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Alcohol. Some people love it, some people need it, crave it even. Not me. Alcohol fueled with poorly made decisions destroyed me. That and the mystery man. I call him mystery man because I don't have any other label for him. In fact I have zero clue who he is.
Let me explain and give you some insight.
In a little over 2 weeks this story will have taken place 2 years ago. I was still in school. Reckless and naive. I was eager to grow up and be somebody I wasn't ready to be. My daily cocktail after school consisted of spliffs from the boys in the years above us and fake tobacco all washed down with cheap corner shop wine, vodka, any mixer we could get our hands on. All of us would put together the few pounds we'd get per day for food etc and get as shitfaced as possible then stumble home and try to act sober as possible in front of our parents just to rinse and repeat the next day. And that was me. Well, until I decided that the few hours between the end of school and when our parents wanted us home wasn't enough time to be off my tits.
That's when we began lying to our parents. We switched up our little routine. Saved up our money throughout the week and splashed out on a Friday. However, this time was different. This time was dangerous. We all used each other as excuses to our parents and said we were all at each others spending the night and doing what kids do. This was in fact not the case. What we were actually doing was walking around the streets all night long and then trying to sync up our stories of what we did that night when we strolled home stupidly early. And yes, most teenagers have done this beforehand but I made some horrible decisions this night.
The time was 2 AM ish and we were sitting in a bus stop waiting for the buses to kick back up again which wasn't until around 4am. And by we I mean a 13 year old girl, a 17 year old girl and myself who was at the time 15. Sitting in the bus stop was also a boy. He was sweet as sweet could be through vodka filled vision. And you may think you know where this encounter is going but no, he is not the mystery man. His is more the cherry on top. No, after a few minutes of casual small talk we found out that this was Adam, aged 19. A bit too comfortable for barely acquaintances. Of course it was mandatory for the eldest girl here to introduce all 3 of us under fake names and the 2 youngest ones with fake ages. This is where everything went down south. Adam invited us to meet his friends. He said two were coming there to pick him up which begged the question: why was he sitting in a bus stop? And I know what you're thinking, mostly because I was thinking it also. This was a massive red flag. Now I had two options and neither of them were very good. I could either be left drunk in the city center at stupid o clock in the morning on my own OR I could go with people that I knew into a stranger's car with his stranger friends. I took my most comfortable option and stayed with the people I knew.
Then they showed up. Me, my two friends, and Adam all got into the back. Now, knowing there wasn't enough space, Adam pulled me onto his lap. See what I meant by too comfortable? Then there was the driver and the passenger. Now here is where I met mystery man. We drove around for about a half an hour. My friends were talking to the driver and passenger and Adam was whispering sweet nothings into my ear as he grazed his finger up and down my thigh and kissed up the side of my neck. "You're my girl now," "It's us always now." As the compliments and meaninglessness poured out of his mouth and into my head like venom, the car pulled over. An Asda car park in the middle of god knows where. The driver told everybody but me to get out. When we were alone he came and sat in the back with me; my friend's bag in between us was my only sense of security we could be kept apart. As if a flimsy handbag could keep him from inching ever closer to be and closing the distance between us. Yes, I was scared. But I shouldn't have been. Or maybe I should have. For anybody reading who thinks again that they know where this is going: you again have it wrong. This is not mystery man. Instead he just spoke to me. No venom, just sincerity. He was my godsend. He asked me if I was uncomfortable with Adam and if I wanted him to stop. We spoke and he agreed to sort Adam out.
We both got out of the car and I immediately advanced towards my friends. Stood with them for maybe 30 seconds tops when the passenger slides over to us and snakes his arm around my shoulder. "Let's go for a walk." He was tall, probably 6 ft or more, and quite buff. He flashed me a charming smile which looked inviting but his eyes screamed 'Don't go!' Yes, for those finally putting the pieces of this puzzle together. This is mystery man. He walked me across the road to a college campus and sat himself on the grass outside it. He told me to come and sit with him but I told him I wanted to go back to my friends. Taking me back to the car park, everybody else had gotten back into the car and were doing donuts in the car park and then began speeding towards us. Mystery man actually dragged me out of the way the first time but in the process bending me over. They all thought it was all fun and games until he started pretending to pull me away from the car just to bend me over in front of them all.
