This is a short story i wrote. It contains rape so please do not read if that is a trigger. It’s ridiculously dark but has helped me get over past events in my life.
It was the end of spring, rain had ceased its oppressive hold and long, tall, white tulips were sprouting up everywhere. It was a gorgeous afternoon, schools having let out early due to the following exam week, and children were out playing and enjoying the perfect crisp day. There was excitement in the air as summer was right around the corner. Cherish Reale and Luke Everhart were walking about as glacially as the ice cream they were eating, perfectly content and happy as they passed the decorative lake and small playground outside of Cherish’s suburb. They were both sixteen and had been discussing their separate exam schedules. Cherish attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and Luke the local public school, Walter Greens.
Cherish and Luke had been together almost six months, and everyone thought they were just the sweetest things. They were made for each other apparently. I never understood it, but I never questioned it either. I never really cared. Cherish is my older sister, and being between perfect Cherish and the man of the house Caleb, little Chastity didn’t mean much to anyone.
Everyone went to the court where Cherish sat at the prosecutor’s bench, sobbing quietly. Her face was pale, like porcelain, not splotchy and red. Luke’s was the same color. When she testified her voice came out in little hiccups and she looked down at the floor. She was wearing a long-sleeved black dress, even though the heat was sweltering. There was no way to escape, and so everyone who was there was stuck until the proceedings were over.
Cherish and Luke were always together. He came to Sunday dinners, he was there for birthdays, he came on holidays—Luke became just one more family member. He fit in perfectly too, he adored Cherish. It was disgusting how he fed off every single thing she said. They had met six months earlier, at the local homeless shelter. Cherish was there volunteering her Tuesday night to help the needy, and noticed Luke, whom she had never seen before. They saw each other again the next night, when Cherish volunteered at the animal shelter. It was like something out of our church bulletin, “Two Children of God United through Service and Love” or something sickening like that. After they became official Cherish constantly talked about Luke, how wonderful he was, what a great boyfriend he was, did you know he’s taking 5 AP courses? My parents loved him, my dad always wanted him to come watch football or help with the car, and my mom would call him while she was at the grocery store to get his favorite snacks. Mine are zebra cakes, if you were wondering.
The windows were all open in the courtroom. With all those people, the windows needed to be opened. When I looked out the windows I could see some tulips thriving under the sycamore tree outside. The prosecutor called Luke to the stand to answer questions about that night. I looked over at Cherish hoping to see her make up smeared or snot running down her nose, but no, she was still beautiful, perfect Cherish.
Years later, Luke would say that he had truly loved Cherish. She had been so kind and so important to him.
Since that awful day Cherish vowed she would become a defense lawyer. Last Christmas letter Mom and Dad gushed about Cherish passing the bar, and how she had moved out of our suburb and into Washington D.C. She never forgot her roots though, and always took the small town cases when she could.
From what I could ascertain about Luke, he had dreams of going to college; he worked every Saturday morning and Sunday mornings after church at the mechanics to save money. He had been doing community service to make his resume look good, but he told Cherish he truly enjoyed it. He once told me when they first started dating that he didn’t. Luke moved here when he was thirteen, with his mother and half-brother. They lived over on the other side of the town; we weren’t allowed to go over there. Luke was a handsome boy though. Tall, around six foot, with chestnut hair he kept a little long, deep blue eyes, and big hands. He was toned because of the hard work he did at the mechanics, and was always willing to lend a hand. He was respectful though; for someone who was always at our house he never once had a bad interaction with any of us. He helped Caleb master his punting for football, let me draw him for my AP art class, and always helped my mother out.
He loved to be the hero, but he also loved to win.
Before Luke and Cherish started dating, no one knew who he was or anything about him. Before he got his license, Jared, his half brother, would drop him off and pick him up in an old, beat up pick up, the color of rust. His brother was scary, or intimidating, I’m not quite sure how I would describe him. He was exciting to say the least. I heard he was an ex-con, something about a B&E or Grand Theft Auto. I knew he was on parole currently, which made him so much more intriguing. All I noticed was he was taller than Luke, had emerald green eyes, and long chestnut hair like Luke’s. No one else agreed with me about his looks though, they just thought he was creepy. Jared was intimidating, but it was okay because Luke was friendly and very close with his brother.
People spoke of Cherish and Luke as the ideal couple. They were completely in synch with each other, went to church, did community service, and still managed to find time to be in public all the time. It was like Cherish flaunted him. I wanted to remind her of that. I wanted to lean forward on the bench at the courtroom and say, “Where’s your perfect boyfriend now?” but I didn’t.
