I’d rather not

‘But you love those kids!’
‘Yes, I do, but I’d rather not go’.
‘I don’t understand. It’s been 2 years and you don’t want to go?’

With that, Sally turned on her heel and went into the kitchen to put the kettle on.
Chrissie was right behind her, and wasn’t going to let the matter drop that easily.
For two years, she had seen her flatmate change from a happy carefree young woman to a nervous creature afraid of her own shadow, one who had cut herself off from her family.

‘Look. Your sister needs you. She said so in her letter. She has to go into hospital and has asked you to look after the boys for a few days.’
‘Her husband can do it.’
‘I thought you liked Ben.’
‘I did.’
‘What do you mean, ‘did’?’
‘I’m sorry Chrissie, I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to go. I can’t!’
And with that, she ran from the room in tears.

Sally lay on her bed thinking back to her sister’s wedding ten years before and how happy she’d been for her. Ben was a great bloke. Funny, good to have around, and he thought the world of Carol.
When the twins came along three years later, she had been happy to babysit so that they could have some quality time together. At fourteen she would get on the train and Ben would meet her from the station, so it wasn’t unusual for Sally to go and spend the weekend with them once a month.
The babies were little sweethearts, and Sally became proficient at changing diapers, making up bottles and feeds, and putting them down for their afternoon naps if necessary.

When the boys were a few months old, Carol was out shopping and Ben was giving the bathroom a makeover.
Sally took up a cup of tea and without thinking walked straight in, catching Ben in the middle of relieving himself.
Apologizing profusely and blushing scarlet, she left the tea on the landing and ran downstairs.
Ben shortly followed and grinned at her.
‘Bet that’s the first time you’ve seen one of those,’ he said.
Sally didn’t know what to say, but suddenly felt uncomfortable.
He put his empty cup on the drainer, and went back upstairs to finish what he was doing.

Sally felt she was making a mountain out of a mole hill over such an unfortunate mistake, and continued to babysit her nephews as and when she was requested.
The boys were a year old when Ben kissed her on the cheek as he was dropping her off at the station for her return journey.
She told herself it was a brotherly kiss, nothing more.
The next time, he put his hand on her thigh and held her just a little tighter and closer than she felt was necessary.
She began to feel awkward and clumsy in his company, and he was forever making jokes about her, which compounded the situation. No-one took much notice. She was just a kid.

Over the next few years, he started to seek her out on her own, bumping into her trying to get by if they were in company, or brush his hand across hers when no-one was looking. Sally would find him looking at her, then he’d smile slowly and wink before looking away.
She tried to confide in Carol, but she was working on a new project at work and said that she was imagining things. Ben was just looking out for her because he cared, especially since losing their parents suddenly when Sally was eighteen.

Two years ago, Carol and Ben had moved into a much bigger house and decided to have a party. Sally and her boyfriend had been invited, but at the last minute, Sam hadn’t been able to go, but insisted Sally went on her own.
No longer reliant on the train, she drove her little fiat and arrived early as agreed to help Carol with the food. Ben was going to keep the boys occupied.
Carol was putting the finishing touches to the table in the dining room when Ben came into the kitchen, put his arms around Sally and nuzzled her neck.
His right hand crept up to cover her breast, and he whispered sexy things in her ear.
Laughing shakily, Sally shook him off and said
‘Sorry, wrong sister’, to which he replied
‘No it’s not. I want you, you know I want you, and you can’t wait for me to have you.’
He then started to kiss her passionately and it took all her strength to push him away.
‘Leave me alone,’ she hissed and went into the dining room to help Carol.

The party was a nightmare.
Ben was drinking heavily, though Carol was in her element as hostess, mingling with her guests and making sure everyone was having a good time.
Ben’s eyes were forever on Sally, his mouth cast in a permanent smile that didn’t reach his eyes, and Sally did her best to keep busy, and better, out of his way.
But it didn’t last.
She found him waiting for her outside the downstairs cloakroom, and he shoved her back inside.

Two years later, she could still smell his sour beery breath, his sloppy kisses.
Still feel his hands tearing at her clothes.
Still see her terrified face in the mirror as he clamped his hand over her mouth.

For two years, she had kept silent, always making excuses not to visit.
For two years, she had tried to shut it out of her mind, and thrown herself into her job.
Sam had lost patience with her and walked eighteen months ago, never knowing the reason behind her fear of his love.
She hadn’t dated since, and shied away from any of Chrissie’s male friends when they tried to make polite conversation.

Nobody knew, and she couldn’t tell. It would destroy too many lives.
Now, her sister wanted her to go and stay in their house alone with him, to look after the children, totally oblivious to what had happened that night.

She couldn’t do it.
And the tears kept falling.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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6 Responses to I’d rather not

  1. lbeth1950 says:

    Very good! Well done.

  2. scifihammy says:

    Sadly there are too many situations like this. Unspoken agony suffered alone. It is good to shed light on the subject. Well Done.

    • There are, and it’s not just brothers in law that take advantage, but brothers, fathers, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, and any member of a family could be at risk, regardless of their gender.
      Victims feel it is their fault, are ashamed and have no sense of self worth. I’ve seen it first hand when I was fostering. What sickens me is those who are aware of what’s going on and do nothing. But then, it may be it happened to them too.

      • scifihammy says:

        This is true. It is particularly bad here in SA, where old people and even babies are raped. It needs to be spoken of more, so the victims get more support and do not have to feel ashamed, and hopefully the perpetrators can be stopped and put in jail.

      • Personally I like the idea of two bricks and no anaesthetic.

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