“Well aren’t you a pretty lady?” the voice said. I couldn’t see the face in the pitch black but I knew what was happening. The man grabbed my arms and put his hand over my mouth. I couldn’t scream and the force of his grip made it impossible to run. I knew what was going to happen.
“Mandi?” Mom asked snapping me out of my flashback.
“Do you want bacon?” Mom asked, pushing her brownish-blond hair over her shoulder as my eyes moved over her slender frame. She is in excellent shape, and I can only hope to have a figure like that when I reach her age and have had three kids.
“Yes, please,” I replied from my seat at the kitchen table.
Her brown eyes met mine, “You better hurry up if we’re going to head out to go shopping.”
“Mom, I have plans with Nick and his friends, remember?”
“Oh okay. Tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you. Oh, and Mandi, remember that you have to do the dishes tonight and vacuum the house,” she said reminding me of my usual chores.
“I won’t forget about my chores and there’s no need for you to go shopping I think I am going out with Nina and Carissa later this week, but we could have a girls night out one night, just the two of us.”
Nina and Carissa were my two best friends. We have been friends ever since we were little, and our families were extremely close. Once my father us, our families grew apart, but the three of us managed to stay close.
I heard footsteps coming down the halls and looked up to see my older sister wearing her usual all black skimpy outfit.
“Mom! I need money!” Briana whined in her normal, rude manner. She was extremely close to our father so when he left she blamed my mom and started being even more annoying and rude than usual.
“Don’t call me sweetie!” she said, looking up just to get the money then quickly averting her blue eyes away from my mom.
I watched her storm out from the room and rolled my eyes. I don't know how my mother ever puts up with her. Bri and I aren't the best of friends. I love her and all, but there are days I can't put up with her rudeness and impatience. We are complete opposites, our only resemblance being the sandy colour of our hair.
The basement door opened, revealing my oldest sister all sweaty from her workout. She is always complaining that she needed more time to work out. Even though she works out for like two hours every day, which is why probably why she's a double zero with a fully tightened belt.
“Mom? I'm going out with Jake tonight.” Heather said.
It wasn’t unusual for Heather to go out with Jake, her boyfriend. She was twenty-two now and has given me advice about boys, since we are really close. She is hoping he proposes one of these days, since she considers him to be her soul mate.
“Okay, have fun!” Mom said, pushed the plate of bacon towards me. Normally I would have only had a piece of two but I was starving so I took three pieces.
“Oh, girls I'm gonna have to work tonight. I might not be home until later.” Mom added.
I nodded as I grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl on the counter.
My mom, Sherri, is the owner of Laugh’s, a big indoor facility where kids can be kids. It does very well which is great considering it is the job she uses to provide for our family. She misses my dad a ton even though she tries to hide it. I am not as easily fooled as the rest of my family. Briana doesn’t even care that my mom is in pain, she just keeps adding to my poor mothers stress.
Suddenly my phone buzzed. I looked down and saw a text from Nick.
‘Hey, John and my mom are going out tomorrow so if you want you can just come over here then.’
Nick is my boyfriend. He is like a best friend to me and he helps me through the good and bad times.
‘Ok, sounds good. Love you,’ I texted him back as I walked up to my room, I heard the television blaring from the wall; where it hung. Beside it sat all my posters and pictures of my friends. I sat down on my fuzzy blue comforter and turned on my computer. Once my laptop was booted up my screensaver of my whole family in front of our house appeared on the screen, it had been the first Christmas card without my father present in it. Out house is an old stone-covered house and has lots of land in the back and front.
As I logged onto Facebook, Marbles and Lucky, my two golden retrievers puppies, came into my room and jumped onto my bed.
“Mandi, dear. Your father sent each of you girls a check. Do you want me to cash yours?” my mom asked, as she walked by my room carrying a laundry basket, doing Bri’s chore for her. Ever since the divorce she has been afraid to yell at us, in fear of losing us, so she does our chores if we forget to do them. I always try to do my chores because I know how hard taking care of three daughters and working can be on my mom.
