(Trigger warning: sexual violence)

I don’t want to go to this party. My friend Alyssa gave me an invite earlier this week, and I said yes. Such a stupid decision. I already knew that I didn’t want to go. Four days isn’t a long time to change my mind. But I said yes anyways. 

I knock on the door, my fingers shut in a tight grip. I can hear music erupting from the inside of the flat. Poor neighbours! Alyssa greets me with that shining smile, that irresistible shining smile. I don’t have a crush on her though. Strange, as she is the most ideal woman imaginable. 

“Hi Delilah!” Her voice is soft as silk, and at the same time harsch, cutting through the loud music. A glittering dress tight on her slender figure, a plastic cup clutched in her hand. Her eyes the colour of a milky cappuccino. I get a glimpse inside the flat; bright lights pop and an ocean of unknown people are already dancing. 

“Hi! Am I late?” I giggle nervously and step inside, placing my thick jacket on an overfull hanger. 

“No, not at all. Everyone just came early, nothin’ to worry about,” Alyssa says and waves me into the living room, her high heels clinking against the wooden floor. Some people turn their heads to see who just arrived, some are too invested in dancing, laughing and drinking to give a damn. 

“Fancy a drink? I’ve got a wide selection.” She gestures to the extensive counter covered with bottles of soda, vodka, cheap beer and other indistinguible alcoholic beverages.  

“Yes, a glass of Coca-Cola please.” Alyssa obediently fills a red cup to the brim with Coca-Cola. Her hands are shaking, it’s obvious she has refilled her own cup a few times before my arrival. 

“Here’s your drink! I’m in the mood for some dancing, want to follow?” she says, hiccuping in between words. The sugary drink sticks to my tongue like my grandmother’s porridge always does. 

“I think I’ll pass for now. When I’m ready I’ll gladly join you on the dancefloor,” I exclaim to be heard over the pulsating music, my voice drenched in false enthusiasm. Alyssa gives me a thumbs up and dissolves into the mass of dancing people. 


I move toward the hot-pink sofa and squeeze myself into the far corner, in order to distance myself from the people already occupying it. 

“Hello there! What a party!” says a girl in a raspy scottish accent and lifts her plastic cup, as if she wants to toast. 

“Hi. Yes indeed, what a party!” I say, meeting her cup in a toast. But the collide is a bit too rough and orange liquid splatters her skirt. Her eyes drill into mine. The wish to sink through the pink cushions and disappear, immediately enters my mind. The scottish girl and the other people sitting on the sofa go back to their chat. Thank God!


Exactly fixty-seven seconds later, I gather up the courage to stop scratching my bleeding cuticles and remove myself from the sofa. With shaky legs I walk toward the dance floor, observing every millimeter of my surroundings. 


My heart skips several beats when I see you. Sitting in a bean bag with your legs spread and your arm flung around a blonde girl’s shoulder. I know you’re aware of me observing you, you must be. You’re aware of things like that. It had been exactly ninety-nine days since I last saw your face. Your nose with the bump only visible from the side. The corners of your mouth, twitching. Your hair shimmering like bronze. Your eyes, the darkest shade of black. It had been ninety-nine wonderful days. Wonderful yet terrible days. 


I try to suppress the thought of you, but it’s hard when my brain is painted in the colors of your skin against mine. I step into the pool of humans; their arms punching toward the ceiling, their bodies twisting and their heads shaking. I try to replicate a girl’s movements, but stop when she falls into the arms of another girl and they start jiggling together. The heavy beat vibrates the floor and shatters my thoughts. I jump to the rhythm and Alyssa appears beside me. She has had more to drink, her eyelids flickering, her words slurry. 

“Havi’ fun?” 

“Sure,” I answer. Which isn’t completely true, but the lie slides off my tongue like a child in a waterslide. Alyssa nods, or maybe she’s just shaking her head to the music, I can’t tell. 

I dance for an eternity, which probably is around two-hundred seconds. And suddenly my pantsuit is sitting too tight. 

Tight enough for my lungs to lock like a zipper.

Tight enough for my field of sight to blur. 

