I was fresh out of the hospital. My insides were raw from where they scraped the life out of my womb. Eric was home after attending the YMCA Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale. I went to see him when he got home. I was dying inside, looking for reassurance after my ordeal but was sworn to secrecy.
“We will be pressing statutory rape charges,” my father told me, “I don’t want him becoming all the wiser.” It was an idle threat. My parents were not interested in justice for me. They were more interested in keeping the image of the well to do family. They were willing to sacrifice me to do so…
The first thing Eric did was splay me out and plunge inside me. The pain was excruciating. Then, he promptly broke up with me.
The Jersey Shore
It was the summer after my nightmare and all of a sudden I was commanding a lot of attention down on the beach. From what I heard, I was considered “the piece on the beach” or was so dubbed by the head lifeguard, JR.
ACT I : The “friend” who demanded more…
Two boys who I would later identify as Fredrick and his brother Andrew were walking by one evening as my best friend and I sat on the front porch talking.
“Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you have ever seen,” he asked his brother pointing at me.
As always, I was left speechless. I had spent my formative years hearing how fat I was, how unwanted I was, how stupid I was. I was left unprepared for compliments, especially those of a manipulative quality. He spent that night smooth talking and ingratiating himself. Unbeknownst to me the contract that I was entering with him would extract more from me than I had left to give.
Fredrick would grope me on the beach, would pull my bikini top off as I entered the shower. His kisses, much like Eric were all teeth. I was always bruised.
The upstairs tenant of our beach home would watch from her window… “You know,” she told me, “only a tramp gets herself in situations like that.”
“Do you like me,” I would ask Fredrick.
“Yes,” he replied matter-of-factly, “you are a friend.”
“Friends don’t do to each other what you are doing to me,” I told him.
“Oh yes they do,” he told me, “when they are special friends.”
“You and Monica are friends,” I told him. (Monica was an overweight relative of Jerry and the boys that made up the Rufenach family).
“She is NOT that kind of friend.”
I felt so confused.
ACT II: The invitation
Jerry told me that he wanted to spend time with me. He entered a home across the street from his family home.
“Come in,” he said, “I am waiting for you.”
I stood outside with the other young people who often congregated in front of their home feeling out of place.
As I entered the front door to the dark home, I heard him call to me, “I am back here.”
I wandered through the darkness to a dimly lit room where I found him lying under the sheets of a sofa bed. “If I told you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me,” he taunted me.
I started to shiver. I don’t remember what happened after that….
ACT III: Nowhere to hide and seek refuge
One night I wanted to take a walk on the beach. On my way back up the dunes to head home I was met by three of the local boys. “Take off your clothes,” they told me.
“I just want to go home,” I told them.
“You don’t get to go home until you strip for us,” the biggest of them told me.
The light from the street illuminated them from behind. I tried to make out their faces but was having difficulty processing information clearly. Suddenly I noticed that I was shivering uncontrollably. I don’t remember how I got home.
ACT IV: A date on the dunes
“Come take a walk with me,” Jerry said to me.
“Come on,” he said as he held out his hand.
We walked together down the dune, past the place where I had lost my virginity to Eric the September before. I shuddered at the memory of him on top of me as I implored him to stop.
I came to as Jerry pulled me toward a quiet place in between the dunes and forced me down on the sand….
ACT V: Hand off to the brothers and cousins
I walked briskly by the Rufenach home on my way to the beach… The normal assembly of boys and girls were mulling about…
“My cousin Steve would like to go up on the dunes with you, “Jerry called out at me.
I tried to ignore him…
“He really has it bad for you… “Jerry yelled as I continued to pick up my pace past them. Steve leered at me as if to accentuate the point.
It wasn’t long after that night that JB, the youngest of the Rufenach crew approached me. He was only 7 at the time.
It had been a glorious day and I had spent a good deal of it in the water bodysurfing. I was sitting watching the sky turn its evening hue.
JB walked up to me as if he was on a mission. “Can I ask you something?” he asked me.
“Sure,” I replied.
“Would you let me feel you up?”
I know that my expression had to show my shock and disdain for this request. “JB, I am so much older than you. Don’t you have interest in girls your own age?”
“But big cows give milk,” he told me straight faced, “little ones don’t!”
VI: Set up for….
I was visiting the Rufenachs watching television with Monica and some of the boys. We were drinking something. I don’t remember anything else…
I came to as I was walking toward the upstairs door to the beach. I have NO idea what happened to me.
As a result: I stopped going to Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Now I avoid the east coast altogether.