So fiction is part of this Final Girl series.
Full disclosure: I stopped trusting my fiction after a too-long stint in middle and high school with novellas about girls named Raisin. Yes, those stories happened. Of course, the day may come when I side eye this the same way. But for now, here goes…
I wrote it all in my head, between sleep and awake, and now it’s gone. This is why a girl cannot sleep. (I hope you are not a girl child but oh how you stay awake just like one)! So many times they asked how you came to me that I was sure my head would explode trying to remember. And here finally, now that their insistent voices and smug knowing are gone, I smell the grass that bedded me then.
The sun was guilty of shining but not telling, and now this rain pounding the roof, “You see, now, you can see” it’s saying. And I can!
Felt my nipples against the weight of the open sky now that he was gone; they were nails refusing to recede. (But who will I tell now)? Had melted down my leg, icing glaze that wasn’t as sweet—I checked. And the silence was my defeat. He returned. And forced me again; this time to run up the hill as Babacar gave chase. He shot at Babacar and connected at least once because I saw a sudden burst of red against the orange robe; his Buddha belly covered but never really secret in it or any. Babacar kept after us. For him, for me. Please Babacar, no. I was not his anymore. So what did he care? Whatever choice I’d had now delegated to this stranger who found me sleep and made me melt against my will.
What was so cold inside me that it could literally melt? Mother had not gotten to this part yet. And the girls at school never discussed this in our secret chatter. I had no more time to consider; we ran the hill; he rushed me so that my tripping only made me cover more ground faster and so it wasn’t a thing. Babacar must have given up the chase. Maybe he was dead. Babacar dead? How would Mother make do?
My mind separated from the moment, extracting new ways of disbelief. We finally stopped. It felt like an entire day had passed; that we had covered many miles. The hill had lead us into woods I didn’t recognize. Of course none of this was on the route to my school or the market—I would not recognize. My head was still covered which surprised and comforted me.
This time his face was directly in front of mine. I took it in: his eyes were ringed with green and his skin the color of baked earth. His eyebrows were bushy but every hair lay in place and shined like a horse’s brushed haunches. I followed his motion. This time he had me lay down. Two fingers moved my underwear to the side, and I melted again. I melted again and my nipples, which had never receded this whole time, seemed to turn to steel. And I wanted to cry.
Because I had finally figured out, now, that this must be how life leaves a body. Leaking out of you slowly, mingled with blood so that you sort of miss the blood, so that you do not notice the pain of its loss. Until it’s too late. This is how I would die. How we all die. A little damaged or a lot. My grandmother, 90 when she died, had no man since my grandfather who’d walked on five years before her. Had she leaked into her robes and gowns without this kind of provocation until the day we found her smirking and cold?
I waited for his knife again, or Babacar’s little gun popping in my ear, and wondered who would find me smirking, cold despite the sun against my eyelids.