Thursday, November 11, 2021

Microstory 1754: Under the Microscope

I slam the microscope down against his head. He doesn’t even apologize now, but smiles at me, and tells me that she belongs to him, and he’ll never let her go. I hold it over him, waiting for him to give me a reason to set it back down carefully. I pick it up. I look around the room for anything to use as a weapon, but only find a microscope. Now that I have the upperhand, I take my opportunity to place my heel against his, and force him to the ground by the chest. He gets one more good shot in, but it seems to wear him out, at least for a moment. We struggle with each other, neither one strong enough to gain some kind of advantage. He thinks that will be the end of it, but he just sent me into fight or flight mode, and I always choose fight. Deciding that he would rather make the first move, he punches me in the stomach with both fists, knocking the wind out of me. Both of us realize that this argument is going nowhere, and that it’s about to get violent. We continue to argue. He doesn’t care. He won’t even admit that what he did was wrong. He won’t apologize for what he’s done. We begin to argue. I accuse him of sexual assault, and he doesn’t seem concerned. I approach him with obvious aggression, but he just sits there calmly, confident that all will turn out okay. I walk up to his lab, and open the door without asking, glad that it’s Saturday and the place is empty except for him. I step out, and try to remember why I’m here, what I’m hoping to accomplish, and how I can avoid this all getting out of hand. I stay in the car for a few minutes, afraid to actually go up there, but knowing that it’s unavoidable. I arrive at the science building.

I know that if I don’t, no one else will. I take the scenic route back, because I’m still not sure that I want to do this. Not really, but it feels like I could. I almost tear the car door off its hinges, I’m so mad. I walk out of the police station, having just been proven that justice isn’t simply blind, but actively hides from the truth. That would be ironic. I turn away in a huff, worried that I’ll be the one behind bars if I say what I really want to say to them. They say that can’t compel her. They keep their voices low, explaining that she’s old enough to answer for herself. I’m nearly at a scream now, begging them to see that she’s too young to make her own decisions. They tell me they’ll look into it if anything changes, but until then, this is how it has to be. They ignore the conjecture, and tell me that there’s nothing they can do. I tell them it shouldn’t matter; that she’s obviously just too scared of him. They tell me she’s changed her statement, and that she had every right to do so. I relay what she said to me, but they’ve already heard it. I walk in and ask to speak to someone important. I walk out of the dorm, and drive to the police station, feeling useless to do anything else. I respect her wishes, and leave her room. She asks me to leave, and I realize it’s because I’m a man, and she doesn’t need that kind of energy right now. I assure her it is, and she did the right thing. She says she wasn’t even going to tell anybody, because she isn’t certain it’s illegal. She says he didn’t touch her once. She says it was over quickly. She says she didn’t feel safe trying to get away. She says he made her watch. She says he touched himself. She says her much older ex-boyfriend came by yesterday, and locked the door behind him. She breaks down crying, not wanting to tell me, but needing to unburden herself. She doesn’t seem okay. She says she’s okay. I ask her if she’s okay. Something seems off. I drive out to visit my seventeen-year-old cousin, who is at a weeklong music camp at the college.

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