How do you heal from your past when you're still trapped within it?
I would like to say that time heals all wounds, but it doesn't. And I would like to say that falling in love is what rescued me, but it wasn't. Nobody told me what to expect in the coming days and weeks and months after conceiving a rapist's child. Years later, my wounds are still just as fresh as the night they were made. It would be so easy to disappear and allow the memories to consume me.
But that's the choice, isn't it? To live instead.
**This book contains rape triggers. Discretion is advised.**
I stepped into my house with a slight limp, hardly remembering the drive home. My lip felt swollen. Everything hurt. I walked numbly up the stairs and went into my bathroom to shower; I had never felt more dirty in my entire life.
Removing my dress was painful. I tried not to look in the mirror, but I caught a glimpse and couldn't look away. My lip wasn't as bad as it felt; probably not even noticeable to anyone else. There were no visible bruises on my body. Looking at myself, it was easy to imagine that I had dreamt it: that I would wake up tomorrow and breathe a sigh of relief that it hadn't been real. But then a memory of Tyler tearing his way into me while I stared at the ceiling made me rush to the toilet, heaving for what felt like an eternity. I sobbed, clutching the icy porcelain.
I finally sank down with my back against the cabinets until I could hug my knees to my chest. That was when the shaking began, stealing control of my entire body. And that was when I replayed everything that had happened, trying to make sense of it; trying to understand what I had done wrong to instigate him.
What did I do? His frantic voice returned to mind.
He had hit me; I hadn't asked for that. He had taken control.
Yet his response when it was over contradicted his actions, and somehow I knew I had misunderstood.
I was so confused. My cheek still throbbed where he had slapped me. Steam from the shower clouded around me in a suffocating haze as I gripped the bathroom rug beneath me. It was the only thing that made me feel somewhat stable. I sat there until sweat began to roll off my face. I tried to understand. I tried to understand what I had done to ask for this.
But no matter how much I reasoned with each passing thought, and no matter how many times I tried to recall what I had done to instigate him, the reality of what had happened was finally crashing down over me. There was only one explanation: one that I never in a million years thought would be something I would have to experience firsthand.
I had been raped.
And I had no idea what to do.
About Author, A.J. Adwen:
Allison was born and raised in the mountains of Oregon, birthed of the crisp, clean air and rainy forests. She now resides in Oklahoma City, though she is still thoroughly attached to her home and finds much inspiration for her stories whenever she has a chance to return. As the spouse of a police officer and a full-time photographer, she is on her toes 24/7. In 2013, she was a recipient of the Oklahoma Next Generation award: an award given to thirty individuals under the age of thirty in the state who have proven to be innovative and inspiring leaders in the arts, entertainment, business, media, and other areas of impact.
Often told that she has her head in the clouds, she couldn’t deny it even if she wanted to.
Allison began dreaming up stories long before she was old enough to write them. She enjoys a variety of genres, including YA, romance, historical romance, fantasy, dystopian, and anything else that hooks her interest. She prefers to write books that tell gripping love stories in heart-wrenching, real, inspiring ways. Her stories are deep and raw, taking the reader into a world that is richly intricate. Readers often say that they are swept away and left reeling when they have finished the last page.
Allison loves to interact with her readers, and she does her best to respond to every email she receives. To learn more about her, visit her Facebook page and follow along on her writing journey!