This first chunk is lifted from the original email I sent Agirl with only minor alterations. If you’ve followed a link directly to this post, please read this first. All names have been changed.
Here goes, in all it’s warty, poorly worded, crappily formatted glory.
I don't know why I feel the need to talk about this. I really don't. Well, maybe I do. I mean, it happened so long ago it shouldn't matter anymore, right? I was a week into being 19. I'm now 40. It was 21 years and a thousand miles away, or thereabouts. Up until last year I don't think I'd told more than 2 people. My mom and my ex. It wasn't about me, it didn't happen to me, so it wasn't mine to tell. The only things that happened to me were some dents and messed up paint on an already old and beat up truck, and a little white lie to my insurance company so they’d replace the cracked glass. That’s all, Right?
But, last year while I was going through my CWP class I mentioned the incident to the instructors. Over the years I never really thought about it much. Well, I would pull it out and ponder it a bit once in a great while, but I stuffed it right back where it came from. I was never really sure if I was examining a gem or a turd. My instructors told me that I did exactly the right thing. Exactly. I was right. I did what I was supposed to do. It was okay for me to do what I did. I don’t know why but after hearing that, I cried that night. Messy, ugly crying with big, huge, I-can’t-breathe-much-less-talk sobs. Of course once I calmed down I had to tell my husband what that was all about, he was besides himself with worry over what had me so upset. I gave him a summary with no details. After I told him he said that’s MY wife. Kind, sweet, generous, and if anyone messes with your people you will rip off their heads, shit down their necks and smile while you do it. I do that? Yep, he said, and climbed into bed and wrapped his arms around me and I was home. I was safe, and I was okay and he said I had done the right thing. I think I always had the idea that I did the right thing and felt pretty badass about it, and felt ashamed about that, but no one had ever told me it was right, and good, and allowed. I’d always been told it was wrong, don’t talk about it, you’ll go to jail.
I had to think about it, and tell my ex about it, in 1997 when we ran into one of the girls. She was a waitress at a fast food pasta place, I can't remember the name but it's the one that gives you free breadsticks. I didn't recognize her, but she knew exactly who I was when I walked in the door. She stood behind the counter looking at me, she was pregnant as could be and ready to pop like a tick. I noticed that she kept watching me, but I couldn't figure out what was up. I was feeling, and looking, good that day, joking and teasing and laughing boisterously with my ex while we ate. She approached my table with the breadsticks and asked if I was so-and-so, using my maiden name.
I said “yes, have we met?” and she told me that her name is Abby and that I changed her life, and that I was her personal hero. Wow. That’s a statement. I had to ask her what had I done to deserve that honor. My ex was all “her? your hero? How much did she pay you to say that?”
She said I rescued her. I taught her to be tough, to fight back and take control of her life. Now I was really confused and more than a bit taken aback. Who on earth was she? I apologized again and said I'm really bad with faces, and she said you helped me after Jenny and I were raped.
The memories slammed into my brain and of course I could see that it was her, although almost a decade older than the 15 she was when the incident happened. They were two pretty blonde teenagers the night they jumped into my truck, screaming. It was 1990, late July, right around the time kids are at their most bored on their summer break. I lived in a tiny little town, and worked in a slightly larger little town half an hour up the road as a waitress at a pizza parlor. I got off work early, around 11pm, and was going to meet some friends later after they got off work, so I drove my old truck up the highway to a little wayside about halfway to where I planned on meeting them. It was carved out of a corn field, surrounded by tall waving green, secluded and peaceful with the wind soughing through the corn stalks. A little strip of gravel barely larger than a parking spot, it had been built for a place to put a light post and a pay phone in the days before cell phones. They had just put new gravel down and added a picnic bench and a trash can, all the little waysides got them because if they called them parks they got more federal money or something.
