You hit the button.
Ashley, she says. Your mother, of course; she’s the only one with the number. She sounds as tired as you feel. I thought you should know - I just got the call from your grandmother, you know she still lives in the same building as his grandparents.
Jason, I mean. He died. Three nights ago. It was a car accident, and he - I thought you ought to know. The funeral is over but they’re sitting shiva and we should go, you know, Ashley - I know everything that happened, but you were best friends once, and your grandmother and his grandmother - well - I’ll call you later. You should know, though, I thought. You should come. I’m sorry.
Her voice is still going but you are curled up against the wall, wedged between the table and the couch, knees pulled tight to your chest, struggling to breathe. Because you knew it, because you remember him so sharply all of a sudden, knives-and-salt sharp, and because you have thought for years that you were alone in this world but you never really were until this moment, this heartbeat. Because you did love him once upon a time, because he was the only person who was ever elsewhere with you, and because he was your nuclear option. If you were never able to get back on your own, there was always him.
And now you are even farther from home.
You knew, is the thing. Without knowing you knew. You’d dreamed about him three nights ago. And usually dreams of him were nightmares, mad bad Jason of your teenage years, blood and iron and anger - but this one wasn’t. In this one, you saw him by the lake behind your grandmother’s place, where you met when you were four and he was six. In the dream, you were the ages you are now - but different. You were calm and happy. His face was wistful; he smiled. He was not twisted in on himself the way he’d become. It was the him he would’ve been had he never been sent elsewhere, had none of their childhoods and adolescence ever happened.
He hugged you. And he whispered, I’m sorry.
And you said, For what?
And then you woke up. You woke up and you remembered everything, all of the things he should be sorry for, and you huddled in your bed and waited for morning and tried to forget all over again.
And he was gone.
And you were still here.
Twenty-six years and you are still here, so far from home.
"We Met in February" necklace, by sofiaviolet. We Met In February consists of a rough piece of amethyst wrapped in silver wire with a coating that should make it safe for folks with metal sensitivities and a hibiscus-shaped bead of uncertain metal content, suspended on silver-plated chain and fastened with a toggle clasp with fleur-de-lis details.
Sofia says, This piece represents an aspect of my relationship with my high school boyfriend, who was very skilled at abusing me and then convincing me nothing was wrong. I put up with sexual assault, the methodical erasure of my boundaries, emotional manipulation and dependence, and continual psychological trauma for eighteen months, before he left me due to my erratic behavior and the pockets of my resistance that he hadn't been able to root out.
My rape, the single instance I recognized and confronted him about during the relationship, was five years ago this month.
We'd met in January, to be completely honest, but we spent most of February circling each other. He must have seen me like a wounded bird as I went over my suicide plan every day, the easiest prey anywhere in high school, and maybe he thought it was a mercy to take me away from every other person in the world, scoop out the inside of my head, and replace me with a boundless incapacity to forgive him.
Ash had a very similar relationship with Jason, and she's not the only one. I had that dream and for that reason, different only in a few details.
Many of the auction items were created by survivors of rape and sexual assault. I will not identify them unless they identify themselves.
Many were created by people who are not survivors. Because you don't need to be a survivor yourself to care, and to know how incredibly important these resources are.
Click here to sponsor me - and e-mail me your receipt so I know how much I'm raising!
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Team Venture shoutout to nevacaruso, who is hitting the X-Men fanfic!
Team Venture wants to know why you would be the best man if it's your best friend Harry's brother Larry who's getting married. Why would Harry not be the best man? Or Larry's best friend? Team Venture is confused, and it is far too early for Team Venture to be this confused, so we're hoping y'all can figure this out for us.