I didn’t really realize what I was doing until I started to see bits of light from the morning son creeping into my room. That was about when I decided I would sit down and try to write about it.
It all started yesterday at school. I didn’t see Monica at school on Tuesday. But I ended up overhearing two girls talking about her. Talking about the rumours about her. The rumours that she had been raped on the weekend. Raped and beaten.
I talked to a few people about it. Neil mentioned that he’d heard the same rumours. That was the frustrating thing about rumours in this school and in our home town. They spread quickly, and much faster than the truth.
Later in the day, still wondering why Monica wasn’t at school and still making inquiries about her, I still got no where. When I’d asked him what he knew, Harley made a joke about her deserving what she got because of all the dirty talk she often used and the way she flirted with everyone. I shouldn't have been surprised at Harley's response. Our friend Jagdish hadn’t even heard the rumours at all and then got into an argument with Harley that nobody, not even a hooker deserves that. When they started their heated discussion, I just walked away.
It was when I got to Robbie’s class that I knew the rumours had to be true. I mean, adults, teachers, they don’t take rumours at face value, do they? They get to the truth behind the stories. They find out what’s really going on. And they have the means to do it.
That’s how I know it must have been true. Robbie seemed to not be himself at all. He seemed less full of energy; less alive and into the class. He seemed to just walk through the class the way I’ve seen so many other teachers do over the years. Simple tired repetition of the same lesson taught year after year. And why shouldn’t he be like that? After all, despite the fact that I was jealous of it, Robbie shared a similar passion for reading and books with Monica that he shared with me. So why wouldn’t he be disheartened over learning what had happened to her?
I wanted so badly to talk to Robbie about it after class, to hang around and talk about it, talk about my feelings of guilt over what had happened to her. But I was afraid to bring it up, afraid that by talking about it, it would make that darkness, that depressed and melancholy state he seemed to be in even worse. That and he never made eye contact with me once during the entire class.
When I got home from school, I scanned through The Sudbury Star and there was a short article saying a young woman had been beaten and raped in an alley behind City Centre on the weekend and was being treated in hospital.
I started phoning the different Sudbury hospitals and on my second try, at the General, when I asked to be connected to Monica’s room, they put me through.
I hung up. What could I possibly say to her? Having confirmed the rumours, that Monica had been the victim mentioned in the paper, I simply hung up and then started to cry.
I couldn’t have possibly brought this on to her, could I? Could this be yet more evidence that there’s a curse surrounding me? I tried to think back to how I felt the other night when she rejected me. Tried to focus in on the embarrassment, the anger, and any resentment that I’d felt.
Of course, I couldn’t deny having felt those things. Which meant it must be true. I must have been the cause of what happened to Monica.
I moped around most of the night, tried listening to music, playing video games, anything to keep my mind off of it. But nothing worked. I actually went in to Uncle Bob’s liquor cabinet and nipped a bit of his rum, a bit of his rye and a bit of his gin. An old trick I learned about swiping booze is never to let the bottle drop by any visible amount. But I needed something to numb my mind and help me sleep.
Combining all three in a single glass, I drank it all down in three horrid mouthfuls. It tasted awful. When I drink for fun, I never drink it straight. I prefer mixing rum and Coke. But straight up? Bleech. Drinking all three mixed like that was pretty nasty.
But it did do the trick. I fell asleep pretty quickly.
But that’s when I dreamed. And God knows, I would have loved to have had that same dream I’d had before -- the one with Sarah and Monica. Yes, even the fact that at the end of that one they’d bitten off my cock. I’d rather dream that dream every night, than the one I dreamt last night.
In the dream, Monica and I were standing at the concession stand at the movie theatre. We were talking about the books we had read, and started talking about Laymon. Monica started admitting that the scene in “In The Dark” where the librarian is looking in the window and watching his girlfriend and another guy getting it on made her all hot.
I responded by asking Monica if she’d remembered that one time at Sarah’s when she’d spotted Sarah giving me a hand job under the blanket and the way she’d winked and licked her lips. I told her how it was that look she gave that made me blow my load. I told her how lately I’d been able to think about nothing other than her, about how her lips might taste, how they might feel on my cock.
She responded by saying, “Why wonder any longer?” And suddenly we weren’t in the movie theatre, we were outside, in an alley. Monica was polishing my knob and I was enjoying it, both hands resting on the top of her bobbing head, my fingers gently playing with her hair. But suddenly Robbie was there, watching us, and beside him Harley was standing there. They were watching us and talking to some other figure, some guy dressed in black, who was standing in the shadows. They were saying something to him, but I couldn’t hear what it was.
Suddenly, I started to fill with this rage. An inexplicable rage, and I pulled hard on Monica’s hair and threw her backwards. She smacked her head against the brick, then fell onto the ground. I started kicking her and punching her and screaming at the top of my lungs.
She didn’t move, didn’t get up, just recoiled with every kick, every punch I landed on her, and I kept screaming, yelling, pleading with her to go away and leave me alone. Then I dropped down on my knees and started to pull her pants off, telling her she deserved what she was getting because she was hanging around me.
“Stay away from me! It’s my fault! I caused this to happen to you! Stay the fuck away from me! Stay the fuck away!” I woke up screaming those words. I’m surprised, actually, that Aunt Shelley or Uncle Bob didn’t wake up, but maybe the screaming was louder in my dream.
I’ve never even raised a hand in anger against a girl. Not even when I was really young and roughhousing with other kids in the playground. If a girl hit me, I just took it, and never hit back.
But the dream I just had kind of says it all, kind of puts it in perspective. No, I wasn’t the one who raped and beat her. But given my track record, all the horrible things that have happened to people I’ve been angry with, and the fact that I was angry at her, I might as well have been the one.
And that’s what was going through my mind these past few hours as I stared into the dark, afraid to close my eyes and sleep, afraid I’d dream of hurting Monica.