couldn't move, I couldn't run away from him. I never had been able to. Something held me still, something malevolent and vicious, leaving me to thrash inside myself. To scream and kick, but only

in my mind. Only ever in my mind.

He spoke and something inside me snapped even further. I pulled my head back and slammed it into his nose. Blood spurted from it, the swear that spluttered from his mouth driving me to rip myself free. His hand moved to his nose, stemming the blood flow. I was free.

I don't remember how I got out the house. I don't remember how I got past the others I knew to be in the house. I don't remember how I got the bruises on my legs, or how long or far I ran.

I remember the fear, and the utter panic that pushed me to move further and further away from him, from them. I remember reaching the high street and relief crowding me that the street was busy, with plenty of people to see me. I remember walking into my school, crying in a bathroom as silently as I could manage, the gasps of my haggard breaths clouding my vision and turning everything to dust. And then straightening my back and walking into a biology lesson.

And he was there- maybe not literally, physically in the room, but he is always with me. He is there in the quiet moments in the library, in the faceless people I see on the river banks. He is hissing my name in the exam hall, and he is raping me over and over in my sleep. I feel contaminated with him, his touch seems to linger in the cells of my skin. He remains a part of me that I cannot shake off, that I cannot scrape away no matter how hard I try.