Cherish and Luke were always around, holding hands like one of those “Precious Moments” figurines. Sometimes Luke would show up to school during lunch hour to bring Cherish some ice cream, or another treat. They would study in the library together on school nights, people eyeing them in the quiet room while they played footsie under the table. You had to be weary when they were around as all conversation turned to them and how wonderful they were.
I always think about Cherish and what happened that night. I cringe a bit at the memory, and worry I take too much pleasure in it. It’s not fair sometimes that I enjoy something that terrifies her, but it was exciting to see her finally hate the lime light she coveted so often. It’s not easy, you know, growing up in the middle and being unremarkable. Cherish is the oldest, did everything first and did it the best. She was good at everything she did. After two miscarriages (both boys) Caleb is born the prodigal son and they finally got their football star. And then there’s me, Chastity. Who gives a shit?
People said to us afterwards that we had been too trusting. With a brother like that, he shouldn’t have been trusted.
Luke had said his brother was harmless, had simply taken the wrong path. He said his brother was innocent and had been set up, and that his brother was a wonderful person. Luke and his brother were very close. I guess they always stuck together with no dad around it makes sense. Luke even petitioned the courts to allow Jared out on parole early for good conduct.
I hated it when Luke got his license. After that we never saw much of his brother, except when Jared dropped Luke off because he needed the car. When he did come, I always noticed his ear spike, or his tribal tattoo around his upper arm, or how his hair slightly curled. His voice was deep too, and he always looked at Cherish and me when he saw us. When he was around I wondered if that’s how Cherish felt all the time, being watched and admired.
Mother’s favorite was always Cherish, Cherish, my angel. Straight A’s, beautiful looks, athletic, Sunday school teacher. Cherish was unsurpassable. I think mother wished more of Cherish had rubbed off on me, but unfortunately Cherish never gave me the time of day. I was nothing to her but her stupid little sister who’d act out for attention. For someone who cared so much about others, she didn’t care for me at all. She once saw me in the bathroom crying at our high school, make up smeared, a rip in my school skirt, and bruises on my arms. She ignored me. Flat out walked into the bathroom, went straight to the toilet, peed because her flawless asshole couldn’t produce something so foul as shit, washed her hands, and left me.
Cherish was nice to everyone. She was the most popular girl in school without being a slut and without being a cheerleader. She sang in the church choir, took all advanced placement classes, and was part of the Art Honors Society. She was never any fun at sleepovers though, I mean she slept in a facemask, and she turned red as tomatoes whenever we talked about boys and baseball. One time Cherish was over at another girl’s house, Laura MacAdams, and we all started to play “Never Have I Ever”; you know the game where you drink if you’ve done something that the speaker hasn’t. Cherish, one, never drank and two, became so embarrassed she got up to leave and tried to make others go with her.
You’re not strong when you’re on your own.
No one joined her exodus so she sat down and pouted in a corner until we started to discuss the upcoming Homecoming Dance. Suddenly all was right in the world and Cherish was happy again and got up to call Mother to say she was going to stay after all.
My mother was a stay at home mom. She used to be a teacher but after having children, decided that staying home would be better. She was a great cook, and a good mom. My dad was an accountant. He may have had a boring job but Dad was funny. He always had a joke or a prank at hand, and trusted everyone with a strong handshake. “A strong handshake reveals that God’s speaking through you, or you’re constipated,” was something he always used to say.
Dad doesn’t joke anymore and mother’s food is too salty. They sat together, side by side behind Cherish in the courtroom that day. They each had a hand on her shoulder, but couldn’t look at her or each other. Now they’re in counseling, and don’t trust anyone, no matter the handshake.
As much as I entertain the idea of Cherish being uncomfortable or marred in some way, I hate that she changed our parents. It’s just like her too. Always the center of attention, if everything isn’t going her way, than nobody is happy. It makes sense that the day of the incident was so ideal; it was God’s punch line to a great joke.
As teenagers we were curious about what happened to Cherish. She had gone and become a woman in our eyes. The boys all wanted to know what sex felt like, and the girls wanted to know if it hurt. We saw it as an opportunity to gain experience from, we were disappointed it happened to Cherish, but we would have asked anyone with experience for pointers. So to us, it didn’t mean much.
