Five years later
A lot of things have changed since that night when I was raped. For one, I'm now seventeen and no longer living with my mother. She passed away last year from drug overdose. I had the option to go live with my grandparents, but they had never cared much for me as their grandchild since my mother had birthed me out of wedlock. My grandparents most certainly did not appreciate that. So now I am living on my own in a tiny apartment working two jobs while also attending school. That's ok though. Even when I had been living with my mother, I felt like I had been living alone.
Another thing about that night that I should mention, the white cat that had licked my nose shortly after the man had left? He had come back home with me where I fed and took care of him inside the safety and comfort of my room so Mother wouldn't know we had gained a new pet. Otherwise she may have killed him. I had given him the name Nakir after the Angels of Justice, Munkir and Nakir. I felt as if he wanted justice on the man just about as much as I did.
After the man had walked out of the alley that night, I had laid there unmoving for what felt like hours when in fact only thirty minutes had passed before I finally stood. My legs had wobbled from the fear still racing through my bloodstream, but I was finally able to continue on my way back home with Nakir following behind me. Fortunately, my mother had still not returned home and Mrs. McKnowlty hadn't tried calling. I didn't bother calling the cops. I had nothing to say and nothing to tell them assuming my voice box could have even worked at that time. I didn't know what the man looked like for sure. I just knew his body shape and the way the profile of his face looked.
Which brings up the question as to why I had been searching for five years for a man when I didn't even have a bit of clue what he looked like? For all I know, he could have completely changed his physical appearance, but I knew there was one thing my mind would never forget. The way he spoke. That slow drawl of his voice as he called me cutie. And that wretched smile he flashed after he had had his way with me. Those are images and sounds that would be etched into my mind for all eternity.
When school had started back up, everything about me had changed. My best friend, Tiffany, had been the first to notice. It wasn't just my appearance that had changed, but my personality had taken a complete 180 as well. Before it had happened, I had dressed in a neutral way so I didn't stand out in a crowd. I had been a quiet person with a shy demeanor. I hardly said anything except when I was asked a question. Even then my voice would come out quiet and timid most of the time. But after the incident, I was wearing black clothing. Anything and everything that screamed death or injustice to me, I would buy to wear. Most of those items were black, punk clothing. And it only grew worse as I got older. I was no longer the quiet girl everyone looked through in the hallways. I had a voice now and I knew how to use it. I began acting out in school. I nearly got expelled a few times. My timid demeanor had turned dark and sarcastic. I was tired of being the mat everyone walked over because I was small and weak. I decided to come out of that and show everyone I was no longer willing to be forced aside or messed with. I started teaching myself how to fight since, at the time, I didn't have the money to enroll in a self-defense class or have someone train me personally. And although I lost a lot of my friends and dropped the rest of them to become a loner, Tiffany always stayed by my side. She hadn't cared about the tremendous transformation I had gone through. She had even become worried for me that my mom had finally infected my life, but I assured her it had nothing to do with my family life at home. I had just lied to her saying it had been a long time coming for this new me. She never said anything about it again.
So now, here I was, still on the manhunt for my rapist and still clueless as to where he was. Every day since that night, I had been reading the newspaper, watching the news, checking the internet whenever I was at Tiffany's (before I had gotten my own), but had found no lead as to where in the world this man could be. It had bugged me to no end. And now that it was summer again, I was up to working three jobs to help pay rent, my car payment, insurance, gas, cable/ internet, and food. Fortunately, the owners took care of the electric and water bill. All I had to do was pay a $175 rent each month.
At the moment, I was currently sitting at my desk staring at the computer screen that was frozen on MSN's news page. I had another hour before I went in to work for the night over at the local bar. I was a waitress there.
I slammed my fists down on the faded, wobbly wooden desk making the piece of furniture tremble slightly under the fury of my fists.
"Goddamn it, you stupid piece of crap internet! I pay good money for you now WORK!" I demanded shaking my computer screen. The screen faded into white and a little box notifying me that MSN was not responding at the current time popped up.
I let my forehead fall forward onto the desk. I groaned in pain and weariness.
"Mrooow," Nakir voiced jumping into my lap and rubbing his butt all over my black shirt. I grimaced. Sometimes I really hated the fact that he was a pure white cat.
"Not today, Nakir," I sighed gently removing him from my lap and placing him on the floor. He cocked his head to the side giving me a questioning look.
"Do you think I should just give up on this? It's been five years and I still haven't found anything," I whined. "I feel like the eternal fire of vengeance burning in my belly is slowly dying out."
"Mrrrooooow," he growled giving me a stern look. I laughed. It was so funny that my cat had such human-like expressions and emotions. Nakir was definitely an intelligent cat.
"But I'm just wasting my time," I said to him. He closed his eyes for a long time before opening them again and staring at me with dull eyes. I had come to discover that that was his way of rolling his eyes.
"I know, you're right, Nakir, but I feel like I'm not going to get anywhere with this," I replied in a worried voice. How was I ever going to get a lead on this? I was only seventeen anyways. Not only that, but work wouldn't even give me the time I needed to just go on a manhunt for this guy. It's almost like, after that night, he just up and disappeared.
"What do I do, Nakir?" I sighed burrowing my face into my hands.
It was silent for a moment before I heard the subtle sound of something sliding across the carpet. I glanced up from the cover of my hands and saw Nakir dragging his food dish into my room from where it had been in the kitchen.
I burst out laughing when Nakir began pawing at the inside of his dish basically saying 'feeding me would be a great idea'.
"Alright, let's feed your fat belly," I smiled trailing my hand down his back and poking his small gut. He wove in and out of my legs as I picked up his food dish and began walking to the kitchen nearly tripping a couple of times because of him.
"Nakir, would you stop trying to trip me? If you want food, that is not a good way to get it," I warned opening the pantry door. I took his bowl and dipped in the cat chow bag to scoop him out a small amount of chow.
I placed it back on the kitchen floor next to his clean bowl of water. He immediately pounced on the chow scarfing it down. I rolled my eyes and made my way back to my room to check on MSN. Still not responding. I let out a sigh of disappointment before grabbing my jacket off my bed and heading for the front door. Nakir raced me to the door and pounced at my feet.
"Nakir!" I chuckled picking him up. He rubbed his face against one cheek and then did the same to the other side of my face before licking my nose. That had become his goodbye telling me to return safely.
"I love you, too. I'll see you at midnight."
He jumped out of my arms and allowed me to leave the apartment. I closed and locked the door behind me. For a moment I just stood there wondering if I would have turned out even more differently without having found Nakir, or I should say without him having found me. Either way, I was glad to have him in my life. Even if he was just a cat.