Once When No One Was Looking
Once when no one was looking, someone touched me. As small as I was, I struggled, submitting only when he pressed me to the bed and whispered in my ear the awful things that would befall me if I told, his breath hot, cloying and foul against my neck.
Once when no one was listening, I cried myself silently to sleep, unable to hold back my terror and shame, waiting for him to return, burying my hurt and guilt deep inside, believing his words that I was to blame, that I wanted it, needed it.
Once when no one was watching, I touched myself and thought of Jim, imagining what could be.
Once when no one was listening, I cursed myself for thinking that he'd want me, berated myself for wishing for more than I deserved, hurt myself for remembering.
Once when we were both watching, Jim touched me, showed me how to love and be loved, replaced my guilt and shame with need and longing.
Once when I thought Jim wasn't listening, I whispered how long I'd loved him. Strong arms drew me into his embrace and sweet kisses peppered my face.
"I know. I've always known."