It happened several times. With all of them. Different men within the family.
I would always smile, and play nice with everyone. I would share my toys and my food. I liked seeing others laugh, especially if I was the cause. Little Jenny was always quiet, she would just sit there and play with my doll. I wondered if the men liked her too.
I wouldn’t talk much. I never said much. I laughed. I smiled and I laughed. Peace and harmony. I liked that. I liked peace.
Multiples times by different men in the family. It happened. They all agreed I wouldn’t talk. I didn’t talk much. I wouldn’t talk.
I still hear his heavy breathing.
The other one always had a strong breath.
The big one smelled the worst.
The youngest took the longest.
“Be quiet, this is our secret ok?”
I nod. I always nodded. They were nicer that way.
The smell of methol cigarettes still nauseates me and I can’t stand the taste of beer.
But with each passing day, the shock that goes through my body at the sound of squeaky stairs becomes less. And I turn off the lights at night now.
Heavy breathing in the gym does not upset me no more, and now the cable guy can come in when I’m alone.
I guess this is why, everyday I try to conquer something new. And if I can’t that day, at least I try to make things better.
This is how I fight back today. This is how I say No.