Trigger warning: This post mentions child rape and discusses some of the long-term emotional complications for me.
I was 16. I had a car and a license. I went to my old neighborhood and looked up Marcia, who I hadn’t seen since third grade when I’d accused her father of molesting me . We had been best friends before that, and I knew that telling the truth about her father would end our friendship. Now, years later, I was back on her doorstep, at her house, the scene of the crime, giving her my phone number.
We ended up attending the homecoming dance at my boyfriend’s school a few weeks later together. She went as his friend’s date. We went out to eat at some steakhouse with peanut shells on the floor. I can’t remember what my date said or what I ordered. I can remember Marcia and I standing in the bathroom after the meal, touching up our makeup and talking.
She asked me if I’d made it up, what I’d said about her father. I told her it was true. I wasn’t mad at her. I didn’t yell. If anyone had the right to question me, it was her. But between one word and the next, she believed me. I could see it in her eyes, which looked like a bombed city: utterly desolate.
Somehow, we went on that night – to the dance and then bowling and then out for breakfast. Somehow, we were social and good company. That conversation brought tremendous closure for me, and a sense of validation. I don’t know what it did to her though. And I wonder if she forgives me for telling her.