To the girl who was raped after school hours before track practice, I’m sorry.
The school halls will hustle with talkative voices but yours will never join again.
The noise of your protests will be so loud, but never quite loud enough to say.
Yet loud enough to cancel them out.
The feeling of being numb will no longer scare you, in fact you welcome it.
To the teacher who asks what’s wrong the next day after you shutter at the presence of the vulture, she lied.
She shakes her head “nothing” as he preys on her fear and picks the carcass of her dignity.
And the teacher sighs in relief that she will not be another pesky problem to solve.
To the lunch lady who gave her more fruit than the recommended portions, she is grateful.
“have some more food, love. drink plenty of water.”
She takes a seat by herself and devours the soft apple.
Everything is gone off her plate but she is not yet satisfied, and she shutters.
Her body is not her own, anymore. And if you feed the predator, it will continue to ask for seconds until there is no more.
She throws up.
To the bus driver who sits her at the front because of the bullies in the back, she is not grateful.
They are a distraction, and she needs something else to be bothered about.
She rides without saying a word, but her silence speaks volumes no one bothers to hear.
And to the family that asks about the faint cigarette smell attached to her jacket:
I do not like camels, but he does.