“Yes please. I'm going out later with everyone, want me to take it? I can cash it on the way. Nick is picking me up and I'm sure he wouldn’t mind, that way you don’t have to worry about it on the way to work,” My father had owned a local restaurant and was extremely famous for his cooking. Eight months ago he got an offer to put his cooking on a TV show. The only catch was that he would have to move to Los Angeles, we all would have been more than willing to move with him, in fact that was the plan, until one day he just left without telling us. None of us wanted to chase after him so we just stayed here. Every month he sends us checks and a month after he left he sent us the checks as well as sending my mom a letter requesting a divorce, blindsiding us all. Thankfully Nick has been very supportive of everything. There have been many, many time where I have had to cancel the date because my mom wasn’t feeling good and someone at Laugh’s couldn’t get to work their shift so I had to go in.
“That would be great, thanks. Oh, and I'm gonna work a little late tonight and Heather is out with Jake and God only knows what and where Bri is going so if you wanna invite Nick or someone over after the mall that would be fine,” she said heading downstairs to do Bri’s laundry.
I was on Facebook for all of five minutes before I was bored. The same couples that are always on-and-off-again were on or off and the same drama-causing girls were posting about their drama filled lives. I shut my laptop and reached around for my remote, and after a few seconds of searching I turned on the TV to the NHL network and was listening to them talk about illegal hits to the head while working on my math homework. I was relatively good at school, I kept up a 3.8 G.P.A.
When I saw the clock face read three forty, and Nick wasn’t picking me up until four fifteen, I decided to take a little nap.
It was the same nightmare I always had. The man was the same and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I kept screaming but it wasn’t doing anything. He kept touching me and hurting me. I tried to get away but nothing worked. He was stronger than me. There was nothing I could do. Nothing.
I awoke to find Nick sitting beside my bed.
“What are you doing here?” I said, brushing my side bangs out of my eyes.
“I came to pick you up and your mom let me in. You were sleeping and I didn’t want to wake you up so I waited.”
“Ohmygod, I'm so sorry. I should’ve set my alarm, we are gonna be late,” I said putting my shoes on and heading towards the door.
“No need to rush, we still have a little bit of time I texted them and told them we would be a little late,” he said putting his hands in his worn out blue jean pockets
That was one of the things I loved about Nick. He didn’t care if things didn’t go as perfectly as they were supposed to; he just went along with it.
“I love you,” I said, really meaning it. We had been having a little rough patch lately but that didn’t mean that I didn’t think he was perfect. Yeah, maybe he is a little to engrossed in football season sometimes or didn’t take things seriously sometimes but I still loved him. I loved how his brown hair fell perfectly on his head and how his blue eyes sparkle whenever he first sees me.
“I love you too,”
Walking down the stairs I yelled goodbye to my mom and walked outside and got into Nicks beat up blue pickup truck. He had saved up for two years to be able to get the truck since his parents couldn’t afford it. When he was ten his father died and left Nick and his mom alone, his mom remarried when he was fourteen to a guy named John. When his father died his family lost a lot of money since his father was the main money-maker in the family
We arrived at the dinner place just in time. We met up with everyone and went to our table.
“Why were you guys so late? Nick didn’t really give us the details,” Austin asked, sliding into the booth beside Stephanie, his girlfriend of ten months.
“Sorry, I fell asleep and Nick had to wait for me,”
“Oh, is that all that went on?” The sarcasm obvious in Matt’s voice as he moved over a little so Megan, his girlfriend could sit down. Matt, Nick, and Austin were all best friends so that forced Steph, Megan, and I to hang out more than we regularly would. Honestly, I don’t like any of them. His friends are nice but are complete jerks when they are around their girlfriends and the girls are complete idiots.
“Yes,” I said, looking over to the oblivious Nick. We were the only two in this group that hadn’t lost our virginity yet. Matt and Megan have been dating for a year and a half now but had been ‘friends with benefits’ for a few months prior to that. Megan would always go to Steph’s house and have Steph get her blond hair perfect for their dates with his bed. Austin and Steph at least waited until they were officially a couple. Three months into their relationship they lost theirs to each other.
“Honestly, just join the club already,” Matt said to Nick as he flipped his brown hair out of his brown eyes.
To that Nick chimed in, “Dude, drop it.”
“Mandi, didn’t you think that Mr. Obrien’s test was super hard?” Megan asked her stupidity obvious.
“Um, actually no, I thought it was really easy, but that may just have been me,” I said, trying really hard to be nice. I knew how much Nick valued his friends and I tried to be nice to them and their girlfriends but sometimes its just so hard.
“Mandi, is really smart, tell them what you got on your state scores babe,” Nick said, unaware to the fact that being a nerd made me just an easier target to his friends. When we had started dating twenty-two months ago his friends weren’t as rude and ignorant as they are now. Now they are just unbearable and I hate going out with them, but I know if I'm not there then I will just be making myself an easier target.