Tight enough for my knees to weaken and my bones to transform into jelly. 

I need to get away. Quickly. Insanely fast. I sprint away, slithering between the jumping people and ducking when I hit a wall of human flesh. My heart beats in my throat, sweat dripping along my spine. I’ve been to Alyssa’s place many times before and therefore know that there are two bathrooms in her flat. One bathroom positioned very close to the large living area, and one bathroom with an entrance inside Alyssa’s bedroom. The choice is very simple.


Alyssa’s bed is the size of my kitchen, her rug soft like clouds and the walls painted in the lightest of violett. I don’t have the time to recognize more details before my fingers slide over the handle and I’m inside her bathroom. My hand trembles as I turn the lights on, and then shut them off again. I do this nine times. It’s such an old habit I don’t even realize I’m doing it. The light is bright like the sun and my eyes are burning. Liquid streams from them. I instinctively think it’s blood. But my panicked reflection tells me otherwise. It’s just tears. The normal stupid salty tears that insist to wet my cheeks everytime my heart starts to race. Everytime anxiety meets panic. The sound of my rattling breaths overpower the pounding beats from the living room. I close my eyes and everything ceases to exist for a second. It’s nice. Nicer than it should be. 


I sit on the toilet with my face buried in my lap. I never should have attended this party. It was a stupid idea. Somewhere in the whirlwind of minutes and seconds that passes by, I conclude that I need to get out of this bathroom. My makeup is ruined, but I’m too ruined to care. Hopefully I can disappear in the thick mist of drunk people and colorful lights. Fingers crossed. 


When I come out of my hiding place, I see you sitting on Alyssa’s bed. My body flies several centimetres off the fluffy floor. Your black eyes are staring directly into mine. The door out of this room is shut with intention; the intention to block any escape route. 

“Hi.” My voice is squeaky, despite my try to sound strong and resilient. In the soft glow from the spiral-like ceiling light, you can clearly see I’ve been crying. But you don’t care. Because why would you? 

“Hello Delilah,” you say, the familiarity ringing in my ears. With swift movements you move towards me and I can feel my heart boxing my chest. 

“Who was that girl?” I whisper. My high heels are the only thing I dare to look at. You pin my wrists to the wall.

“A nobody.”

“Really?” Silence. “Am I a nobody?”

“No, Delilah. You’re far more than a nobody. You’re my somebody.” Unwillingly, your words tickle me. I don’t want them to. I want to be the opposite magnet to you. But my magnetic force isn’t strong enough to keep you away. Suddenly I feel your lips on mine, and I yank back. But my body is pressed to the wall, so I can’t escape. Our eyes are still open, our lips barely touching. 

“No. Please, no. I don’t want —” I get interupted by your mouth silencing me, and my hope sinks like a stone. This has happened so many times before I don’t even try to wrestle out of your grip. Your breath tastes like beer and peppermint. You transport me to the bed, our fingers entwined.  

“But you do Delilah. You do want to.” You take off your shirt in a smooth movement, as if you’ve done it thousands of times before. With a second thought, you probably have. You struggle with my pantsuit, your fingers trembling whilst unbuttoning the small buttons. I don’t mind, it’s nice with a few seconds to breathe properly.  

I feel the material slide off my upper body, and then down my legs. You turn me so that I can’t avoid your eyes of darkness. 

“But I don’t though. I don’t want to.” You kiss me again, with more passion, pushing me down into the mattress. I want to shout but my lungs are empty. I feel your hands sliding over my belly and downwards. You close your eyes. I don’t. I keep them wide open, so I can count your freckles, the counting distracts me from the pain. I also keep my fingers crossed. Because somewhere deep down, I’m screaming at the top of my lungs for someone to rescue me.


I’m not sure how long your body is on mine. Time is a funny thing. Sometimes seconds can feel like years, and sometimes months can swoop by without me noticing. 

But sometime after the music from the living room dies and the voices subdue, you decide you’ve had enough. You silently put your clothes back on and I lay underneath the duvet, my eyes closed and imagine stars spread across a blackberry sky.

