One night after working the graveyard shift, Pat and I stopped for some breakfast. We waited until Dad and Mary left for work and Sam was in school before we went to the house. Electric Light Orchestra had just released their first album. I had picked up a copy while we were at the station and put it on the stereo in my bedroom.
While we were listening, we talked. Pat was starting to open up to me. Finally, she told me she had no place to go. She paused, looking down into her lap as she sat cross-legged on my bed, twirling her long brown hair between her thumb and index finger. As I looked at how beautiful she was, I knew I didn’t deserve a girl like her. I knew I was out of my league. She seemed nervous or anxious. Just then, she looked up with tears in her eyes. She told me that her stepfather had been raping her. My head started to spin as I listened. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I tried not to show how much that bothered me. I attempted to hide the lump in my throat that I got just hearing about what he had done to her. I wanted to put my arms around her and comfort her, but after being raped, I thought that might make her feel even more uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to do. I cared about her. I wanted to do something, but the wrong reaction would destroy the trust she had just put in me.
She told me blow by blow what he had done. He actually thought she was enjoying it. Although he wasn't her natural father, he had been a father figure to her for years. Now he was forcing himself on her and expecting her to enjoy it. I wanted to kill him. Pat couldn’t tell her mom about it; her mom loved this guy, and there was nothing to gain from it. She ran away from home to get away from him. She felt it was her fault, that she might have done something to cause it. There‘s nothing a woman, or in this case, a girl can do to deserve being raped. Her life was like a nightmare, and she couldn’t wake up.
Pat felt all alone, and she had to hustle to get money for food, and that’s why she lied about the abortion. She needed the money to live on. I thought she was playing me, and all she was doing was trying to survive. I felt so much closer to her now. She still had at least a hundred dollars left two weeks later, so she had creditability with me. That meant she wasn't squandering it on drugs. She was messed up, but that was her escape from how life had been treating her. I told her that we would come up with a solution somehow. Everything would be okay, how I didn't know. I just knew I was determined to do something. Coming from my background, I loved to be needed, and without a doubt, Pat needed somebody.
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