It’s been almost 10 years since you screwed me up mentally.
You never knew my name.
In fact, I never knew yours.
I didn’t do anything to you. I sat on a bus and stared out the window.
Why you felt it was okay to touch me, till this day, staggers me.
Don’t remember me? Let me refresh your memory.
It was August. A sunny, warm day. I know because it was a matter of days before my 21st birthday.
I’d left the house in a pair of leggings, a coral vest and gold sandals. Clothes I’d never wear again after you tainted them.
I got the 211 from Fulham Broadway.
I was happy and relatively relaxed. It was my day off, I was on my way to finalise my student loan ahead of my second year at uni and I was putting the deposit down for my birthday venue. It was a good day.
Four stops later, everything changed.
Do you remember what you did?
You stroked my inner thigh, high up too. Or, to be clearer, my vagina.
How stupid was I to assume it was the handle of my bag.
You flinched when I noticed you. Remember that? Remember getting caught?
You laughed at me. I mean, it must have been hilarious for you.
You probably expected me to keep quiet but sadly for you, I know right from wrong.
It was a miracle if anything else that two community officers were at Hammersmith Broadway when the bus terminated.
You ran but they didn’t care. In fact, they caught up with you within minutes.
Remember that? I do. I watched as a police van came and arrested you. I gave my first statement while stood at the traffic lights.
A group of women stared at me. I could almost hear them slagging me off under their breath. If only they knew.
I didn’t cry but I heard you did.
What started off as a perfectly average, sunny day, it was a Tuesday by the way, turned into a nightmare.
I spent half of my day in a police station talking to a tape recorder, having everything written down on a piece of paper.
Even my clothes were taken away from me for examining.
Why? Why would you do that? I hadn’t wronged you in any shape or form. I hadn’t even noticed you when you sat down.
The police officer drove me back to Hammersmith so I could try and finalise my student loan. I couldn’t. I ended up having a panic attack in front of the poor woman doing her job so was driven back home.
I tell you what I did do. I booked the venue for my birthday.
It was my 21st birthday.
My first BIG birthday.
I was officially going to be an adult.
Although, thanks to you, I hated every minute of it.
I couldn’t enjoy it.
I felt dirty. Tainted.
I look back on photos and I amaze myself at how I managed to keep my shit together.
No one knew. Not even my best friend.
Months passed, 14 to be exact.
The police officer warned me that if this went to court, the most you’d get would be a “slap on the wrist” and “possibly some community service”.
She asked me if I wanted to press charges and go to court.
Bet you were surprised when I said YES.
You took my freedom away from me.
For months I didn’t get on a bus, I broke up with my then boyfriend, I had a panic attack anytime someone came near me.
If anything, I wanted you to feel humiliated. It was the least you deserved.
Of course, you know how the story ends.
Shall I remind you?
The police officer was wrong. Even she was surprised.
You were sentenced to one year in prison and put on the sex offenders list.
I never got to see your face.
I “hid” behind a screen but even then, I kept my shit together.
You see, you thought you could break me and for a longtime, you did.
But in the end, I won.
I won back my freedom. I could walk around and know that you couldn’t touch me.
You’ve been out for years now…unless of course you’ve done it again. I mean, I couldn’t have been the first but for 12 months, you were nothing but a number on a prison cell.
Me? Well, I became a graduate. I turned 21 and I got back on the bus.
I hate what you did but I am proud of ME and in this scenario, I am the only one that counts.
You are nothing.
I used my voice.
And let me use it one more time to say this…
You are a miserable cunt.
An arrogant piece of shit who thought you could get away with whatever the hell you wanted. Well, fuck you!
My body. My rules!
I’d end this letter formally, but instead I’ll end it with a full stop as you deserve nothing more.