“This will be our little secret. Right, Delilah?” I don’t say a word and you don’t bother. The door opens and closes with a noiseless click.


I crawl out of the bed, after an hour laying flat on my back and staring blankly to the ceiling. I drag my legs behind me. As quietly as I can, I tip on my toes through the flat. About twenty people are sleeping, lying on the sofas, curled up in bean bags or spread over mattresses that have been placed on the floor. I can’t see your body among all the others, you must’ve left. The clock on the back wall is everything that can be heard, the gentle ticking moving towards 4.00 am. My heels are left behind in Alyssa’s bedroom, so I take a random pair from the hallway, which are in my size. They’re a pair of Converse, the white material worn brown. I open the door and suddenly hear someone moving in the living room. I dare not glance back to see whom I awoke. I just shut the front door behind me and feel the crisp air gnaw at my skin.


My arms are exposed, I left the jacket in the flat. Another stupid decision, this time not intentional though. I feel dirty, you’re still stuck to my body like thick syrup. And I can’t rub you off. I think I’m crying, or maybe I’m not. If I’m being totally honest, I don’t fucking care. 


The usually busy streets of London are frozen, both literally and abstractly. A thin slippery layer of ice covers the pavement, paired with piles of snow that lay scattered everywhere. But it’s also frozen in another way, the air trapped — the streets still, frozen in time. From here, I can’t see a single human. I’m sure I’m not the only soul haunting the streets this late at night — or early in the morning, depending on your sleeping habits — but I still feel surprisingly lonely. 

I walk by my favourite café in town. At nine o’clock in the morning, the café opens and their buns and croissants are still warm. I stare into the frosted glass, my breath white against the window. I can see my usual spot in the far corner, where I always sit. It’s an armchair the colour of red wine, with a small table on the side, just the perfect size for a small plate with a baked good, and a steaming cup of Earl Gray tea. With two and a half teaspoons of sugar and a splash of milk. 

 If that spot is taken, then I’d rather skip breakfast. 


My legs don’t feel like legs as I walk onward, my thoughts twirling with the icy breeze. I moved to London because I thought things would change. I thought I would change. 

Spoiler alert: I did not. 

The old buildings tower against a canvas of black, indigo, and blue. I like looking up at the sky, I would flee to the stars above if I had the opportunity. Up there, things feel meaningless. Easy. 

Cars drive by, the startling lights temporarily damaging my sight. I walk onto the Tower Bridge, and stop halfway across. I stare down, into the bubbling river of dark shimmer. It looks cold, like a river someone could freeze to death in. My teeth squeak against each other, my turquoise fingertips rubbing the skin of my arms. Without acknowledging my own movements, I’m sitting on the blue railing, my legs dangling free. The strong wind keeps my body unbalanced, swaying between safety and the unknown. I feel my eyes burning again. It’s probably not blood. It’s probably the stupid tears again. Then, I hear a distant shout.

“Delilah. What are you doing? Delilah!” I can feel the desperation echoing in Alyssa’s voice. It was her I must’ve awakened when I left the flat. “Please! Whatever you’re doing — stop. I can help.” But the thing is - she can’t. I’m a ruined ruin that can’t be un-ruined, not even by the magic hands of Alyssa. I look in her direction, and I can see a small figure standing a few hundred metres away from me. Not seeing her face clearly perhaps makes the choice easier to make. I let go. And funnily enough I’m still keeping my fingers crossed. Now — I don’t even have the ghost of a clue to why. 


I’m falling, and this time I’m really frozen in time. I’m like a slug in slow-motion. Feelings overwhelm me, and they blend together into a smooth paste without lumps to distinguish the original feeling. The only thing etched in my mind as I’m falling through time and space is you. Your bloody face. The gleaming surface inches closer. Closer and closer … until my stolen pair of Converse breaks the surface and water swirls around me. Pain shoots through me like bullets. Cold pours through my clothes and bites my skin raw. Everything is liquid and bubbles. The water hugs me, in the most uncomfortable way possible. It’s thick and freezing cold, and I can’t determine whether I’m floating to the surface or sinking to the bottom.

September 18, 2020 23:05

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