I was almost molested. I was an antelope. She was a lioness.
An antelope grazes grass with a herd of fellow antelope. She’s been taught to be on her guard, she’s seen lions take down those around her. But they haven’t gotten her yet. And she thinks they never will. So she’s on her guard, but she’s not scared. She doesn’t shrink away when she senses a predator in the thick grass. It’s a lioness. Deceptively lazy and quiet. The antelope moves. The lioness moves. The antelope moves. The lioness moves. So it goes.
The antelope runs. The lioness races. The lioness gets too close and the antelope runs faster. The antelope strays near the lioness and it tries to pounce. The herd of antelope are scattered now. It’s a race between the two. The antelope saw the hunger in lioness’ eyes. She saw the fear in the antelope’s. The lioness pounces on the shaking antelope and aims to tear the antelope’s skin with her sharp claws. It tears slightly, the antelope runs. And runs. And runs. And is gone.
The predator that deemed me her prey never succeeded. The hungry lioness never dug her claws deep enough in the antelope to kill her.
But the antelope still has scars. She fears the race of lions for the rest of her life. The lioness returns to her den, growling with hunger, but will find meat, and forget about the previous failure. But the antelope’s intelligent mind and fragile body always holds those scars from those claws that will fade – but remain only enough to remind the antelope of the hurt. And it will remind the antelope that there are predators out there and that she must always be on her guard.
The other antelope don’t care. Their fellow antelope, a daughter – a member of the herd was scratched and scarred but survived. That’s all that matters. Survival.
I was the antelope. My teacher was the lioness. She came close and I moved – she hid behind tall grass – the façade of kindness and extra help. She gave me hugs. I hugged my friends. She grabbed me. I ran. She followed me home. She came to my room. She cornered me in my bed. I saw the lust in her eyes, she saw the fear in mine. I let her dig her claws into my skin and I ran. I ran and ran and ran.
That horrible day, motor-vehicle drivers at a popular intersection saw a small girl in her torn t-shirt and underwear, sobbing and running. Sobbing and running.
She never molested me. She came just close enough to leave scars and remind me of all the horrible things that happen in this world. And my fellow antelope don’t care. Because I survived.
By the legal definition I was never molested. I watched her lean back with a smug smile as she crawled back into her den, while my fellow antelope berated me for being attention seeking. I survived and that’s all that mattered.
Did I really waste the polices’ time? Did I really disappoint my parents with my attention seeking? Did I really frame an innocent woman? Is it wrong that I let these scars haunt me?