I have been wondering what to write for some weeks now. I have been going over it in my head. The word processor in my mind keeps backspacing and rewriting. I don't know where to start. I don't feel worthy of composing and posting. This is partly because I wasn't the main target, from what I can remember. I will not say what happened to others or who they might be out of respect for their privacy. I can allow you to assume when I say we were all in the same house. My earliest memories consist of trying to keep them from being hurt. Perhaps subconsciously, I chose not to focus on myself. I think because of this, the memories of my own abuse are vague and spotty at best. I am going to focus on one incident, both because it is the most recently recovered and has been plaguing me and because it is of an unknown perpetrator (to date); it also signifies my status as a rent boy, as it were.

The first flash of recollection begins in the perpetrator's car. It's a 1988 Chrysler make, perhaps the Dynasty, but the model is not clear. The interior is navy blue. It's clearly sometime after dark. It's just he and I. It's summer, so it's a bit stuffy inside, but it's starting to cool down and I'm thankful for that. The scene out of the rear window is kind of familiar. It's the parking lot of a restaurant I think I've been to. Small, dark, hidden, wooden fence to one side, back of the building to the other. No other car is there. He's looking at me like he's wondering where to take the first bite. He's already stripped down to his white socks. I'm still in my underwear. The blue and white ones I like. I get nervous for a moment, thinking these were the last clean pair I could find and if they get dirty, I'll be in trouble and have none to wear the next day. He's obviously ready to go. He runs his hand over my chest. They aren't as rough as they seemed. Then he does something I don't remember anyone else doing before, but I remember it continuing after. He brings out a camera and takes photos. They are careful and deliberate photos, like he is considering the right angles and proportions. I feel neutral about this, maybe a bit confused. But those feelings would later change. He then replaces the camera and feels me over again. I figure it's time to begin so I take off my underwear and turn over. He tells me no, turn around. He wants to see me. I feel less neutral about this, not liking it very much, but I obey. It's difficult at first... but he succeeds in raping me. The pain I feel is extreme. I stare at him in the face, partially looking for some sort of answer, still confused. I don't know why else I feel the need to stare. The time passing feels like one hour after the next. Although, from previous experience, I estimate it was minutes, not hours. When he's finished, he takes a moment to compose himself, then reaches for the camera again. I suddenly feel embarrassed without my underwear. Not only do I feel exposed, but I want to cover any physical traces which may have been inflicted. Unfortunately, he reaches them before I do. I will never see them again. As he takes more photos, I feel like I'm falling into a void. It has cooled down but the air in the car is stale. The sweat is making me shiver. I start to shake a little. I suddenly want nothing but for my brain to rest. Perhaps I had fallen asleep, I'm still unsure. Perhaps I succumbed to what they now call “dissociation.” Maybe I ran out of oxygen in the stifling conditions and simply passed out. I am 11 years old.

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Until the End-Breaking Benjamin