Lying on the bed beside Anna, Thea decides to open up about her story; about her journey down this path of life.
“Another medal? What do you hope to achieve with all of them?”
Of all the things that she had hoped to hear, that was the last thing Thea had expected to hear from her mother.
“But Mum, you know I’m good in athletics, right? Hell, I’m excellent at it. Coach said …”
“There you go again about what the coach said. To be honest, I don’t give a rat’s ass about what the coach said. He’s not your father; you know how your father thinks about all of these.”
Thea began to sulk. Her father hated the sports activities that she took part in high school. Despite maintaining her grades and her attendance records, which meant he had no excuses to restrict her from taking part in sports competitions, there was just something about the whole damn thing that struck a raw nerve in him.
The heavy slamming of a car door outside and the loud rattling of keys signalled that her father was home from work. She glanced at the medals that she had left on the dining table; it was too late to hide them now.
Seconds later, her father walked into the kitchen, whistling softly under his breath. Her mother had set the kettle to boil the moment she heard the slamming of the car door and was now busy dunking in tea bags into the boiling water. Thea took this moment to study her father as he carted two grocery bags into the kitchen, laden with household items.
Michael Jarvis had the built of a lumberjack – which of course suited his profession as a car mechanic. His hands were big and rough from the regular repairs that he does down at the car garage, whereas the faint whiff of grease seemed to follow him everywhere regardless how well he scrubbed himself clean while he showered. His crew cut haircut gave the illusion of a late twenties bloke, even though in actual fact he had passed the mark of forty.
Thea glanced at him as he used those big, burly arms of his to cart the groceries seamlessly and began arranging them in their shelves. She wondered if she could escape into her room before he finished his task and noticed the medals on the table. Just as she began to attempt to ease out of her chair quietly, he glanced around, looking at her for seconds before his gaze landed on the medals.
Too late once again.
“What are these?” he asked softly, dangerously.
“I … won them during the sports meet today.”
He turned his body fully to face her, his forehead creasing with lines.
“Didn’t I tell you the other day to pull out from the team?”
“Well, you did but Father … I’m really good at it. You should have seen me today; I broke the state record for the 100-meter race. Coach said I could only get better from here and that I’ve made both him and the school proud.”
“I don’t give a damn what the coach said. I told you to stop with all this garbage and yet, you disobeyed me.”
“ But Father, you don’t understand …”
“No, you don’t understand!” he bellowed and grabbed her medals before swiftly dunking them into the trash can. “I’ve warned you before about what might happen if you disobeyed me and yet, you still decided to do it your way. Well, now you’re going to have a taste of my wrath. Say goodbye to all of your medals because you won’t be seeing them anymore.”
Thea looked at him in horror; her face contorted with anguish and pain.
“Father, you can’t be serious! That’s all I have to show for my accomplishments – my hard work.”
“I’ve told you once too many by now. This is a lesson you have to learn.”
She stood up abruptly, sending her chair crashing solidly onto the floor; her face purple with rage. Tears were welling up yet she was adamant in not letting them fall.
“I hate you; I hate the both of you! You never cared about what I want – you’re selfish!”
She ran up to her room and locked herself in; wanting to stay there in solitude and silence for as long as possible.
The soft knock on her door woke her up. A glance at the bedside clock informed her that it was a few minute shy of midnight. She wondered what woke her up and then it came again – that soft knock on the door.
Groggy-eyed, she stumbled out from her bed and went to unlock her door.
Her father stood there; a shadow in the darkness of the hallway behind him.
“I want to talk to you about this afternoon,” he said as he walked past her into the room. Left with no choice, she closed the door and sat at the foot of her bed, facing him.
“I’m not going to apologise for this afternoon…” she began but he cut her off.
“I’m not here looking for an apology. I’m here to explain to you something that you apparently do not understand.”
When she said nothing, he continued.
“You’re fifteen, yet the way you’ve been behaving is like a petulant kid; stubborn yet wanting things your way still. You’re a girl and like all girls your age, you’re blossoming into a woman. You seem oblivious to the effect that you have on the opposite gender, the way their gazes latches onto you every time you step onto that damn field.”
“Father, I think you’re fairly mistaken. That’s not how things are.”
“It’s not? You think I don’t know how their minds work? You think I don’t realise that that coach of yours, the one you idolise – you think I’ve never noticed the hungry looks he sends your way?”
“No, you’re mistaken. I’d known if that’s what’s been going on. I know how to differentiate those looks; he looks at me with pride, not with lust.”
“Oh, you do now, do you? You know how to differentiate?” he whispered softly and leaned towards her. “Let’s see if you recognise my gaze – or better, let’s see how you handle this.”
She was still in the dark, oblivious to the threat that was veiled behind his words. It was only when his lips pressed hard against hers that made her realise his intentions.
She tried to scream yet his lips sealed hers effectively. As she began to trash, he used his lumberjack body to pin hers onto the mattress; his large hands busy ripping the thin fabric that covered her body. Seeking exposed flesh, his hands grabbed and possessed her body roughly, leaving a trail of bruises in their wake.
His palms closed painfully over her breasts; his fingers pinching her nipples cruelly before being replaced by his lips, tongue and then his teeth. Freed, she began to suck in air sharply yet just as she was about to scream, he covered her mouth with his palm; half silencing, half-choking her into submission.
He discarded her shorts swiftly and rammed into her without warning; his manhood hot and feverish against her insides. The pain speared throughout her body, causing her to bite hard onto his hand in shock and in agony yet even then he held her tightly. He pulled and pushed himself, each stroke harder and rougher than the previous ones; the dryness and tightness causing him to tear her inside, spilling blood all over the sheets.
