I’ve written about being molested by a mentor who I truly trusted but it wasn’t always easy to write at all – or even think about it.
First things first, it was hard to just tell someone it happened.
This is just another example of how creativity helped me to heal. I wrote this piece as a fantasy – imagining what it would feel like if Blaire (me) had told her brother.
I was nervous, embarrassed – I didn’t know what my brother would say. Of course – I never got to tell my brother. My mom did. Because I was in a coma. But that’s another story 🙂
Anyway, this is my creative writing piece:
Blaire had never loved her brother as much as she did in this moment. Matt just moved back home. He was working in the area so now, he sleeps in the room next to hers, in his childhood bed. It’s a lovely feeling, as though not only is Matt a brother, he is a friend. His energy transforms the entire house to the point where setting the table, washing the dishes, or putting the milk away all become a kind of happy ritual. She secretly enjoyed quibbling with him or waking him up in the middle of the night, anything to stir up some good old sibling rivalry that she was never able to have before. Matt was 17 years older than Blaire, and had always belonged to a mysterious realm of his own, unexplored by her. But now, Matt sleeps in the room next to hers, in his childhood bed. They go through the day together, and perhaps they have finally discovered the person behind the sibling. It’s the illumination of a part of him that she was unable to see before, the realization that not only does she love Matt, she likes him too. A deeper kind of love, a trust, sprouts from this awareness. And with that trust in hand, they decided to go off to the Berkshires for a weekend together – their first weekend together as two equal adults, embarking on undiscovered, but intriguing kind of friendship.
Blaire had never seen Matt with his head shaved before. It drew more attention to his prominent facial features and gave him a European look. His beauty was an austere one, a noble, antique beauty that inexplicably connected her to history, to ancient earth through his unyielding eyes. He kept a firm stance, his feet clutching the earth as if he were drawing it to him like a breath. And then the exhale, the involuntary lift of each foot as a release, only to press it down into the leafy earth again. Reveling in the tension of opposites and then repelling it. He marched on and on like this, purposeful and elegant. So elegantly, in fact, that a subtle imperfection became more and more glaring with each step. His arms seemed to be split into tiny segments; they seemed to lack the natural flow that connected them into a fluid whole. So he made awkward, sporadic motions with his arms, as if his stabilizing energy only ran longitudinally. She envisioned him with no arms as she trailed behind him, and then without a body, only as a narrow strip of vertical florescent pink energy, bobbing determinedly up and down the path like the dancing broomsticks in Fantasia. Blaire felt sorry for him for having to keep his burning line of pink energy in his awkward body, sorry that he couldn’t bob up and down the trail like an enchanted broomstick. Instead, here he was, a precious remnant of an older, nobler way of life, trapped in a body he didn’t know what to do with.
But with a shaved head, the energy seemed to flow off the top of it and resist gravity, pouring upwards to the heavens, only to be returned by the trees, by the life hovering over the dark path. All of nature seemed to return it like a sigh, contented, as if they had finally found an outlet, a friend. It all flooded, everything, back into his naked head, filling him with inward glow. She couldn’t help comparing him to the leafless trees that surrounded us – they both had found the soaring art within their grounded forms.
The feet stop, the head regains its balance on stately shoulders as it turns to me.
It was pink after all – a florescent pink energy that oozed between his lips with his voice, blending to make a resonant, heavenly sound. A layer of warmth subdued its tremendous depth, and it was almost like hearing a waterfall from indoors.
That muffled sound of the fountain from outside his window. They sat together on the couch. He put his hand on her knee. “That’s odd,” she thought to herself. But it’s okay, it’s just Mr. Z. He awkwardly pivoted himself towards her and leaned in to kiss her. She didn’t move. She felt animatronic – like the mechanical robots she used to love in Disneyworld, which she always wondered if they were real or not. She was real. This was not. “This isn’t happening,” she thought. “We’re in our voice lesson.” The tips of her fingers felt numb.
With a bit of effort she caught up to Matt, her trotting not half as graceful or noble as his. She didn’t appreciate how Matt had effortlessly avoided the dismembered tree trunks on the floor until she tripped over every one of them. And it wasn’t until then that she realized how much of an intruder she was on this undisturbed tree cemetery. They were the prowlers who had once dreamt of an everlasting communion with nature and now stealthily peered over the barrier that separated them from the natural, flowing world of freedom and beautiful simplicity. With their feet resolutely pursuing the trail, they centered themselves in the natural world, and wholeheartedly believed, for a moment, that they had a right to belong to it.
Was this anger she felt? No, just underwater. Yes, that’s it. She must be floating underwater somewhere. Because this can’t be happening. But this is not love. This is not her first kiss. This was just Mr. Z. – not some unwelcome trespasser.Mr. Z. is not a predator.
