This is the rework of a self-published auto-biographical story (2008), rewritten for this blog. Names of characters have been changed.
Content warning: mental and physical abuse.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Prologue (part 1)
Annie looked back over her shoulder as she ran through the potato field. Her nervous and excited laugh echoed through the warm summer air. Peter, her cousin followed close behind. Despite the three year age difference, they were fond of each other and almost exclusively spent time together when their families visited each other. The impulsive and spontaneous nature of the ten year old girl had always been the bridge between their ages and difference in sex.
Suddenly Peter dove through the air and grabbed Annie’s feet. They were almost at the end of the overgrown field and both fell between the potato plants. Peter landed on top of Annie’s legs and pure by accident his nose was almost buried between her legs. For seconds neither of them spoke nor moved. It was a loaded moment. Annie recognized the look in Peter’s eyes, which left her with an old familiar feeling of resignation. His hand slowly slipped under her shorts and touched the elastic of her panties; moved inside her panties. In that moment Annie was alienated from her body. Peter’s hand touched the soft white skin, where some fluff had only recently started to grow. He pushed her shorts aside and just as his tong lightly touched the bare flesh, Annie jumped up and ran away.
“Peter, catch me! Peter cannot catch me. Peter cannot catch me,” she jokingly chanted, like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Annie ran back towards the house. When Peter found her, she was playing in the barn. Very cautiously, he joined her. The two of them never discussed what had happened that day out in the field.
* * * * *
Two days later, another cousin of Peter and Annie got married, which was the reason why Annie’s family stayed with Peter’s. The wedding ceremony took place in the church late on the Saturday afternoon. That evening Annie could dance to her hearts content at the wedding celebration She mostly danced with Peter – the jive, the twist and sometimes they danced their self-invented dance. Between dances, they enjoyed some of the foods and fruits on the tables. Annie drank only soft drinks, but Peter’s parents allowed him to have some champagne.
It was close to midnight when Annie’s father decided to leave the party. Peter and his older brother would drive back home with them.
“Daddy, may I go in the back?” Annie asked before her younger brother could do so. They were forever fighting about who would sit in the far back of the minibus. This time Annie ‘won’. Before any of the others were in the car, Annie already lay in the back. She was sleepy because of the late hour and the ‘busy’ night of dancing and having fun. Her mind wandered between sleep and wake as the others got into the minibus – their voices sounded far away.
Suddenly she was wide-awake.
Without moving a muscle, she quickly orientated herself. Even though she could not see them, she knew that her father and mother were in the front seats of the minibus. The vehicle was moving, which meant that they were already on their way home. She suspected that her brother was in the seat directly behind her parents. Her two cousins were on the back seat. She could see the backs of their heads and their shoulders. More so, she felt a hand exactly there where Peter had his tongue a couple of days earlier.
As if moving in her sleep, Annie moved to lie just out of reach of both of her cousins. Through her eyelashes, she peered at the two boys. With disgust, which she then did not recognize as such, she saw that both her cousins pulled away their a hand. What Annie didn’t work out, was that one cousin had moved her panties aside for the other to be able to reach her most private place.
Halfway through the next day, Annie and her parents were ready to leave. Peter came to greet them, but his older brother didn’t show his face. The two cousins could speak of mere luck that Annie never told her parents about that evening. Why she didn’t tell, neither of them would ever have been able to guess.
* * * * *
A few weeks later, a close friend of Annie’s parents came to visit them. He always arrived at exactly the same time — just before Annie and her brother had to go to bed. Annie readied herself for bed, the same way she always did. However, she knew that instead of one of her parents, Adrian would come to her room to read her a bedtime story, as well as she knew that it would be a repetition of countless similar evenings, which had started about a year before.
As expected, Adrian came to her room. He sat down on the side of her bed, took a book and paged through it, looking for a story to read. When he found one, he beckoned Annie to sit on his lap. Her back rested against his chest, and the book rested on her legs. Adrian started reading.
Annie’s attention wasn’t with the story. She was waiting for IT to happen. Coming from the kitchen, she heard the voices of her parents. If either one of them would walk from the kitchen to the dining room or come towards the bedrooms, they would immediately see her sitting on Adrian’s lap. It was an innocent picture.
It wasn’t innocent at all.
To be continued… Prologue (part 2)