maarmie's musings

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

A place of my own

My first boyfriend was an abusive alocholic who raped me once when we were living together. Good times. Good times.

I was with him for about four years off and on between the ages of 16 and 20. We lived together twice. The first time it ended while we were cohabiting, he dumped me off on my parents' doorstep in the middle of the night. The second time, my parents came to get me one afternoon after he threatened to throw me out on the streets. Understandably, they didn't want me to be with him anymore and let me move back in with them the second time on the condition that I would go to university and never again get involved with the guy.

Fair enough.

Stupid me was temporarily wooed back by the idiot, however, and my dad saw us kissing from his office window near a shopping centre. When I was confronted by my dad, it was decided that I would move out, and my parents set about finding me a place to live while I was at work. At the time, I was working in fast food and couldn't afford much. What my parents found me wasn't much, either: a converted front porch with sloping floors, indoor/outdoor carpeting, no heat, no air conditioning, no locks on the windows, and a dodgy lock on the only door to the place. I moved in that week.

Things were OK there even though the conditions were quite crappy. I still dated the guy for awhile, but he treated me well, I'm guessing because I had my own place and relied on him for nothing. He didn't have any power over me anymore. I ended up dumping him not long after I got my own place, though. I guess I had finally decided for myself that I deserved better than what he had to offer. But not long after I stopped seeing him, I was home alone and it was the middle of the night and I heard an unfamiliar male voice outside the open window calling my name:

Julie. Get dressed and come outside.

I turned off the loud music and yelled out to the darkness asking the person who he was and what did he want, threatening with lies that I had a gun and would certainly use it. My handbag came flying in through the open window and landed on my bed. Whoever it was had been in my house, had maybe stood right behind me. I didn't have a phone. I was in my pajamas. I was afraid to run out of the apartment. I was afraid to stay there. I was afraid of some disembodied voice, what it might belong to and what its owner was capable of doing.

Eventually, the guy parted the curtains so I could see his face. He wanted to know if I really wanted him to go away. I yelled "yes" and he was gone. I turned off all the lights and crawled around on the floor with a knife. I got on my clothes. I shut the open windows and rifled through my handbag. Whoever it was had been in my house and gone back out with my handbag, looked at my ID and found out my name. He threw it back. He didn't take a thing. I was terrified.

The next day, I phoned my dad from a nearby payphone and told him the story. I don't know exactly what I was hoping for from him or what he could have done. But his response was as brief and final as it was strange:

"I have to go. I'm in the middle of dinner."

The midnight stranger made a reappearance some months later but my dad was never to hear of it. What would be the point, after all, when it was obvious he had more pressing things on his mind.

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