by: Abbi Baker
When I met Eric, I felt my life change, even though I was only twelve. He seemed to be everything a girl could ever ask for. Loving, sweet, and almost irresistible. However, he was my best friend’s boyfriend, so i didn’t want to get too close.
We met at the M-89 Cinema, where me, and my two best friends, Tasha and Krysten met him for the first time. He was nineteen, a little strange, and I didn’t know what to think about him at first, because he could never stop moving. He was always bouncing back and forth, but at the time it didn’t matter. After we left the theater, we walked over to Walmart. It was a chilly, December day, so I was happy to be inside again. When Tasha, and Krysten ran from us, we chased them around. We had so much fun. People looked at us like we were raised my the hair on our heads. We were so free. I was free. Free to have fun in our own way. “Wanna to go outside, “Eric asked. “Sure,” I said happily. While he smoked his cigarette, we talked, and I began to like him. He was a sweet heart.
After a few days, I got his number by talking to him, on the phone at Tasha’s house, where we use to hang out. When I went home, I called him again. We talked to each other everyday. We talked about music, love, and religion. He also sang to me, “From this moment,” by Shania Twain. He would say, “Honey, you are the angel above my bed that I pray for at night.” He would always tell me he loved me too. He use to say, “Always tell people you love them, because you never know when you wont’ be able to.” He taught me what love was. He treated me like an angel. Delicate. He was loving. It was like a fairytale.
Then as time flew by, he started talking about sex. He said, “When you turn thirteen, I don’t want to have sex with you. I want to make love to you.” He said he didn’t like having sex, because he loved me, and thought making love sounded better. About a week after talking to him, he asked if I wanted to come visit him. He told me that he broke up with my best friend to be with me, yet he told me not to tell her, because he didn’t want her to be upset. I agreed, and I broke up with my boyfriend by writing him a note, and putting it in his locker the next day. Bad idea.
As the days past by, I only wanted to talk to him. He was the one person I trusted. I could tell him anything. He told me to tell his mom that I was seventeen, so I did when she wanted to talk to me. She also wanted to talk to my dad, but I said he wasn’t there. The night before Saturday, January 8th 2005, we planned how he would pick me up, and bring me home. He also asked if i was afraid to die, and I told him I was.
The next day, I called my dad, who was at work, that I was going to my moms for the day. Then I told my mom that I was going to a friend’s house, in Portage. I walked two miles to the party store, called 3rd Base, where I waited ten minutes until him, his mom and grandpa picked me up. We went to Walmart, and separated from his mom and grandpa. After we looked at the CD’s, we went outside so he could smoke. When we were outside, he abruptly pulled me towards him, and french kissed me, which startled the hell out of me. I quickly pulled away, coughing. He laughed. Then we went to sit in the car, which had tinted windows. We started making out, which I was okay with until he put his hand between my legs. I pushed his hand away a little. He laughed again.
Soon after, we were all in the car again, and we headed to Portage. When we got off the highway, he told his mom to take us to Cruisers Pub. We took a right, and we were there within five minutes. Me and Eric got out, and his mom and grandpa drove away. When we walked in, it was a bar setting with two bars. One to the right, and one towards the left. Directly to the left, were about five pool tables. It was, of course, dark like a normal bar.
He asked if I was any good at playing pool. I said, “I’m alright at it.” It was a lie. I was very good at it, but I was a little nervous. We shared a Mountain Dew, and after every time we shot the cue ball, we kissed. I thought it was sweet. After about two or three games, he wanted to go outside. I didn’t know why, but he said he wanted to show me something.
He took my hand, and took me behind the building, where no one was around. It was an “L” shaped building, so we were somewhat isolated. He took off his black, leather coat, handed it to me and said, “Set it down, but not in the water puddle.” I looked to my right, and set it down. He was acting weird. His tone of voice was more stern, and serious. Then he picked me up, and kissed me. After he put me down, he started kissing me again, and lifting up my shirt. I stopped kissing him, and looked at him with a worried face, shook my head a little, and backed up slightly. He seemed to ignore it, when he started touching, and licking my breasts. I just stood there, not knowing what to do. My mind went blank. When he put my shirt down, he unbuttoned my pants and put his hand down them. I felt a very sharp pain. I wanted to cry, because it hurt so bad. I thought he was scraping me with his nails, and I thought I would start bleeding. At the time, I didn’t know what he was doing to me. As a twelve year old little girl, I knew nothing except that I hated it, and I just wanted him to stop, but I was frozen, and I didn’t know what to say or do. I was confused. He pulled out his penis, and told me to play with it. I did, and wanted to cry. I was trying to ignore the pain by kissing him a few times, but it hurt too much, and I couldn’t ignore it. He asked if it hurt, and I shook my head no as I glanced up at him. At some point, a car went by slowly. They saw what was happening, and didn’t do anything. Maybe they thought I was okay. He didn’t look forceful at all, but I was still scared. I wasn’t okay. I felt horrible. I felt like it was suppose to happen, but I didn’t want it to. I just wished he would of stopped.
After he decided to stop, we went back into the bar, and played another game of pool. This time, I wouldn’t kiss him. I was in shock, and it was hard to even speak. As we played pool, his phone rang. It was his dad wanting to talk to me. “You liar! Do you know what you’ve done? Do you know how much trouble you can get him into?” He just kept yelling at me, and I was so angry. He told me that my parents were on their way to pick me up, and that they told him my real age. My heart dropped. When his mom got there, she started calling me a liar too. When we arrived at his house, we stood in the garage, as his dad barged out the door yelling at us. “You lying, little ass hole!” That’s all I was to his dad. He kept yelling at us. Eric wanted to go for a walk to get away, so I followed. We ended up walking across a field of snow covered grass that lead to a school. The snow was about three feet deep, and I had to leap in order to step in his foot steps, so I could get through the snow. Again, people saw us, and again we were isolated, but behind the school, where the dumpster still are. Also, tall brick walls were towering us, so it was impossible for anyone to see what was happening. I remember wanting to leave, but I didn’t know where to go. I was more afraid to leave him, because I didn’t want anyone to find out what was happening.