I parked there under the sodium light and pulled out a book. Gas was cheap back then so I ran the truck for the ac, since I didn’t want to open the window and let in all the bugs. God how I loved that truck. It was a 1980 Dodge Ram custom d150 short bed that had in a prior life been a motorcycle tow truck for a Harley dealership. It had a bored out 360, a four barrel carb, and a dual shift kit on the transmission, whatever that meant. People got out of my way when I drove it down the road. And it was Harley Davidson orange. Man I miss that truck.
I think I was there for maybe an hour when these two kids ran screaming up to my passenger side door, pounding on the window and yelling please let us in, help us! It was unlocked and they got the door open and jumped in while I was still trying to figure out what was going on, slamming it and locking it and screaming and crying “go go get out of here they're coming they're coming.” I told them to calm down and tell me what's going on. They said they were at a house near by at a party thrown by a house full of Mexican guys, they had a bit too much to drink, the guys wouldn't let them leave, made them take their clothes off and raped them. I really looked at them for the first time and realized one was wearing shorts and a bra, the other was wearing a t-shirt and underwear and carrying her shoes. Okay...I pulled the truck forward and called the police, telling them where I was, what the girls had told me, and the dispatcher tried to figure out whose jurisdiction we were in. The whole time Abby was crying “just take me home! I don't want my parents to find out just take me home!” Jenny lit one of my cigarettes.
I felt awful for these girls, I really did. I hugged them and talked to them a bit, Jenny said she used to date one of the guys at the party and her parents were fine with her spending the night with him. She was 16 and I later found out stoned out of her gourd. Abby was a mess, jumping at every car that went down the road, every shadow that moved, not that I could blame her. All I could really get out of her was that her parents thought she was spending the night at Jenny's house, this was the first time she'd ever drank alcohol and she had been a virgin.
After I got off the phone with the dispatcher, who told us to wait there for the deputies, I turned the truck around and parked facing the direction the girls had come from to watch for bad guys. We sat and waited for the police and I tried to get them to calm down. I rolled the window down because I wanted a cigarette myself and with two smokers the air was pretty thick in the cab. Abby didn't want me to roll the window down and started crying and rocking and then started shaking, pointing at the cornfield and screaming “there they are! there they are!” I couldn't see anything at first, but I put my high beams on and saw someone moving. Okay. Shit.
I dropped my cigarette and cranked up my window up as fast as I could while trying to throw it in reverse and hit the gas. All I managed to do was gun the engine while it was in park. Fuck. The men...At this point I have to step back and apologize. I don't harbor any ill will toward Mexicans, immigrants, or anyone, but these...animals were here illegally, they should not have been in my country doing these evil, vile, inhuman things, they don't deserve to be called men because real men don't beat and brutalize and rape and I refuse to call them anything normal or good. In my mind they are evil. Please understand my use of objectionable language from this point forward. Throughout this whole ordeal the girls and I called them many things because if I was going to do what I did I had to think of them as less than human and I HAD to hate them. I think they needed to hate them too. I could kill animals, I grew up on a farm, I'd butchered before, but I’d never tried to hurt people before and I didn’t know if I could. It hadn’t ever occurred to me that I would have to. I didn’t have the training and mindset that I have now. Heck, I still had strawberry shortcake dolls on my bed that my step-mom had crocheted for me.
They had obviously been watching us, talking and deciding what to do. Once it was clear that we had seen them they came out of the field. To me it was like they just kept coming, but there were probably only 6 of them. I remember the first one was in a white shirt. He looked like he was the same age, maybe even younger than the girls. All of them looked like they were barely into their late teens. He grabbed for the mirror on my truck and pounded my window with a rock, right over my face. One in a green shirt went for the other door, and a few more who didn't have shirts on grabbed the bed and they were all rocking it. Another one stepped out of the field. Older, in his 40's, wearing a plaid button down shirt and a grimy cap. He had a baseball bat in his hands. He was the first one I aimed my truck at.
I think this is the longest, easiest section that I’m going to post. The next part is really difficult for me and needs sorting before I can put it out here, so I need to pause and leave it for tomorrow. Or next week. Even still my cursor has hovered over the publish button for a good five minutes.