“Oh, those, I got a one thousand,” I said, nonchalantly hoping they wouldn’t know how good of a score that is. The average in our school had been a seven hundred. I remember calling Nick the minute I found out about the score and him taking me out to dinner. That was the first night he had ever tried to pressure me into sex. Looking back I wish I had given him my virginity that night. Then at least he would have been the one to take it from me.
“Oh, nerd” Austin mumbled under his breath. Austin always had an annoying comment to everything I did or said which hurt, but what hurt even more was that Nick didn’t really care. I try to make it seem like those comments don’t hurt me but they do. I already have a low self esteem issue, them calling me names does not help.
Finally the waitress came and I ordered my salad with a diet coke. After three long, torturous hours of the boys talking about the new NHL rules with me occasionally chiming in, and the girls complaining about other sluts which I found really funny since the girls that they talk about are just as big of sluts as they are, the guys paid for their girlfriends and we got to leave the restaurant. Nick and I said goodbye to his friends and their girlfriends and hopped in his car.
He drove a little bit and then pulled off onto a ditch, where no one would see us and we started making out. At first it was like our normal make out sessions but then he started getting more touchy-feely, feeling my breasts and butt as his tongue was fully absorbed in my mouth. His hands went from my butt and breasts to taking off my shirt and unbuttoning my jeans.
“Nick,” I said, backing away from him.
“C’mon, everyone else has,” he said, sounding like one of those cliché movie jerks as he continued to feel up my breasts and take off my jeans with his other hand.
“Nick! Stop! Now!” I screamed.
The man kept touching me no matter how loud I screamed. No one could hear me, no one could help me. I was trapped and there was nothing I could do. Each time he touched me I cringed. He noticed and started to yell but didn’t stop. He got more and more physical and started to undress me.
“Fine,” he said looking away as I put on my pants and shirt.
He turned on the car and pulled out of the ditch.
I turned on the radio to our favorite country station and turned up the volume.
“Hows Laughs doing?” he asked trying to break the silence.
“Good, I guess.”
“You’re mom must be glad that you are willing to help out.”
“Yeah, especially with Bri, who isn’t willing to help out one bit. My poor mother, I feel bad that she has to put up with her. So most of my summer will be spent working since we need more employees,” I said trying to hide the fact that I was extremely upset with Bri for not being willing to help out. Heather has to work and go to college and be with Jake while Bri has nothing. All she ever does is stay at home or go out yet she isn’t willing to work at all.
“Well I would be willing to help you if you needed help,” he said, the sympathy obvious in his voice.
“Yeah, well you always say that you will help or you will stop by and visit and you never do because of football or whatever so, I don’t wanna be counting on you,” I retorted as Nick pulled over into a vacated lot and put the car in park.
“Nick, what are you doing? Don’t stop the car again, please.”
“What were you talking about before? Lately all you do is complain about what I do and do not do, can’t you just be happy. Honestly, is it that hard? You drive me crazy too sometimes but I don’t flip out about it. Why? Because I love you and I know that I love the things you do more than I hate the few things you do. I know you’re stressed and all but please don’t take it out on me,” he said, making sure his blue eyes made direct contact with my brown eyes. I could feel the tears building up.
“I’m sorry. I do love you, I really do. It’s just with everything going on, and we haven’t exactly had time to just hang out the two of us, I don’t know what to do. I fell in love with a guy that always made time for just the two of us and now I don’t know what to think. The only time we ever get to hang out is with your friends and you know I don’t get along with them or their girlfriends. Us going to your place tomorrow will be the first time we have hung out one on one in like forever. You don’t get that I'm not ready for sex or that when your friends make fun of me it hurts, and it’s even worse that you don’t stand up for me. I always have to hang out with your friends but you never have to hang out with mine, whenever I say we should hang out with them you just cancel on me with some stupid excuse. You used to always be there for me. I used to believe we were meant for each other, but now? Now I don’t know what to think or believe.” I said as a tear fell from my brown eyes and onto my bright pink v-neck.
“I didn’t know you felt that way,” he said wiping another fallen tear off from my cheek.