Whether they were the trespassers, the aliens or not, Blaire was able to catch a glimpse of the world as it was intended to be – the realism thrilled her. In a world of perfect geometric shapes, of painted signs, of bright red automobiles, it was almost a relief to catch the world in disarray, in asymmetry. The trail seemed to want to tell a story with all its many paw prints, bird calls, and huge daddy long legs crawling under rocks – its moist air and shadowy trails, rocking trees comforting one another in their dark forest community. The whole picture seemed like its own miniature fairytale, untainted by our “improvements” and “progress” throughout the ages. Matt and Blaire stood in simultaneous awe of it all.
He didn’t speak. He just slipped his fingers behind her neck, pulling her to him, like she was his.
Blaire wasn’t uncomfortable with the silence until she realized it was there. She and Matt had hardly spoken since they started off on the trail.
“Hey Matt…I love you man.” It was the best she could come up with.
“I love you too.” His awkward arm tried to find its way around her shoulder.
The leaves wobbling on branches, the moss gathering in unclaimed territories, the rich browns and the melodious silence, it all seemed so poignant. It was such unperturbed beauty, so innocent, so pure.
“I sort of just want you to be my voice teacher. I feel sort of…disillusioned.”
“Losing your innocence is a natural part of maturity.”
Was that it? He was teaching her how to grow up? If he was, then she wasn’t ready. She needed a few more years of high school first.
She had to tell someone. Him. Matt. This was her chance. The pieces hadn’t fully come together, but they were starting to. This was the opportunity to clear up any smog in her head, any pollution that she felt way down deep in her belly – Matt could help her now.
“I don’t think I’m very happy.” New, New Words. They felt their weight together.
“What-do-you-mean?” “I-don’t-know.” He had to know what she meant; he had to feel it too. Couldn’t he see the pain in her eyes? The way she avoided the topic of voice lessons? The nervous feeling that came over her when he came up behind her?
Crumble crumble crumble. The obnoxiously crunchy leaves on the trail heightened the tense speechlessness.
“I just feel like…if I were happy then I wouldn’t be thinking about it, right?”
“Hmm.” God I hate when he does that, she thought.
They had introduced each other to a very unfamiliar concept and so, quite intrigued, we carried on, marveling, suggesting, denying, our words fading in and out of awareness.
If she told him, she would lose this treasured feeling of equality with Matt. He would suddenly be that one that “had” to look out for her. Worse, he would tell their parents and then all hell would break loose. But she wasn’t five, she could handle herself. Just not…this guy.
If she told him, she would lose Mr. Z. Which now, she wanted to. Did she want to? He was her mentor for most of her adolescent life. He trained her well. His patient, nurturing wisdom and coaching enabled her to get the lead in every school show. She looked to him for guidance and advice, on and off the stage.
He trained her too well.
“I think – I think…it’s Mr. Z.”
“Voice teacher, right?”
“Yeah. I think…”
Blaire clenched her upper lip with every muscle in her jawbone.
“I’m not sure it’s so kosher anymore.”
Is that what she was going to say? After all of this? She had to compare him preying on her to parve chicken?
Suddenly Matt’s energy turned lipstick-red. Those florescent pink beams morphed into sharp red lasers, piercing through every word that dropped to the ground, injecting each with a hot shock of regret.
“Blaire – what the hell? What the hell are you trying to tell me? Are you saying that Mr. Z. is a downright pedophile? What the hell is wrong with you? You’re fifteen!”
“Shit. No Matt – no, definitely not. It’s just –“
“—It’s just what Blaire?” He said her name so definitively, as though he were sounding it out for the first time. This was the first time she had been so…honest.
“Nothing Joe. I just didn’t know if he was a good teacher anymore. He’s just…old. Outdated. That’s all.”
“Okay.” He seemed to lose interest. He was as lost in Blaire’s trail of conflicted thoughts as they both were on this Berkshire path. And that was where she wanted him. Safe again. Thank God he wasn’t on to her. Free and clear. What was she free of again?
She couldn’t lose her happy rituals of putting the milk away with her big older brother. She couldn’t lose the feeling of carefree innocence and rivalry that they shared as siblings. But she had lost her innocence. And she wanted it back.
This was her moment. And she loved him in this moment. She had to tell him. She could lose everything she had ever known. Yet she feared disillusioning Joe. How would Joe feel if he knew that her voice teacher had big molesting his little sister? Would he feel inadequate as the older, over-protective big brother? And she still did like the voice lessons – but just the voice lessons.
The two, now strangers to each other, had wandered down roads paved onto hills – they were leaving the forest, and spotted a little pool hiding behind a garden gate, guarded by a stern evergreen tree with a robin flitting about its head. The pool was right in the middle of those magical Berkshire Hills, those huge, motherly, majestic hills. It was as if those voluptuous hills had centered themselves towards them and graciously offered them their home, their hospitality, a glimpse of their family. Matt and Blaire sat themselves down on a grassy hill and were helplessly humbled and awed by the raw enormity of nature, of these hills who seemed to be shelter, parent, and enchantress all in one.
“Hmm.” His energy lost its color. It was clear and all Blaire could see was the open sky.
“Let’s start over. I need your help.”
“I’ve always been here to help. I’m listening.”
And as they talked, shared, confided, the sun started to set, turning the two black silhouettes into one brand new form.
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