No soap will ever scrub away the memories etched on the inside of your skull. She carved them there, her words driven into your ears like daggers, no, like acid dripping. Rivulets of burning fluid flowing inside you like… No.

She told you about how he held her down. She told you about how he threw her in the backseat, about how he ripped off her clothes. She told you that she said “Yes” when she meant “No”. That her whimpers weren’t moans, but she let him think that they were.

You think about his skull, think about holding it between your fingers. You think about driving it into brick, about grinding his face into concrete and smashing it until it’s unrecognizable. You think about violence and find your creativity lacking means to express the rage trembling your clenched fists.

Their stories leave a mark that they’ll never see, a scar driven into the tissues of your heart. You bite your tongue and endure their pain, holding it inside yourself to ease their burden. You’re so strong.

But who protects you?

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