The Taker of Innocence

She stepped on the grass, still moist from the morning dew, the dried leaves beneath her feet made small crunching noises with every step she took. The sky was a majestic blue with a few white clouds and the sun peeking through offering the beginning of the heat that would permeate throughout the day. Dressed in a white and yellow dress, ruffled socks and black patent leather shoes, her hair swept up in two ponytails tied with ribbon, she was the vision of innocence. Led by the hand they continued their walk to their secret place, a place where he would sit her down and tell her how special she was.

His name was Sam and he was her uncle, everyone’s favorite son, brother and best friend. Sam had a charisma about him that melted everyone he met, he could do no wrong and his touch was truly recognized as golden. Nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, they all adored him and always poured the accolades his way. A sharp dressed man, a connoisseur of all that could be considered the finest, a collector, a giver and a taker.

He took her innocence, that little girl with the ponytails and the wide eyes. Her desire to be loved and shown affection was her downfall. He preyed upon her, showered her with little tokens; he was the big bear of men that always was ready for a hug, a tussling around on the floor, a piggy back ride, a game of hide and seek.

Her mind blocked the beginning of time; she had no recollection as to when it started, but the memory of being under the covers with him as they lay on the sofa in a seemingly adult pose. Like spoons in a drawer they laid side by side, he stroked her hair, her shoulder; slowly his hands moved under the covers and found their way between her legs.

At the age of five she had the knowledge that what was happening was wrong, it felt good, the touching, the closeness, the sweet nothings whispered in her ears. She was beautiful, she was special, she was his favorite, he knew what he was doing, was she his first victim, was someone else before her in the same spot as she was, hearing the same words, being told she was the one, the special one.

As they continued to lay there under the covers they were interrupted, her look at the intruder was one with a plea of help from her round big tear filled eyes. He was commanded to stop and let the girl out from under the covers. SHE knew what HE was doing. SHE knew. And just like that she was rescued from HIM.

A couple of years passed, a call in the middle of the night came with the news that Sam had been killed. That little girl felt a sense of sadness, but beneath that sadness came another feeling, a much stronger feeling. Relief, relief that he would no longer be able to touch her, touch anyone else. That little girl knew she wasn’t the only one; there were other little girls younger than her. She often wondered who else he touched in that special and loving way. She would never know, that was their untold secret.

Her joy at his death cost her dearly, a price she gladly paid with tears. When she was unable or unwilling to show the proper emotion of sadness at his passing she was punished. That big leather strap came at her, not once, not twice, but many times, each time it came in contact with her bottom she was commanded to shed tears, the tears finally came, but not because she was sad. The tears came from the pain being inflicted upon her. And just like that her walk along life as a victim would begin.

~Ruby Cantu

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