Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Bad Secret (Ch. 22)

It wasn't long until John, the manager of Newmark Park noticed me.  I picked up trash there twice a day and hung around all day mooching off the other kids, and he soon began to pay me special attention.  He was an older man in his late 60's, thin, very tall with short gray hair and a trimmed mustache.  He let me help out around the park and taught me how to clean off the bases and turn on the lights.  I became his little assistant and in return he would give me money and buy me food.  He knew I needed help and offered his.  I took it.  He called me giraffe knees because he said he loved how my thin legs made my knees poke out.  

 Me at 10 years old

John came over and met my mother and then he started taking me around  to run errands with him in his car.  He took me to his house to meet his wife.  All of the staff at the park soon befriended me and looked at John with approving eyes.  He bought me new school clothes and I started wearing clean socks.  He even bought me my first training bra.

John was like Humbert Humbert and he wanted me to be his Lolita.  Because of what had happened to me before, something inside of me was broken.  I was able to shut myself off when I needed too.  When what was happening was too scary, or horrible I just disappeared inside myself.  I learned from my mother that people always have ulterior motives and don't do something for nothing. So, I let John kiss me like I was his lover.  While this was happening I would go to the place where I didn't exist, where I was nothing.  I would sit next to hm and lift my face and hold still while he tried to push his thick tongue in my mouth.  His breath smelled like sweet rotting meat and he would get so excited his hands would shake.

When he wasn't being "Humbert", I tried to be as childlike as I could in the hopes that he wouldn't want to kiss me anymore.  I'd put on my roller skates and sing silly songs....See John, I 'm a little girl!...  It didn't work though.  Late at night after everyone left the field and we were closing up he would take me inside the snack bar and hold me on his lap and tell me that he loved me over and over.  He would pet my head and hold my hand and kiss me. 

I hated it, but I let it continue and didn't tell anyone.  I needed him.  He was all I had and he said he loved me.  It became our secret.  Every night as we were locking up I would get a panicky hollow feeling in my chest as I watched the last person on staff drive away.  I screamed at them in my head, Please don't go! Don't go, don't go, don't go, don't go.  John could tell I didn't like it and would compromise with me about it, "let me just kiss you for ten minutes Giraffe Knees and then we will go to Jack in the Box....K?"  I would let out a big breath of air, press my lips together and answer him in a whinny voice, "fine, only five minutes though....." He threw his head back and laughed, "you sound just like my wife!" 

Eventually his kisses started getting  more and more aggressive and I went deeper and deeper into myself.  On the outside I became rebellious.  I started smoking cigarettes again and spent a lot of time with an older girl who liked to start fires.  She had convinced me once to light a fire in the girls bathroom at the ballpark.  We each made a fire in separate stalls.  I used one square of toilet paper, she used an entire roll.  John caught us.

I started stealing wine coolers and drinking them with my new older friend too.  During an evening game in the late summer I stole an entire 12 pack and got drunk while keeping score.  I had to announce the names of the players into a microphone for the crowd and kept slurring my words.  "Nest ut to bat numbler thidy linnne Richlllard Jones."  I laughed and laughed!  John came in and took over.

I felt like destroying something, anything, including myself.  I knew I had power over John, power in our secret.  I tested it over and over... deep down  hoping that maybe this time would be the time everything would end.  I was too afraid to end things myself... what would I do?  Who would take care of me?  What would happen?  I felt like the secret became an ugly thing of mine too, not just his.  I knew what we did was something "bad".  I was bad.  

I am nothing, I am nothing, I am nothing........ I am bad. 

I was only 9 years old.  John was 60.  I have to keep replaying those words in my head over and over because part of me is still ashamed of this memory.  I was only 9 years old... I was just a little girl trying to survive, a little girl who wanted to be loved.

1 comment:

  1. My God, you are 9 years old and this is the 4th man to take advantage of you. I am literally speechless.. A child.. What is wrong with all these men? I think God gave you a son for a reason. Even though they are equally molested. I just cannot fathom this many opportunities people took.