He started touching me again. This time, he had a creepy smile on his face. He smoked one cigarette after another. He also pulled out a blue, switch blade, and said, “If anyone messes with me, I’ll mess them up.” I froze again. My numbness kept me calm. He grabbed my butt, and pulled me towards him. He began kissing me, and unbuttoning my pants. Before I knew it they were at my ankles. He kept touching my breasts, and putting his fingers inside of me. I said nothing. I just stood there not knowing what to do. He started masturbating, and also rubbing his penis on my vagina. The only thing I said was, ” I’m not on the pill,” to see if he would stop, but he didn’t. Then I went to pull my pants up, but he leaned down, and started doing oral sex on me. I hated it, and I wanted to cry. He stood back up a few seconds later, and said, “Now do it to me.” I hesitated, and just looked at him, hoping he would change his mind, but he didn’t say anything. Then I thought about the knife, and crouched down, and did it to him for a few seconds. I stood back up wanting to cry, but I couldn’t. I backed away a little, and folded my arms. He started masturbating again and finished himself. He seemed happy. He buttoned his black pants, and we walked away. He listened to his messages, and one was my mom. He told me to call her, so I did. “Where are you?” She asked in an angry voice. “Romance street, and don’t you dare call the cops.” She told me to get back as soon as possible. Her and my dad were waiting at Eric’s house. Before we even got to the end of the road, we saw the police. Two police cars were there, and I was scared to death. Eric told me to promise him I would lie to them. I promised. When they stopped us, they got out of the car. One officer walked with me, and I immediately said, “Nothing sexual happened.” He gave me an uneasy look, and told me Eric was a bad person. The officers repeatedly asked me questions about what happened. I was not only scared, but I was numb, and I just wanted to be left alone. I watched two officers search Eric. They found the knife, and took him to jail. My mom and dad arrived, and where talking to the cops, while I was still talking to the same one, I had been talking to before. When it was time for me to go with my mom and dad, I said, “Thank you,” to the officer I had been talking to.
When I got home, I immediately went to the bathroom to see if I was bleeding. I was still so shocked, confused, scared, yet blank all at once. I felt dirty, and depressed. After I used the bathroom, the phone rang, and it was my boyfriend that I tried to break up with, but he never got the note. I started to cry, and I kept telling him there was a note in his locker and I didn’t want him to read it. I told him that I loved him, and that I missed him. I felt horrible. After I hung up, I went to sleep. I slept all day the next day. My dad was at work, and I stayed in bed crying until my dad got home. On Monday, my boyfriend read the note, and was mad. He called me a bitch, and told everyone I had sex with him, which was a lie. I cried almost everyday, and every night for about six months. Then I only cried about four times a week for maybe eight months. I never went anywhere. I didn’t want to see my friends anymore. I hated leaving the house. I just wanted to cry.
I didn’t tell a soul until a year and eight months later, when I was a freshman in high school. I told my boyfriend, now friend, Jay. If I felt depressed, I would always call him. He made me feel better. As time went by, we broke up, and I started dating someone else, who I love deeply. I started getting sick of dealing with fear of someone raping me. After two years of hiding it, I really wanted to speak, but I didn’t know how to say it, or what to say. I just wanted out of my cage.
Finally, in November of my Junior year of high school, I wanted to speak more than anything in the world. I just wanted to break free. I didn’t want to be silent anymore. I hated the way I was living my life. I was scared all the time. I felt alone, and I started telling more people. I even went to the police officer at school, and reported it. It was empowering. I was scared, but I believed in myself. I knew I could do it. I knew I had people who loved me, and would hold me when I broke down. Within two weeks, a Portage detective came to hear my story. He made me feel as comfortable as possible. He let me write my story instead of telling him. I wrote everything I could remember. After I was done, he asked me some questions that were very detailed. I told everything. He asked why I waited until now, and I told him. “I was sick of dealing with the pain.” I started to cry. He comforted me by telling me I’m a very strong girl, and that made me smile. I was so happy I spoke. He believed every word, and I was so happy. It gave me strength to keep moving forward.
A few weeks passed, and I finally got to speak to the Prosecuting Attorney, Chris. She was the first woman I had talked to about what happened. She even commented on that. She worked with me, and it was like she understood more than anyone in the world. I was so nervous, but excited too. She asked questions, and I was very comfortable with her. Eric was in jail about six months after I reported it. He admitted it. Sentencing was on it’s way.
Meanwhile, I met someone. My uncle, who is really not my biological uncle. He’s a very good friend that has helped me more than anyone. I told him about what happened, and he took me back to the places that Eric hurt me. I didn’t get out of his truck, but we talked about what happened. He opened my world again. He got me to do so many crazy things that made me know I could have fun, despite what happened. He made me feel comfortable around men again.
Eric was sentenced eleven to twenty five years in prison on October 30th, 2009. I got to speak during court. I wrote out what I planned to say, and I went up there, and spoke. I met Chris at the podium, in front of the judge, and Eric. It was hard for me to start, but I did it. Chris was close beside me, and I was okay. I started to speak. I told them how he changed my life, and I told them how afraid of the world I was. I told them how I felt. I told them everything. The judge listened carefully. After I was done, Chris hugged me. I felt free again. It was one of the best days of my life so far, and I will always remember it. It was also the best “speech” I’ve ever spoken. I broke free, and it was worth it.