Everybody laughed yet again and then he said to me "Let's go for a walk." This time we walked the opposite direction. The entirety of this car park was surrounded by metal fencing. However, in a part of this fence was a hole that led into this giant, overgrown field. We walked through it and he tried to make his way through the field. I stuck by the fence and when realizing he wasn't going to get anywhere across the field came back over to me.
This is where everything gets fucked.
He put his hands on my sides and let himself explore my body. I said I wanted to go back to my friends which he replied to by forcing his hand down the front of my jeans and below my underwear. I tried to push him away but like I said before, he was big and much bigger than me. I tried to think of things I could say to get him away from me. I told him I'd scream and that this was wrong. I told him my friends would come over and see what was happening and get mad at him. He replied by smacking the side of my face and covering my mouth with his hand. "You won't tell anyone anything because you want this. You want me, you just don't know it yet." I struggled to move with the weight of his body in front of me and I felt helpless. He let me tire myself out before spinning me around and forcing my jeans down. This is where I really felt helpless. I still tried to fight him away though but it didn't exactly work. If it did I probably wouldn't be here writing this story. Grabbing my wrists with his one hand and covering my mouth with the other, I don't think I have to tell you what happens next. This isn't a happy story. It doesn't have a happy ending like you read in those fairy tales. I didn't get a Prince Charming or a Knight in shining armor to come to my rescue. I didn't get help. Nobody came because nobody had wondered where'd I'd gotten to. Not the driver and Adam, not even my friends. In this moment, I was completely alone.
I cried. It was all I felt I could do. "You look so beautiful when you cry." Words that haunt me to this day. He moved the hand he had over my mouth and I just stared forwards. That fence looked like prison bars. My own personal jail. He moved his hand up my top, scratching my back, shoulders, and gripping his fingers in so hard to my hips and various other places that bruises were left. People can say that they feel dead inside but in this moment I was truly dead in every aspect but physically.
He finished his business and the first thing I did was fall to the floor. I couldn't move. I felt paralyzed, broken. He told me to get up but it all felt like white noise. He ended up standing me up and sorting out my clothes and hair. We both then walked out to the car park to find that the car, driver, and Adam were all gone. My two friends were sitting by the trolleys and told us that they'd left.
All four of us walked up the road to the next bus stop. Mystery man and my friends were all ahead talking and I remember my mind just racing off. Everybody then stopped as he came up to me, kissing me roughly before leaving.
As I said earlier, this was nearly 2 years ago and I have seen mystery man a few times since it happened, where we've managed to be in the same place at the same time. He stares at me. Looks at me like I'm a disappointment. Like I'm HIS disappointment. 2 years later and I'm still not okay with it. I live in a constant state of paranoia, fear, and an overall feeling of emptiness and worthlessness. I told my parents and they cried. I got myself tested and came back negative for STDs or anything like that. I also did a pregnancy test which also came back negative. So in that retrospect, I guess I can be called lucky.
These past 2 years have been painful to say the least. A fair few suicide attempts have happened and a lot of self harming because I don't feel like I deserve to be here living with the memory of what has happened. And whilst I am still quite suicidal I can happily say that I'm not trying anything and I'm not hurting myself. I may not be 100% happy but I am safe and I am getting to the stage of being overall happy again and thinking back to when this all began, it's improvement. It's all baby steps and I am proud of myself for managing to hold on and make it this far because I'm progressing and yes, whilst it is a slow and tedious process, I have faith that it will come soon and that is what I'm holding out for. My story of mystery man is now a ghost story because that is all he is. Something from my past, a ghost.
I'm finally deciding to own my story. I'm doing this because there are way too many people with a worse story than mine who are in the bad way that I was in. I don't know who these people are, I don't know what happened to them but if hearing me come out gives you the courage to come out and tell somebody then read on.
It's okay to cry and it's okay to need a hug every now and then. It's not okay to not let somebody know you need help. And as horrible as things seem at the minute, take me as living proof that things get better, no matter how long it may take. You're always worth it <3