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Those boys surrounded me. The smile on their faces spoke volumes of their intentions. Off in the distance, the girls that I called friends stood by...watching. Would they come to my aid? Not today. I was on my own. Jimmy smiled as he drew closer. 

His hand reached out and he grabbed hold of my breast. "Nice", he said smiling. 

Frac said "Let me see" and he grabbed the other. 

I started to pull away "Stop it!" I screamed. 

He laughed. "It's just fun. Relax." he motioned to the others and they too began to touch me in the places I didn't want them to. I stumbled back onto the ground my head turned towards my 'friends' who just stood there watching me from a distance. Traitors.

They kneeled down to surround me and continued to touch me. I thought I would sink into the earth. Fear grew inside of me. This wasn't happening, was it? The fear grew so deep and so strong that I felt a rage fill deep in my gut. I didn't like what was happening and I knew that the only way to stop it from happening would be to take control. 

I would take control. I reached out and grabbed their leader, Jimmy. I held onto his head and I pulled him to the ground. He was so taken aback that he fell beside me and I jumped on top of him and started hitting him. 

"Get her off of me!" he cried. 

The boys pulled me off but I was flailing and kicking. 

"Coward!" I hollered. He sat there dazed. I called him a coward in front of his friends. I knew I was making a mistake but I didn't care. I needed to throw him off. 

"You need your friends to hold me back because you are nothing but a coward. I would destroy you. I'm going to rip your face off!" I spoke in loud angry waves. The boys holding me let me go. They looked to him to see what he would do. I'd won.

"I don't need them to do anything. I can take you!" he smirked. 

That stupid fool. I was angry, and I was afraid. There was nothing that I wouldn't do to protect myself. He had lost, he just didn't know it yet. I lunged for him and he took off running. 

His friends stood there shocked. "Why are you running?" they called out. 

"I'm going to kill you!" I called out towards him and I knew I would. I believed it in my core. 

He would grace this earth no longer if I caught him...when I caught him. Too late, my arms outstretched and grabbed hold of his collar. He was off balance and fell into me. I caught him. Call it adrenaline. Call it fear. Call it whatever you want. I had him and, I wasn't letting go. One look at me, and you could tell that there was no reasoning with me. I saw blood and, I would have my pound of flesh.

I slammed him against the wall. Stunned, he tried to fight me back but, I already had him in a chokehold. He tried to slam his arm into my ribs but I was small, I was able to stay behind him. I was choking him. He started to fall to the ground taking me with him, but I didn't let go. In fact, I squeezed tighter, twisting his neck slowly. 

"I'm going to break your neck before I choke you to death." I spat out the words. 

His eyes displayed nothing but sheer terror. He was afraid. He was scared of me. Good. He should be. I'm a monster, and I have no cage.

What I didn't know was that his friends had gone to get his older brother. A towering monster of a kid. My friends had now come around and stood close to me asking me to let him go. They kept telling me I didn't want to do this. 

"It wasn't that big a deal," one said. 

"He was just playing" another replied. 

"Think about what happens after this." still another said. I.hated.them. 

"Don't talk to me." I spat. 

"Please, listen to reason." the first one replied. 

"I'm sorry we didn't do anything. We just thought...we thought..." her voice trailed off. 

Tina filled in the empty space "We thought it would be OK." 

I squeezed his neck tighter. He was crying now. My tormentor was crying like a baby, tears streaming down his face. He no longer tried to show his strength. He could feel it. His end was close.

"He touched me and made me feel terrible. I didn't like what he was doing" my voice somber now. They didn't understand. 

How could they understand what it felt like to be a frail little girl surrounded by a group of boys set on assaulting her? They didn't understand. 

"I'm sorry," Tina said. 

"Please, just let him go before his brother gets here. They are getting him right now." her voice soft. 

"No!" I yelled and watched as their faces turned towards the direction of the figure running towards me. Mike, the brother, was coming and he didn't look happy.

Don't get the wrong idea here, I am not glamorizing violence. I am not suggesting that you use your pain as an excuse to hurt someone else. In fact, I think I was being an asshole. I was stupid just as I had claimed they were stupid. 

Should I have allowed, things to escalate and hope those boys wouldn't take it further? No way. What I am suggesting is that maybe, just maybe, there was a better way. It's in the past now, so there is no taking back your choices. You live with your decisions, and you learn from them. For better or worse they become a part of you.

There are turning points in a person's life that fundamentally change them forever. I hadn't known it at the time, but I would never be the same after this. Finding the old version of Catherine, the one from before this moment, would take me years. Even after the years had passed, I was never able to get her back completely. 

It was as though a part of her, the innocent child had died. Once dead, how can it have brought back to life again? The door of who I used to be closed that day. No matter what happened from that moment forward, she was gone and buried. Who would rise from the ashes of this fire?


Author's Note: This chapter is a little short but I wanted to capture this moment. I hope you enjoyed it. If you liked it please mark it and thanks for reading. 

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