Luke testified that Cherish had wanted it. She had lured him to her room and asked him to do things with her. He said it wasn’t an attack, he said she didn’t say no. Even I knew he was lying. Cherish was my sister, and it’s funny that the first thing she talks to me about in years is asking me how to give a blowjob. I knew she’d never go past that or else her purity ring to Jesus would burst into purifying flames.
That evening after cleaning the dishes Cherish and Luke went to the basement to pop in a movie. There had been much debate during dinner over what to watch when Dad had suggested “Man in the Iron Mask”, a movie he’d just gotten. Cherish pushed play and sat back with the popcorn, leaning onto Luke’s arm comfortably. A little over halfway through the movie my parents yelled down that they were heading to bed and not to stay up late. Dad came downstairs and asked Luke if he needed a ride home, but Luke said he was covered—his brother would pick him up. Around midnight the movie ended, and Luke went upstairs to call his brother.
It would have been about thirty minutes before his brother got there, and Cherish and Luke were kissing. I know because when I went downstairs after our parents went to bed, there they were clawing at each other like lepers on Jesus. Luckily flicking the lights on separated them quickly. I looked at them and informed Cherish I’d be going out, and to not tell mom and dad. She just glared and told me to get out.
Cherish’s room was upstairs on the top floor right next to our parents. In her room there was a window that had a tree next to it, and many times I had snuck in and out of the house using that window. She knew if the window was open that I wasn’t back yet.
Luke left around 12:30 when his brother’s car pulled up outside our house, headlights flashing. Cherish walked him out, they kissed briefly, and said goodnight.
No one knows why he came back, or even if it was he. The rape kit proved useless, as Cherish was too chaste to let a male doctor examine her violated cunt. But based on hair found on her bed, it pointed to two people. Cherish doesn’t even know who came in that night. But Luke admitted to the crime, so he did the time.
Cherish went up to her room and noted the window was open. She probably rolled her eyes. She changed into her long, lacy nightgown and got into her pale purple sheets. She turned off her nightstand lamp and put on that stupid sleeping cat facemask. An hour later someone climbed through her window, she heard the noise but ignored it. She probably thought I was drunk or something; it always becomes my fault in the end. The attacker came up behind her, and at this point Cherish realized it wasn’t me, as the door hadn’t opened signaling my departure. She started to sit up, simultaneously removing the mask when the man grabbed her arms, pinned them behind her with one of his arms, and pushed her back down. She felt the bed sink as her attacker joined her on the bed, still pinning her down. His hands lifted up the delicate material covering her legs and ripped it. Her lacy nightgown was in tatters, some pushed into her mouth as she tried to scream for help. She heard the clink of his belt buckle, the unzipping of his pants. Her underwear was pulled off and she felt him probe her with his fingers. She was being held down, silent, when he pushed himself roughly into her, lightly sighing into his release at the end.
I wonder if it feels better when you don’t ask for it.
I heard Luke’s mom went insane after this. The boys found her in a bathtub, or bleeding from her wrists, or strung up from the ceiling, I don’t remember. But she lived. She lived long enough to see her son prosecuted and found guilty. She ended up institutionalized, lamenting her sons, and the rape gene she carried. I guess she too was raped and kept the child, but no one knows if it was Jared or Luke.
I’m the one that called the police. While out at a party I started to feel sick, and I came home to find Cherish’s room a mess. She lay on the bed, legs splayed, blood on her dusty purple sheets, bits of white lace strewn all over the floor. I knew something was wrong and screamed. I wish I had taken it in longer, everything after was a blur.
Mom and Dad said the hardest part of the evening was looking down at their broken daughter. Though at least they looked at her. I was ignored, and silently blamed. No one had any information, and Cherish cried when the results from her tests came back. She was lucky she wasn’t pregnant, though no one would tell her that.
Our house is still there, on that unsuspecting suburb street, with the innocuous decorative lake, under the innocent blue sky. The tree still stands outside the window, though the window was nailed shut the second my parents found out. We stayed in that house a few more weeks, but it became too much and our parents moved us farther south.
I think about that night often. I ran into Jared, Luke’s brother a few weeks ago. He was the bouncer at the bar I was at. I saw him there and we fucked in his break room. This was not sex, it was animalistic, lust filled, and he ended up dominating me: grabbing my hair, pushing me down, ripping my clothes off. I don’t care; I’m addicted to it. I want to ask Cherish if this is how she felt. I think about her a lot when I’m having sex. Does she know? Does she feel sick?
Jared holds me close as he slams inside me and whispers, “My brother was innocent.”
I wonder if Cherish can feel my pleasure.