Monday, February 13, 2012

To Nap is Not to Slumber

Sexual content-discretion advised

I am nine years old.  It is deep summer and our camp is near the communal dock where I have been playing in the water all morning.  My Grandma from California has been staying with us and after two weeks, she has gone back and I am sad.  I had been enjoying time off from my step father's demands.  I know I will have to make it up to him one way or another. He has not smiled except to convince outsiders that everything is as perfect in our lives as they think.

I have been making pies from sand and seaweed and decorating them with poison-berries.  My cousins from my step father's side of the family have all gone to their camps for lunch or a nap.  I am filling time, hoping that my step father will show up after his lunch and then I will go to the camp for food after.  I have devised all kinds of ways to avoid him.  Summer affords me this behavior as it also keeps him busy with the task of impressing his four brothers- a busy job amongst one-uppers.

I see him walk by the dock towards the tennis courts and I am in the clear to fill the cave that is my yearning stomach.  I did not eat breakfast this morning as a part of my maneuver to be out the door before anyone else.  I wrap my towel around my wet suit and body, feeling cocooned by the sun- soaked towel and relieved that I will soon have food in hand.

The screen door swings shut behind me.  I let it go on purpose because I love the sound of it- I hear it all over this private association, a reminder of the peaceful comings and goings of happy families.  If my step father is around I don't do it because I want to be a phantom- an apparition making off with a sandwich, a towel, a dry bathing suit.

I am cold in my bathing suit and I wish I had thought to dry off in the sun some more before coming back to this camp in the shade.  I have two pieces of bread on the counter awaiting peanut butter and jam, but my teeth are chattering and my jaw is tight so I head up the stairs in search of a dry suit and a fresh towel. 

At the top of the stairs, as I head to my room on the right , I catch a peripheral glimpse of something that moves to my left.  I stand in that kind of momentary alarm that one experiences upon hallucinating a cat or a person and then laughs it off after realizing its just a slipper or a robe.  I am spooked so I don't look to find the inanimate culprit and make haste toward my room. It is then that I hear his throat clear.

His voice is sleepy and seductive.  I am startled and I emit a  screech which is met with a severe hush for my step father.  He notices that I am shivering and tells me to come to him as he raises the blankets from his nakedness.  He wants to make me warm.  Maybe we can have a little afternoon nap while my mother plays tennis.  I know now that he purposely rounded back from the courts through the path in the cedar bushes to lie in wait. 

I have seen the parts of him from his pants waist to his ankles in the nude, but never have I seen the full suit of flesh that he bares only for me now.  I have never been so keenly aware that he is a grown-up and I am a kid and maybe I am not supposed to see this.  He pats the bed and tells me to lie down and let him and Buddy warm me.  I do as I am told.  I always do as I am told.  

I am a plank of rigid muscles and cold flesh on the bed.  He throws the chenille coverlet over me and then scoots himself close.  His full body is not quite touching mine and I am relieved only to feel the warmth from his sun-kissed skin.  He does not ask me to touch the part that is poking me yet, but I await his command.

After a while he inches the blanket off of me to my waist and I am peeled- bare in ways that are more than skin deep.  He traces paths on my chest and tells me I am still his little girl, his perfect wife.  He pushes the covering further down, exposing my hips and pelvis.  He traces a line that is developing above my pubic bone and clicks his tongue in objection as he tells me I am growing and the score that his finger maps out between my hips mean that I am ready.  His breath is coming to my ear in molten rushes.  My skin crawls.  He has never touched me with such intent.  He is pawing at me and his eyes are burnished by his own heat.  What is it that I am ready for that he hasn't already taught me? 

I feel his hands slip between my legs and I scurry away from him only to realize my feebleness as he yanks me back into place. He is shifting his weight to cover me completely, forcing my matchstick legs apart. The chenille blanket, a gift of an heirloom from my Grandma, is floating over head, softly landing over this space that fades to black as a soul-shattering memory is beget unto my gutted mind only to be swaddled and rocked until it no longer cries out- hidden away more deeply than any before. 


  1. My heart just broke while reading this post. xoxo

    1. When I write, I think I want hearts to break. I don't want to scare people away though. Hopefully I have struck a good balance.

      I want people to be moved to DO something- research, read, open their eyes a little wider.

      Thank you for your post XOXO Cairn

  2. You have struck a perfect balance. Heartbreaking and yet incredibly inspiring.

  3. Thank you. I guess I will keep going! :)

  4. I so love you, my beautiful friend ♡♡♡♡