I’ve always heard death was supposed to be peaceful, ya know? Like a drifting off to sea or something. You remember those old war movies? Even those who had suffered the most violent offenses always passed in the arms of a platoon member. They would die uttering some phrase of epic proportion, and they were proclaimed a hero. Well, that’s not how I’ll be remembered.
You want to know when I knew I’d be “a victim of a violent crime”? I don’t know! Or maybe I’ve always known. At least, my mom was always afraid it’d happen. I just thought she was just paranoid…or weird. It’s funny; as a kid, I remember my mom telling me, “Live by the sword, die by the sword, Gamil.” She’d say that when I’d cornered my brother to tears after a game of a cops and robbers or cowboys and indians or whatever. He was such a wimp! And older than me too. Mom always thought we’d look out for each other. Apparently, she’d never paid attention to our sparring. I’d pin him every time! She sure didn’t expect me to be enjoy wrestling either. I think she wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer or some junk like that, but I never had the smarts.
Yeah, I was strong and fast, and proud of it too. I did track for a bit in high school; I even won a little. But I won’t be remembered for that. They’ll see me as weak, damaged. I will be recalled with pity. Just like mom. When the police told her what had happened to me, she fell to her knees in tears. After that, I could look right into her eyes, but she only saw through me.
But if she had only seen that knife—if they all had. How those two men held me down. Pinned me! While their friend thrust that blade between my legs. If they had seen the blood soiling my skirt. I was on my way to meet a date—a guy a friend introduced me to, Geraldo was his name I think, though I can’t remember anymore.
But I fought back. I bloodied the guy’s nose. One even lost some teeth. But no one will remember that. I’ll just be that “poor girl”. Which is why I wish they would have killed me. But instead, I am still here. And they are here with me.