I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to go with Melvin that day. Melvin had a chance to make a couple extra bucks helping a woman he knew with some factory work. But, mom told me that the woman, Margaret, who owned the company, also needed some help cleaning her house and I could make some spending money for myself. For a young girl of around ten years old, who loved her penny candy, I said okay; that I would go. But, I just didn’t want to be alone with Melvin. It’s not that I knew what could happen… It’s that I knew what would happen. Every time that Melvin got me alone, he would make me do things that I didn’t want to do. He would do things to me that I knew was wrong.
We waited on the platform for the train to take us out to Deerfield, a suburb north of Chicago. It was a chilly winter morning, with a slight drizzle in the air; weather miserable enough to make you wish that you were back home, dry and warm. On the train platform there was a closed-in shelter so that on cold and nasty days one could go inside, get out of the elements and try to stay dry and warm. The shelter was meant for protection. But, I knew from the moment I saw the shelter and, that there was nobody else around, that’s not what the shelter meant for me.
Melvin instructed me to go inside. Disappointingly, there was nobody else inside or on the train’s platform for that matter. We were all alone; the only ones waiting for the train that morning. Once inside the shelter, Melvin lit up a cigarette, while taking a sip of vodka from the half pint that he bought the night before. Returning the bottle to his back pocket, he instructed me to sit next to him on the bench. I knew what was coming; it was predictable. I sat at the end of the bench in hopes that I would be left alone. Melvin kept instructing me to move over, forcing me sit closer and closer to him. I could smell the vodka and cigarettes on his breath.
It was so bitterly cold that day. I was only allowed to wear dresses, never allowed to wear any pants. It wasn’t ladylike, Melvin said. When sitting on the bench, the back of my legs stung from the coldness of the metal, almost like a burning sensation; to the point where my legs became red and numb. I didn’t want to go! I sat there so tensely and without emotion, wishing he would just once leave me alone.
Taking a puff of his cigarette, he exhales it in my direction. I hold my breath until the smoke dissipates and I’m able to breathe again. Melvin wrapped his left arm around me, securing his hand against my chest. I thought to myself, “It’s starting…” I begin to stare out the windows of the shelter, which I noticed were severely scratched, as if someone was once trying to escape themselves. I listen to the rain as it hits the shelter. It sounded like the devil himself was applauding for what was about to happen. The rain was hitting hard and, as my thoughts extend further, I wished the raindrops were razor-sharp shards of glass falling from the sky being thrown down upon the sinner.
My body clenches even more so as he touches me, as he fondles my left breast. Crossing my arms in front of me, I try to protect myself, which makes his hand readjust. Melvin tells me under his breath… “Put your arms down.” He said this quietly, as if someone was going to hear him, even though there was nobody else around. With his other hand, Melvin began maneuvering it underneath my dress, causing me to instinctively shut my legs together, tightly. Again, he quietly instructs me, “Spread your legs a little.” His hand continues until he finds the elastic band of my panties. I pushed my hands into my lap, trying to shield myself, my privates, as I knew that was his final destination. I wanted him to stop! I didn’t like what he was doing to me! I shoved my hands deeper into my lap, between my legs, trying to barricade his hand from entering my panties. My hands now cupped into tight fists, I press harder and harder, as I try to push his hand away. I suddenly felt a sense of uneasiness on my skin where Melvin was touching me, as if something was crawling underneath my skin. My body was getting scared. Melvin moves onward, forcing, working his way underneath the elastic until his fingers are finally inside my panties. He sits there; taking a look around, making sure we’re still the only ones on the train platform. I, too, look around, but I’m wishing that the train would hurry and get to the station. As I concentrated on the tracks, Melvin continues to fondle me, touching me, touching my privates, touching my vagina… hurting me!
I told my mother that I didn’t want to go with Melvin that day!
“Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.” -Tori Amos