She struggled against his body, against his hands, against the hips that restricted any sort of movement from her lower body yet, all her struggles seemed to bring fresh waves of pain to her and fresh waves of pleasure for him. With each struggle, he moved in deeper – he thrived on her struggle, on her apparent desperateness for an escape. The tears that dampened her pillows still flowed yet he ignored them; the protector was now lost in the role of the predator.
When he emptied himself and pushed away from her as he pulled himself out, she began to sob pitifully, curling herself into a ball at the corner of the bed.
Just as he was about to leave, he glanced at her.
“You know what you’re supposed to do.”
It wasn’t difficult to hide the rape from her mother; that woman hardly knew if her daughter was at home, much less anything else. Thea doubted that her mother realised that her father was missing from bed every single night from that day.
Confident that she wouldn’t spill his secret, he visited her every night; his desires for the daughter that he sees as a harlot completely insatiable and unrestrained. Regardless of how often he raped her in a night, he still desired her the moment he sees her the next day, and so he waits for nightfall to come once again.
At school, Thea began to distance herself from all of her friends. Having pulled out of the track team, she was often unoccupied during the afternoons and evenings. Despite having counseling sessions, first with her coach and then with a counselor, nothing seemed to be helping them in figuring out what was going on with Thea.
Upon confronting her, Thea began to act ‘unnaturally’ in front of her homeroom teacher; causing the teacher to drop by unannounced at their home one day.
Her parents invited her homeroom teacher in, wondering what was the problem all about. Michael stared at Thea’s homeroom teacher, wondering if the harlot had spilled his secrets.
Noticing the fear growing in her father’s eyes, Thea realised then the power that she had unknowingly wielded all along.
“I came here to talk to you about Thea. I noticed that she’s been acting strange recently; pulling out from the track and field team and having a substantial drop in her grades. Can I know if there’s anything wrong that’s been going on that could be affecting her in such a way?”
“No, there’s nothing wrong. It’s just that I felt that it wasn’t right for her to be doing all those activities you see. Boys these days, well, they can’t be trusted,” Michael replied.
“I see.” Miss Jenkins didn’t actually understand what Thea’s father was talking about but she decided to go ahead and state her reason for the visit.
“Well, we had some sort of teacher-student meeting yesterday, in which the homeroom teacher would call upon students that were having difficulty in obtaining the passing grade in their examination. When I was talking to Thea yesterday, all of a sudden, she just … well, she just…”
“She just what?” Thea’s mother asked.
Glancing at Thea, who remained nonchalant, Miss Jenkins answered, “She just came onto me.”
“What?!?” Michael and his wife exclaimed.
Thea continued leaning against the wall, unperturbed by their reactions.
“Well, I don’t really understand why she did that, but having my student suddenly put her hands under my skirt and touching me inappropriately was just too shocking for me to digest. I was hoping you’d have some answers for her sudden change in behaviour but judging by your reaction, you seem as surprised as I am.”
“I am so sorry,” Michael began. “We have no idea she would behave in such a way.”
“Well, neither did I. Her counseling sessions at school bore no fruit so I would like to suggest to the both of you to find a licensed therapist or counselor to help her with anything that’s going on in her mind. For someone like her to turn into someone like this, it’s not just shocking; it’s quite disturbing. She was after all a model student.”
“Yes, I understand. We’ll take her to a therapist as soon as possible. We’re so sorry for the way she had behaved; we have no excuse for it.”
“I just hope it doesn’t happen again. Things like this could grow out of hand as fast as a bush fire.”
After Miss Jenkins had left, Michael stalked towards her and began to drag her upstairs, while his wife watched helplessly. Yet instead of going meekly with him as she normally would have, Thea began to struggle. She managed to break free out of his hold.
“How dare you?” he demanded.
“Father, before you decide to do or say anything, remember the secret that I’ve been keeping safe for you for the past month.”
Michael grew scarlet at her words.
“What secret?” her mother asked.
“Maybe you should keep your eyes open, mother. Maybe then you’d realise that your husband is missing from your side every single night; maybe then you’d notice the extra creases and the blood on your daughter’s bedsheet.”
As she heard the words spilling out of Thea’s mouth, her mother dissolved onto the floor in a crying fit; unable to accept the words that she had just heard.
“You – you dare say those things to anyone else?” Michael asked threateningly.
“I dare. And just so you know, Father – it wasn’t just Miss Jenkins; there were many other boys that were teaching me tricks; the kind of tricks that you were so afraid of me knowing. I must say, you’re pretty pitiful, aren’t you? They seemed … well, more skillful shall we say? ”
The amount of anger that was bubbling within him was evident enough on his face; his fists clenched tightly at his sides, yet none of it made an impact on Thea. She was through with all of it; she was through being a victim. The fear that she saw in his eyes moments ago and the anger that she was seeing then were fuelling the fire within her. There was no turning back now.
“I’m leaving this place.”
“I said, I’m leaving this place. I’m not going to be your sex slave any longer and I’m done being your dutiful daughter either. I’m leaving.”
“Where are you going to,” her mother asked, her cries receding a little.
“Somewhere that he can’t find me. And if he does, I’ll begin talking. Paedophilia and incest, that’s a nice combination eh, Father?”
Michael maintained his stony silence. She smirked at him, confident with the newly acquired power coursing through her veins. She went upstairs and began packing her things, taking only her essentials and leaving behind the life that she once had. Grabbing the cash that she knew her father had hidden in his secret place, she went back downstairs and without a single word to either of them, she walked out of the house and vowed never to return once again.