“Of course you don’t, you never ask about anything. All you ever talk about is your friends and their girlfriends and when we do hang out one-on-one you just talk about how we should have sex,” I said still crying. My mind kept flashing back two months ago. “Stop!” I had screamed for what felt like the millionth time. I had never thought this would happen to me. I couldn’t see his face but I didn’t need to, I knew what was going on. I had read about this countless times. I tried my hardest to resist him but it didn’t work, he shoved me onto the bed with force. He was hurting me and I could do nothing about it. I felt weak.
“I’m sorry, I promise I’ll stop pressuring you, because I love you and if you aren’t ready I don’t wanna pressure you to. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me and I don’t wanna lose you. I'm sorry about my friends, I promise I’ll make more of an effort with your friends and stop forcing us to hang out with my friends, I know you hate their girlfriends and I do too. They are idiots but those are my best friends so I have to put up with them. Why don’t you call Nina and Carissa and invite them to my house one night with their boyfriends. Are they still dating Luke and Zach?”
“Yeah they are still dating them. I’ll call them tomorrow and see what day works, if you ever get off the side of the road and drive,” I leaned over and gave him one kiss for the road. Our relationship consisted of many fights, yes he did stuff to aggravate me, but that didn’t mean at the end of the day I didn’t love him. We had always gotten through every fight and recovered.
“If the captain says so,” Nick said pulling out onto the road. Each and every time he pulled out onto the road my mind flashed back to a year and a half ago. Nick had just gotten his license and was coming to pick me up for a date, but h never showed up. I kept calling his cell but there was no answer, so I called his mom. She informed me that he had been hit by a pick-up truck when pulling out from his driveway, he was in a coma with a broken leg and fractured arm. He woke up from the coma hours later to find his mother and me by his side. That was when I knew I loved him, when the fact that he may not wake up made me want to die on the inside and question if I should still be here after he left. Not a day went by where I didn’t wonder to myself what would have happened if he had never woken up or had awoken with severe brain damage. I thank the Lord every day for the fact that he is alive.
We pulled into my vacated driveway within a few minutes.
“Home sweet home,” Nick joked getting out of the car and walking over to the passenger side to open my door. He reached his big hand out towards me and entwined our two hands. Even after almost two years I wasn’t used to the butterfly feeling I got when he did that and I hoped it never went away.
“Thanks for the ride,” I said standing on my tippy toes to kiss him goodbye.
“No problem, my place tomorrow right?”
“What time?” I asked, pulling my hand away from his to reach into my pocket and search for the keys to my
“Sounds good, I love you. Drive safe,” I walked up to the front door and unlocked it. Entering my house I instantly smelled the aroma of pizza.
“Heather?” I yelled.
“What?” a voice yelled from the basement.
“Oh, nothing just letting you know I'm home,”
As soon as the dogs heard my voice I was trampled by them.
“Why hello there pup,” I said as Marbles greeted me. I went upstairs and went into the bathroom and locked the door.
I opened the second drawer, the drawer I normally keep my pads and tampons. I reached to the very back and grabbed it, Clearblue Pregnancy Test. I opened the test and followed the instructions. Waiting the five minutes seemed to take forever. My mind flashed back to that night, the night I had lost my virginity.
“Mom! I’m going for a walk! I’ll be back soon!” I yelled up the stairs.
“Mandi its late! Be safe!”
Typical mom, I thought to myself, worrying over nothing. Its only seven thirty it won’t be dark for another hour. I had turned on my iphone and plugged in the earphone and listened to music. It only seemed like it had been a half hour or so, but it was starting to get dark and I had managed to get lost.
‘Shit, just my luck.’ I thought. I always managed to somehow get lost, no matter where I went. I had saw a nice older guy walking down the street towards me and I decided to ask him for directions back to my street.
“Umm, excuse me, how can I get to Direpen Drive from here?”
As he got closer I realized he had this weird look on his face, he kept moving closer and before I knew it he had grabbed my arms and put his hand over my mouth. I couldn’t scream and his grip was too strong for me to run.
He brought me to his truck threw me in the back and drove. We got to his house and he once again grabbed me. He took me upstairs and started touching me. I couldn’t do anything. He took off my clothing one item at a time. Within a few minutes him and I were both naked. He had shoved something down my throat and I woke up a few hours later on the streets. My mom had called the police and they had found me wandering around. I just told them I had gotten lost and my phone had died.
