Dear young teenage boy who sexually assaulted me,
I saw you. I saw you that day before you saw me. You were on the other side of the street. I noticed what you were wearing — blue windbreaker, blue jeans and blue canvas tennis shoes.
You didn’t know me, a bittersweet new wife and mother, just 20 years old. You didn’t know that I grew up hard. You didn’t know about my broken heart. That I started drinking and smoking young or that I had a baby and gave her away. You didn’t know that I had been adopted, or that I dropped out of high school and hitchhiked across the south, not concerned about living or dying. You didn’t know that I had been kidnapped and date raped by an older man, or assaulted by a stranger on a city bus. You didn’t know that I had been whistled at and catcalled since I was a kid, long before I even knew what it meant.
All you saw was a young woman walking down the street pushing a stroller. Somehow you ended up behind me. And like many males in our society, you saw an object, so you grabbed.
The stroller wobbled and nearly fell over in the scuffle. The intensity of my rage when I turned around to look at you was astounding. My son began to cry.
I’m not proud of what I called you to your laughing, leering face. I wanted to rip you apart with my bare hands, (I felt like I could) but suddenly you took off running.
You must have lived nearby, because the cops couldn’t find you. They picked up another young kid, made him get out and stand in front of the police car so I could look out the window, check if it was you. My husband and brother went out looking, too. (Blue windbreaker, blue jeans, blue canvas tennis shoes). Lucky for you they weren’t successful.
You must be in your 50s. I sometimes wonder about you. The choice you made that day changed me. Did it have an effect on you?