The other day my mom asked me "Remember that time you ran away and the cops found you down at that park?" the questions she asked blurred into "I think I know what happened but I 1) can't believe it and 2) Will if you open up to me". She's not so eloquent though and asks things like "How did you get all the way out there?" and "What were you doing out there?".
That has always been something that comes up in my memory frequently. But when she asked about this I couldn't bring myself to tell her that the 35 year old man the cops found me in that car with was my first at 12 years old. There are many things I remember distinctly; the taste and smell, his little brother's bunk bed, the way the white of his eyes stood out in the dark, and my favorite was his voice impressions. He could do Donald Duck among other things. I remember the exact cell phone that I had, a small pearl blue one without texting.
But I can't remember his face, the car he drove, or the way we met. That has been what is bothering me lately;
I can remember the position, scrambling for our clothes, putting on his shirt because I couldn't find mine. The cops asked questions, "No, we didn't do anything". I'm sure that they expected to find two teens escaping to the park but instead found a victimized, confused 12 year old girl with a full grown man. I remember them telling my mom that they couldn't do anything if I said nothing happened. I found and changed to my own shirt and went home.
But I can't remember him standing there by the nearby tree, I can't remember how muscular or scrawny he was without his shirt on.
It's always bothered me, and sometimes I wonder if I could remember more could I have stopped the other times from happening? Would I have seen the signs? To this day I live guilty that I can't be with a man of the same ethnicity because to me all his is is a full grown man that broke the trust of a young girl. A faceless man with skin, a motive, and a way of making me feel treasured.
I can remember his girlfriend's voice when she picked up his phone finally one day. "Who is this?" "This is his girlfriend." "How old are you?". It turned out that she was pregnant with his child. Sometimes I want to sit down with that young woman and tell her I'm sorry that she had to find out her child's father was a pedophile from me in such a crude way. I had no idea at the time how wrong the whole situation was back then, I just knew he was cheating on us.
I know all these things, sometimes it all comes back to me in a rush. It's like a nagging feeling that something isn't right. I feel like I need to know his face, how he got me... but I can't remember. It was 12 years ago now and even today I find that the guilt of the experience creeps into my every day life. I have moved on but not moved on, it still hurts. How could I forget things so important?