soundless steps carried him to the belly of the campus. the thickness of groups lining the wall had comforted me so far. i felt secure in the company of folks i didn’t know, because i had faith. faith that someone, anyone would protect me from the acid that had just crept into our temporary holding place. 

carelessly he spit fire. 

“you know i fucked you in the ass. why you frontin like you don’t know me like that. i know you. come on. you were at my house last night…yeah that was you.”
my eyes darted around the room searching for help that never presented itself. 

in a wink he abducted my open math book, folder and pen. with unwarranted defiance he challenged my indifference to him while hurling my things to the ground. some gasped, some laughed, some smacked their lips at what he and i knew to be untrue.

he a senior ball player. i a freshman with no social clout. i was to accept his pill.

the peace i knew moments before had been stifled. a rank uneasiness ushered him out of the belly. the lining opened up to allow him his leave. it was thought to be over.

my papers masked the floor, my book lay face down in defeat, my pen scratched from skating the corridor. to the left of my feet, my cheap tennis racket and an opening to lower cavity of the campus. to the right, an opening that led out of the diseased body. i could have left. i should have accepted that he wanted to shit all over me. but i had other plans. i had had enough.

his footsteps quickened their pace as he felt me rapidly approach. both running now, i remained a stationary three paces behind him, racket in hand. he was within arm span but our pace informed me that i should caution all sudden movements.

now out of the belly we quickly reached the hairy center of the premises. he underestimated the height of a thorny rosebush and it shoved him face first into the crack of the quad. i pounced on top of him as he hollered for delinquent aid. while i pulled my arms back to gain momentum for the next swing, he begged me to stop.

his pleas for help enveloped me in a thick membrane of fury.

when help did arrive they rushed for my limbs. one person for each extremity. the adrenaline rush had subsided leaving me to curry in saucy sweat.

i found myself walked down familiar intestines of the campus, only to be incarcerated in the colon like bathroom to await further processing.

charges were to be filed against me because i had physically attacked a young man smitten with me.

so what if i didn’t care for his uninvited affections?

so what if he said he fucked me in the ass?

so what if he menacingly invaded my space?

so what if i don’t like unfinished buisiness?

do you?

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Dorothy Pirtle is owner of Pirtle Consulting - a boutique public policy firm specializing in community engagement, economic development, grant writing, multicultural relations and nonprofit management.  She's also a monthly contributor for The Filthy Freedom Project. Dorothy lives in Detroit, MI and plans on adopting a canine companion from a no-kill animal shelter. You can contact Dorothy and learn more about her services at pirtleconsulting@gmail.com.

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Celeste
7/15/2013 05:19:22

beautifully written testimony of a real life experience. your ability to articulate this night in a creative way allows for a higher level of understanding and healing. well done.

interesting how the aggressor becomes the "victim" when they can't handle their own perpetration.

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dorothy
7/15/2013 09:40:43

"Unfinished Business" is based on an experience that took place during my first semester of high school at an overcrowded, underfunded, underserved Los Angeles Unified School District campus. When I shared with a school administrator what was happening to me, she told me that I needed to grow thicker skin...let my reactions roll off my back. That experiences like this were going to become more frequent. I was instructed to learn my place in our world. Had it not been for this experience, I might not be the scholar I am today.

Thank you for taking time to read and comment Celeste <3

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jayshree
7/16/2013 16:09:44

Lady I admire your courage. Very few women hit back at their abusers.

Reply
dorothy
7/16/2013 21:55:22

thank you so much for reading and posting your comment jayshree. my hope in sharing my story is to encourage others to investigate how they view rage, violence, institutions of oppression, gender, class, race, space and access to nonviolent options. this situation did not escalate much beyond this experience. i can only imagine what the outcome is for others who experience similar harassment.

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