After five minutes I looked at the test and read it. Positive. That one word just broke me down. This wasn’t supposed to be how I got pregnant. It was supposed to be when I was married and settled down and the baby was supposed to be my husbands, not some random guys. My mind immediately flashed to Nick. He was gonna leave me, he wouldn’t stick with me while I was carrying someone else’s baby and there was no way I was going to have an abortion. There was no way I would be able to live with myself but I also would never be able to give it up for adoption. My mom would probably kick me out, say it was my fault for going for that walk. If only I had listened to her.
I sat on the toilet wanting to talk to someone. Wanting to tell someone. I was pregnant at seventeen. I couldn’t tell my mom or my family. My friends would judge me. Without even thinking I grabbed the phone and pressed six on speed dial. I heard the ringing and wanted to hang up but couldn’t do it.
“Mandi?” he answered.
“Nick, is anyone home at your house?”
“Not currently, why do you wanna come over?” he asked.
“Yeah, I really need someone to talk to, if that’s ok,” I said trying to cover up my sniffling.
“I’ll come get you, I’ll be there in a few minutes,” he said hanging up.
How would I tell him? There isn’t really a book for how to tell your boyfriend you were raped and are now pregnant. What if he left me? I would have nothing left. My friends will try not to judge me but they will always think of me as their friend that got raped and pregnant. They won’t understand why I need to keep this baby.
The doorbell rang and I went out to see Nick.
“Hey,” he said leaning in to kiss me then noticed the tears, “are you okay?”
“Can we just talk about it at your house? Please,” I begged. The car ride was silent. I didn’t want to talk, I just wanted to tell him and get it over with. He only lived a few blocks from me so we were at his house within a minute or so. He opened me door and led the way into his house. I had been here a hundred times yet I suddenly noticed more. I was noticing every little detail and taking them in, in fear that this would be the last time I was at his house. I walked into the family room and sat down on the couch. The same couch I had almost lost my virginity to him on. Looking back, I wish I had. Maybe this baby would be his, maybe I wouldn’t have gone for that walk.
“Mandi, what happened?” he asked as he sat down beside me. He looked me right in the eyes and I could see the curiosity in his eyes, if only he knew what he was about to hear, maybe he wouldn’t be so curious.
“Please don’t leave me. Please don’t ever leave me,” I said crying.
“Why would I leave you? You know I love you,” he said as he pulled me onto his lap and held me close. If only he knew that I wasn’t the girl he saw.
“I’m pregnant,” I muttered, the tears falling from my face.
“You can’t be we haven’t even had sex,” he said, then realized what I meant “its not mine. Whose is it? Tell me.”
“What?” he backed away from me now and was standing up pacing. I didn’t want to hurt him, I couldn’t do this to him.
“I was just walking and he grabbed me and I tried screaming but it did nothing. He just kept hurting me and I couldn’t get away,” the flashback came back. I didn’t want to remember that night. That was the night I was raped and I wanted so desperately to forget it.
“What are you saying? You are making no sense.”
I just started shaking. He was going to leave me. I was useless I couldn’t even defend myself from that man, who wants a girl who can’t defend herself?
“For God sakes Mandi! Just tell me who you had sex with! Whose child are you carrying? Is it Austin’s?” he yelled.
“I was raped. I was walking home and he raped me. I just wanted directions.” I pulled my legs closer to my chest as the tears continued to fall. I could see the hurt in his eyes.
“Are you serious?”
I nodded, unable to speak.
“You’re lying! You’re not pregnant, you weren’t raped. This is all a joke and its not funny.”
“Nick, I’m not lying. I’m sorry. I’ll leave and just forget about me. Forget about us.” I said, getting up and heading towards the door. He followed me and drove me home. I knew this was how it was going to happen.
When I got home I went upstairs and cried myself to sleep. This wasn’t fair. Why me? What did I ever do? I had tried so hard to be a good person. Is this how good people are rewarded? I fell asleep within a few minutes and woke up to a knock on my door.
“Come in,” I muttered. I didn’t wanna talk to my mom or anyone right now. To my surprise Nick walked in.
“What are you doing here? I told you to just forget about us,” I told his as I sat up on the bed.
“Why would I forget about us? I still love you, you are still the same girl I fell in love with. I am sorry for how I reacted last night. I didn’t think about how hard this must have been on you. You are so strong and whatever you decide to do, I will be right beside you the whole time. If you want to keep this baby, then we can raise it together. If you want to get an abortion I will be right beside you holding your hand while you get it done. Whatever you choose, I am on your side. When we started going out do you remember I told you I would love you through anything? I meant it,” he said sitting down beside me on the bed and kissing me on the forehead.