chapter 3

3.

Saturday nights were a nightmare. Eva’s mother had bookclub at 7pm and she was alone in the house with her father. Every week. And there was no hiding from him. Starting at Eva’s 12th birthday, he’d begun to come for her. At first just to touch her, to gently spread her legs, to speak softly to her about how beautiful she was.

“Eva, your skin is so soft,” he’d said, caressing her cheek with the back of his hand. And then down her back to her legs, stroking the skin on the inside of her thigh. And inevitably, authoritatively, he reached up under her skirt.

“Does this feel good?” he’d asked softly, smiling and staring into her face as if he could see through her. Absorbing her fear and confusion like it was a cocktail.

“Here, how about this?” slipping his fingertips into the soft folds of skin.

Her cheeks burning, she was paralyzed. Unable to respond, to move, to protect herself. Week after week like a routine he’d lead her to her room. He never bothered to contrive an excuse. And she never bothered to resist.

The one night she’d tried had been disastrous. Jamming himself into her mouth he’d said “I’ll show you who is in control.” And he held her head steady for an eternity, her jaw aching as if it would break. The thought to bite down hadn’t even come to her.

But this week was the first time he’d come into her. He’d had a bad week, some investments had gone south, and he took it out on Eva, pounding at her from behind until she cried.

When he was finished he zipped his pants, which he hadn’t bothered to take off. And leaving her face down on her twin-sized bed, the one her mother had dressed in a flowered quilt, he left.

“I’ll be in my office if you need anything, baby,” he’d said, walking out. His tone so casual and cool. As if nothing had happened. That was his game. None of this was real, nothing was going on. And for all Eva knew, that was true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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